Mic Limited to -6 Under Certain Conditions

Hey folks,

I’m having a weird issue in Audacity 3.0.2 on Windows 10. Not 100% sure when this started. I am running an AT2020 XLR through a Focusrite Scarlett Solo and the audio input is being hard clamped to -6 dB maximum, only when recording in mono with this device in Audacity. I tried a USB mic and a virtual microphone and both reached 0 dB, and my AT2020 will also reach 0 dB in Adobe Audition. I would prefer to keep using Audacity over Audition so I would appreciate any help in solving this. Troubleshooting steps I’ve already done are to reset preferences in Audacity and do a clean reinstall - no luck in both cases.


It’s because you’re recording in mono and only using one input on your interface. The signal is cut in half so you don’t clip when both inputs are summed to mono.

There’s actually nothing wrong with a -6dB (or lower) digital level. Trust the clipping indicators on your interface, avoid clipping and you can boost after recording.

Or, you can record in stereo and convert to mono. See the [u]FAQ[/u]

Thanks! If it’s always worked that way I suppose I didn’t notice before, and got curious when I noticed other devices weren’t being clamped to -6 as well. I’ll keep an eye on my interface while I work then. Appreciate the insight!