I’m a beginner, trying to transfer my record collection to digital. I have a low output moving coil cartridge on my turntable, going into a Phono Plus USB preamp, and into my laptop. Even when I turn the gain ALL the way up on the preamp and ALL the way up in Audacity, the max I get on the meter bar when recording is way down at -21. What to do? Thanks!
Look at the instructions and see if the preamp is rated for a moving coil cartridge. There are some serious level problems with those and at least in analog land, they take special preamplifiers.
You can apply Effect > Amplify to your songs and bring them back up to normal, but they will be noisier than if you had the right electronics.
Thanks, Koz! Sounds like if I replace the cartridge I’ll be good. I’ll give it a try.
Downgrading the cartridge to match everything else.
What does happen if you apply the Amplify tool? If the increase in electronics noise is well below the vinyl noise, you may not notice. -20dB is right around the point where the human ear hears half-loudness, so it’s not all that far away from normal.