Microphone input levels too low

When I try to record voice audio in Audacity, the levels are so low they barely register. I can amplify the recording afterwards, but the max level I’m reaching in the recording is about -54db.

I’m using the SubZero SZ-A12 audio interface, and a SubZero SCZ-300 condensor mic. Headphones/playback is fine, it’s just the audio input is so low. If I turn up the gain on the mic I don’t get any more volume, just more hissing and background noise.

I’ve tried searching but can’t understand the answers - I’m using the leads that were supplied with the kit, and it’s definitely all working, it’s just this that’s stopping me recording nice clear audio. I’ve got Audacity and the audio interface set to mono.

From what I found online, it looks like it might have come with special control software. Maybe the volume needs to be turned-up in that application?

It also looks like it came with Bitwig (an alternative to Audacity).

This may be obvious, but make sure 48V phantom power is on. And the “instrument” button should be off.

I assume you selected the USB device as your Recording Device? (Don’t select anything that says “loopback”).

Try Listen To This Device to make sure Windows is getting a (usable) signal.

Something isn’t working… :wink:

You can’t always tell serious product failure just by listening.

Connect everything up. Plug the mic into #1. Select +48v and Power. Turn up Master and Gain 1 all the way. Turn down Ins 1, Ins 2, and Gain 2. Does the power button have a light? Or is it a light? I can’t tell.

Never, ever blow into a microphone, but you can yell as loud as you like.


This is a raw equipment test—intentional overload, not a theatrical quality examination. Can you get the CLIP light to come on? You should be able to. It should flash as you yell. If not, then something is broken or missing. Your voice isn’t getting any further than the Interface.


A note here. You may be the victim of Product Development, Marketing, and Promotion. Everybody Knows you need to make new home microphones low volume. If a new microphone seems to work OK only at low volume, the buyer will think they are dong something wrong and do the research to fix it.

On the other hand, if the microphone arrives at normal, or heaven forbid, high volume, the customer’s first sound test may overload and sound harsh, gritty, and crunchy. Time to send it back.

No contest, right? Low Volume it is.


Amazing how well this works when I read the instructions.

Thanks to plug and play technology, this interface is as good as it gets. This allows you to use the AI2 on any operating system, without the need for any installers.

— and —

Embrace the on-board clip detectors to keep an eye on your signal level at all times. This allows you to monitor the quality of your signal. Green indicates a healthy level, whilst red suggests that the level is “hot” and would benefit from being reduced.

So technically, it’s not a simple clip detector, but a level or volume indicator.


I don’t know where it says this, but the “front” is the side grill just up from the company name. It’s a directional microphone, so you have to get that right. It won’t sound right speaking into the top or the back. Don’t talk into the serial number.

Screen Shot 2024-01-16 at 1.09.56 PM

I’m betting the promotional graphics were not passed by an engineer. That guitarist is playing into the back of the microphone.

Nobody will be shocked by this. The famous Blue Yeti microphone went on sale with the usage instructions correct, but buried in the back of the manual. I knew they were there and I had trouble finding them. The microphone became popular with half the internet using it wrong.


This topic was automatically closed after 30 days. New replies are no longer allowed.