microphone not picking up

im using windows 7 with audacity 2.0.5


alright so the program obviously picks up that i am using my mixer (a behringer xenyx 1204 usb mixer) but when i hit record nothing picks up on the microphone.


this picture is the microphone failing to pick up on anything (first track is instrumentation). i know i have the correct driver installed for this mixer so i am at a loss as to what is stopping the program from picking up the microphone (mxl 770 cardroid condenser microphone) so i can record

I kept waiting for you to say: “And the lights on the mixer flash in time to my voice.”

Do they?



no they do not. not sure how to get it to pick up. here is a pic of my mixer in case it helps. i currently have the main mix (above the lights on the right hand side) and the 2-tr/usb buttons pressed down. my main mix and first strip (where the mic is hooked into) are at 0 and messing with them hasnt led to any positive results

ok so i now got audacity to pick up on my vocals (needed to increase the gain) but i am still having some difficulty. the problem i am experiencing now is that the vocals show on audacity but not the mixer (which might not even be a problem?). additionally when i go to listen back to the recording it is only playing out of the left side (or the “l” side by the lights as you can see on the mixer in the pic i provided above)

This will probably help more than we can: http://www.behringer.com/assets/1204USB_X1204USB_M_EN.pdf

There’s a sequence of steps. You need to make the mixer run perfectly before you mess with the computer or Audacity. I would give you step-at-a-time, but my favorite supplier web site, Sweetwater, has gone down for system maintenance. !@#$%^&

If you have no mixer meters but you have a voice, then you’re probably recording the laptop internal microphone. Scratch on the microphone and then the laptop with your fingernail and see which one makes the Audacity meters jump more. That’s a trick for figuring out which microphone is hot.

Never, ever, ever blow into a microphone. There are some microphones where you only do that once.




yeah i had read through that and it helped me set the eq/comp/main mix/etc settings but it doesnt offer much in terms of getting the microphone to work outside of “raise the channel 1 strip control” which isnt working to the effect i desire


ok that makes sense. i am certain that it is picking up on my microphone and not the internal one. i tried the fingernail trick and even moved it to the other side of the room to ensure it was picking up the right one which it is. i got it so where the mixer IS picking up my voice with the lights in addition to both left and right emitting equally. the new problem i am having is that despite my mic picking up on a reasonable level: http://i.imgur.com/UzdDNuc.png (its like -15 → -12 on normal speaking voice ignore whats shown here) when i monitor the input level that the track barely picks up on it at all. the bright side is what i can hear is pristine so itll be good once this is figured out but yeah im just trying to ascertain why it comes off as so quiet even when i try raising my voice. if you look at this next pic: http://i.imgur.com/FKoqw8b.png

the bottom one is the generic “microphone realtek high definition” setting which comes with windows 7 that i DONT want to use cuz it comes off as garbage due it not processing the mixer correctly and the top one is what the mic is picking up on approximately the same volume. i hope the sweetwater sites back up lol

bump in the interest of not getting drowned out in the other topics

This is not an Audacity problem. If it is a USB mixer you set Audacity playback and recording devices to the mixer and configure the mixer to send/monitor the correct input.

Have you looked at the manual for the mic? Can you boost it? Is it working correctly in other hardware? Have you tried the mic in another input in the mixer?


Strange… I would expect that you could get plenty of gain with the mixer’s mic/input slider and the master slider set to maximum… I mean it should be easy to drive it into distortion.

Some of this may be dumb/obvious, but I’ll throw-out a few ideas…

The microphone has a “pad” for recording loud sources. Make sure the 0dB -10dB switch is set to 0dB.

It’s a “side address” mic. Make sure you are talking/singing into the front side, not the end or the back.

The mic requires phantom power. Make sure the mixer’s phantom power is switched-on. (I don’t think you’d be hearing anything without it.)

Each mixer input channel has a “gain” knob in addition to the main fader slider. There may be some other settings on the mixer that are set incorrectly (maybe effect send/return, etc.).

the bottom one is the generic “microphone realtek high definition” setting which comes with windows 7…

That’s your computer’s soundcard which should have nothing to do with the USB mixer… Unless Windows is confused and using the wrong driver.

Never, ever, ever blow into a microphone. There are some microphones where you only do that once.

And don’t slap it with your hand! :smiley: :smiley: I used to work for a sound-system company and I would cringe whenever someone tested the mic that way. It puts a big “thump” through the whole PA system, which isn’t so good for the speakers either. My boss really freaked-out when someone was swinging the mic around by the cord like Roger Daltray! ( I wasn’t present for that.)


its not an audacity problem? when i set the levels the mixer picks up on it fine but doesnt reflect the way it should in the software. the microphone will be very loud but when i look at the input levels on audacity it reaches like -45ish when it should be way more than that. i have read the manual for the mic and tried it in another input and it cant be boosted


i actually do get plenty of gain and can easily get distortion. thats why im so confused as to why the software barely picks up on what i am saying into it

the problem is that when i switch to my specific mixer in audacity (which shows after i downloaded the correct driver) the software isnt picking up the levels of input that the mixer says it is. but when i switch the mic to mic realtek high defintion (i understand thats unrelated to the mixer but had just toyed with it to see what i could get out of the mic) it picks up on what it should be in the other setting which makes me think im missing some kind of obvious solution here. the phantom power is indeed on and the mixer came with one

i mean i could amplify all my vocals and/or use the built in gain setting that each track comes with but its not pure and it comes out rough sometimes. essentially i want to make the software pick up the microphone plugged through the mixer (recognized as LINE-IN BEHRINGER) with the same sensitivity that it does when i switch the input to the realtek high definition one. im unsure as to where the discrepancy is coming from or why its coming out so low

Close Audacity.

You should not be running the mixer channel slider and the two master sliders all the way up.

That mixer has three ways to affect volume. Up near where you plugged the microphone in there is a knob called “Gain.” Start that one around 3:00 o’clock.

The microphone slider and the two master sliders should both be at their “0” positions as marked by the paint. It should be possible to yell into the microphone and get the clip light on the microphone slider and maybe even the two clip lights on the main sound meters.

Can you get it that far? I understand you would never run this way, but we are intentionally creating distortion as a test.


Audacity only records what you send it. There are no real time effects or modifications except for the obvious one of the Mixer Toolbar (right-hand) input slider:


I would assume that input slider is greyed out when you choose the mixer as input device and that there is no master control of the mixer’s input level in Windows. In that case Audacity exerts no control over the input level at all.


oh alright

wellll when i put the gain at 3 with the main mix and mic slider at 0 the distortion is ear shattering. the part that is confusing me is that while its way too loud to record the mixer is barely (it IS picking up on sound though. just barely) picking up the sound on the levels. i assume there is a way to make the mixer register that noise at a higher level at which point the problem is solved

anyways gale is definitely right that this isnt an audacity problem and that it is indeed me misusing the mixer so i apologize for that. if someone could point me to some alternative resource or maybe take this to pm for the sake of it not clogging up this part of the forum id be appreciative of that. thanks for the help so far at any rate

Do you have the correct drivers from: http://www.behringer.com/EN/Products/1204USB.aspx ?

This mixer does have a USB output doesn’t it? You aren’t using the version without USB and connecting to a separate USB interface?

You could always try http://forum.behringer.com/forumdisplay.php?17-Audio-Recording .


wellll when i put the gain at 3 with the main mix and mic slider at 0 the distortion is ear shattering.

the mixer is barely (it IS picking up on sound though. just barely) picking up the sound on the levels.

Those two together mean you’re listening wrong. The bouncing light sound meter on the mixer and the sound levels in Audacity will generally match. You’re complaining that the Audacity levels are wrong and I’m complaining that the mixer sound meters are wrong, too.

How are you listening? If you set the mixer and Audacity for normal, graceful sound levels but the sound is distorted and the high volume blows the tea cup over, then you have a speaker or headphone level set wrong, similar to complaining about the volume at the radio station when you have the volume knob on the radio set too high.


I experienced the same problem - and solved it!
The trick is to open Audacity on your computer before connecting your mixer to the computer.
You’re welcome.

I think your case must have been different from the OP.

When using a USB audio device, the device should be connected before launching Audacity.
If the device is attached after Audacity is running, Audacity will not be able to see it until you “Transport menu > Rescan Audio Devices”.