Need quick help with recording Q!

Hey, new to this board.

I’m using the basic form of audacity and recording with a junky karaoke mic (that I stole from my sister)

When I record, there seems to be limits set on my audio. When I import a beat, it’s fine, the DB levels can go to either extreme, but there is some kind of cap or something when I record audio, making it difficult to hear, because it is playing much softer than the beat. I’ve distorted the levels of beat and audio recording to make it more even, but then the things either over modulate or something else goes wrong.

I feel like there would be a setting to fix this, though I have yet to find it yet. Anyone have an answer for me?

Thanks in advance!

<<<I’m using the basic form of audacity and recording with a junky karaoke mic (that I stole from my sister)>>>

You’ll need to get a lot closer than that.

I’m typing on an Intel Mac Mini running OS-X Tiger 10.4.11. I use Audacity 1.2.5 and 1.3.6a6 (but not at the same time). I talk into a Logitech USB Desktop Microphone.

Now you tell me what you have.


This describes the standard ways of adjusting the recording levels:

Note that quite a few modern computers with on-board sound have Automatic Gain Control and other recording “enhancements”. These MUST be switched off. The settings for these effects are often difficult to find, but are usually found via an icon near the computer clock.

On-board PC sound cards are usually very poor quality for recording. For high quality recording it is recommended to upgrade the sound card (see other forum posts for suggestions).

Thanks for the resposnes, but I’m still kind of stuck. I think it’s a problem with the program, not mic, since it clearly has a maximum level it can get up to. I’m viewing my song in “wavelength”, not “wavelength (db)” and my imported track can go up to 1 and down to -1, but the maximum I can get my audio recording is from .5 to -.5

Before I got a new computer, it would go up to 1 and down past it.

Any other advice?

could this be my problem? Not by the computer clock, but I could try looking around more. I have a Toshiba Satellite.

Again, thanks for all the help so far


There’s the clue.

New sound cards and services no longer have the “20dB Boost” clicker option that the old ones had. Modern microphones tend to not need this, or you don’t need it at all if you use digital services or USB, but it does peel off all the older microphones that work well, but are on the quiet side. No such thing as building an adapter and plugging my Shure SM-58 in like I could before.

So that’s that. Your mic and the computer don’t match any more. You can boost the level in Audacity–assuming your voice is on its own track, you can buy an expensive preamplifier (that’s the way we went at work. We have specialized microphones) or you can pop for a USB microphone. Those aren’t dreadful. I use a Logitech USB Desktop microphone and it works well.

You did go into Windows Sound Panels and make sure everything is turned up, right? Then go into Audacity Preferences and make sure that’s all the way up? I think there’s one on the main edit panel, too. But I’m not shocked. This happens to us with newer machines all the time.


Yeah, I’ll figure out something. I realized after my first post, it may be a hardware issue w/ the comp. Thanks for all your guys’ help though. That was awesome

If you’re having trouble sleeping, we’ll explain to you how an electret condenser microphone works. Really. We’re better than warm milk.




Thanks but no thanks Koz…I’m gonna go with “ignorance is bliss” on this one