New to Audacity - digitizing vinyl

Hey folks,

New to audacity here and I’m having some glitches I’d like to resolve. I am using a USB cable from my phono stage preamp. Plugging into my MacBook Pro and opening audacity. I was able to digitize one record, but it was all peaking, so I turned down the preamp output volume. Then the final recording was much lower in volume than any other official downloads on my iTunes.

So then I tried again to record a new LP and just let it peak out and see if that volume at full preamp volume will be the same as official downloads without clipping. Opened Audacity today and it keeps crashing. Won’t let me hit pause and then record to set up before I want to release the pause button. It just starts recording. Then when I try to hit pause it crashes.

Anything troubleshooting I am missing just to pause before I am ready to record? Restarted computer and get same issue.

Thanks, from a newly

Please give us the info from the pink band on top of this thread. Which Audacity, etc.


Hi -

I am using Audacity 2.1.1 - just downloaded from the .dmg installer. i’m running OS X Yosemite - Version 10.10.5

It worked once and I am still learning how to split tracks. But this pause button either not working with record button or causing it to crash is new to me.

I think there could be a crash problem in 2.1.1 if you enable Transport > Sound Activated Recording. I am getting crashes in 2.1.1 (recording Soundflower) but not in 2.1.2-alpha (at the moment).

So try turning Sound Activated Recording off. In any case you cannot use Pause in conjunction with Sound Activated Recording - Pause is automatically engaged when the input sound falls below the Sound Activation Level required to trigger recording, and Pause is automatically released when the level is high enough to record.

If you still get crashes after turning Sound Activated Recording off, make sure Audacity is closed in Activity Monitor, open Finder, then use Go > Go to Folder and type:

~/Library/Application Support/audacity/

In that “audacity” folder, delete the “audacity.cfg” file and restart Audacity. This gives you new factory settings (with Sound Activated Recording off).

Was there a Mac crash report that appeared? In case the crash is something I’m not seeing, you can find the reports at /Applications/Utilities/ If there are any crash reports, could you please post the latest report? Please see How to attach files to forum posts.

By the way, if you want the songs to sound as loud as Apple downloads you will probably have to use the Audacity Compressor.


To confirm, yes there was a crash problem with Sound Activated Recording in 2.1.1 (though hitherto I had not been able to reproduce it on Mac). See: 2.1.1 Hangs and/or Crashes on Sound Activated Recording

The crash should already be fixed in our source code, so it will be fixed in the next 2.1.2 release of Audacity in a few weeks’ time.

Let us know if crashes persist with Sound Activated Recording turned off.


You should know that a lot of digital music is artificially increased in volume as part of the loudness war, which didn’t start until relatively recently. The vast majority of music on vinyl is softer than the same music in digital form – it wasn’t artificially increased in volume during the mastering process.

The upside is that it offers increased dynamic range - particularly important for classical and indeed jazz recordings.

:question: d_o the new modern LPs that are currently fashionably being issued also suffer from loudness wars compression ??_


I can mainly only speak for classical, but the 180 gram analogue LP reissues are often slightly compressed compared to the original LP (soft made louder).

Those reissues sound a little cleaner at the top and don’t have the ambience of the original LP. They are usually much better than a bargain label reissue from late 70’s / early 80s but in their different way I don’t think they sound any more like the original LP than the CD does.

Where I’ve heard 1990’s or later digital classical recordings originally on CD then reissued on LP, I don’t think the LP’s sound as good as the CD (or MP3 download where available) does. The LP’s seem to be cut at a low level, slightly compressed compared to the CD and don’t “project” like the CD or MP3 does.

Where I have heard pop “LP resurgence” analogue reissue pressings, they were not compressed compared to the LP.

For all the “virgin vinyl 180 gram” claims, the vinyl in the “LP resurgence” pressings is often quite flawed, and not as quiet as the end of LP era DMM pressings were. I have not however heard any of the ultra-specialised classical LP reissues made for the Japanese market that are about £300 (sic) per LP.


All new vinyl is “virgin” these days. There’s hardly any old vinyl left to recycle. Old vinyl is worth a lot more if you sell it in 50 or 100 LP batches on the bay. It’s not that vinyl is that expensive anyhow.

I used to work with the largest vinyl pressing operation in Europe. It’s all in the care. Fast jobs just didn’t get any attention. Presses weren’t cleaned often enough, compression was a hasty job and not real fine tuning, incl. a test master. It’s the masters and the following positives that are expensive. You can replace those after a 100 presses, or after 10.000 presses. If you get that last one… :unamused:

Interesting …

I’m betting that a lot of those “bargain label reissue from late 70’s / early 80s” were from masters that had passed the 100,000th pressing mark that Cyrano refers to.


The biggest vinyl pressing plant in Europe (13.7 million pressed last year):

It’s never been shut down since 1951, they don’t do CD’s.

Also worth a look:

A needle in the vinyl groove under an electron microscope.

I read there:

As well as a decades-long business in CD and DVD manufacturing (known in the industry as “replication”), and more recent branded packaging contracts with BlackBerry and Ikea, this pressing plant is working to come out - and stay - on top in what’s become a much-debated resurgence in vinyl sales.


Yes indeed, but there are other “mysterious” reasons as to why, generally speaking, end of LP era reissues sound poor (and hence CD’s clearly sounded “better” than those reissues) .

Decca bargain classical reissues (SPA, Eclipse…) have always to my mind sounded much better than EMI bargain classical reissues (Cfp, Eminence…) despite both companies made superb recordings. Yet even then there are exceptions to that “rule” from both companies.

The £300 classical LP “all-tube” reissues repressed from original master tapes are by the way almost always of material where the original LP issue is worth much more than £300. So in a sense people buying them are saving money on the original by getting what is (theoretically) the best possible reissue.


With the right cart/stylus, the right arm and the right deck all correctly set up and installed :ugeek: :sunglasses:


But if you’re gonna spend three ton green ones on a single LP - then you probably spend thousands on the kit (I would hope so) … :wink:


GZL (Gramofonove Zavody Loděnice) doesn’t do CD’s at that location or under that name. But it’s owner GZM (Gramofonove Zavody Media or GZ Media) does a lot of things, amongst which making CD’s, DVD’s, cardboard boxes, Mangalica salami and a few other things I forgot.

There was a better article about GZL but I can’t seem to find it. Maybe I’ve read it on dead trees?

Hi Gale and all - thanks for the info. I’ve been very busy lately, so I’ve been unable to troubleshoot the issue with your suggestions. Will get to in soon hopefully.

As to the volume issue, I will look into that too. I don’t mind the lower volume in general, but one of my reasons for digitizing LPs is I want to get back into DJing and thought of making mixes for mixcloud. So, I’d like the volume to be fairly uniform in the mix from digital downloads to my vinyl digitized tracks. I suppose I could do a vinyl-only live mix pausing between tracks (like the old mix tapes) and make the mix in audacity, but then of course, I’d need that pause button to be fixed!

As to my gear - I have Rega RP6 with a Dynavector 10x5 cart. Very pleased with the sound. I use a Bellari VP530 phono stage with a USB output. I bought an Audioquest USB cable to connect to my Mac to digitize in audacity.

So, as mentioned it worked once pausing to record and then releasing the pause. Then I tried a few days later and the pause function crashed audacity. I will look into the fixes when I have more time.

Thanks for the input and I’ll let you know if the fixes suggested work, Gale.