New to Forum - Help Needed


I’m new to the forum and would very much appreciate some kind person to help. I an intending to convert several classical lp’s I have to cd. I downloaded the Audacity software yesterday but couldn’t get beyond that ever-present error message initially: “Error while opening sound device…” I have my Linn turntable connected to a Yamaha receiver and an output from REC OUT to my Toshiba laptop. I do have this cable connected to the microphone jack and this set-up actually worked ok yesterday after getting that error message for about an hour. I have no idea what I did to remove it, but was actually able to record one lp. This morning, it’s all gone back to the error message, despite having done nothing since yesterday to change settings, etc. Any help would be greatly appreciated. I have Windows 7.

You are warned that most Windows laptops have a mono, not stereo Mic-In and the connection is very prone to overload and distort.

Audacity > Edit > Preferences > Devices > Recording > Device. That’s a good place to set where Audacity is to get its sound from. You can also use the shortcut drop-down next to the microphone symbol.

And yes, this error is very like the “Check Engine” light on your car. The engine could be getting ready to fall out, or the air freshener could be going stale.

Some laptops have one connection that switches back and forth between Line and Microphone, but that’s not normal. If you open your original capture and magnify the blue waves, you will probably find that Left and Right are identical – that the laptop has taken the Left of the stereo show and duplicated it to both tracks and thrown the Right sound away. On a real stereo show, the left and right blue waves are very different.

We generally recommend a simple USB sound adapter to get around this. This is a Behringer UCA202.

You can also buy a UFO202 which has a phonograph preamplifier built-in. But if your original setup is working (short the capture part) I’d probably leave it as it is.


Actually given that you a high-end TT in the Linn the Yam is possibly a weak link in the recording chain. The other weak link is likely to be the onboard soundcard on your PC - especially if you try to use MIc in and not a line in (most laptops no longer have a line-in).

I’d recommend having a look at the ARTcessories device which is a combined phono pre-amp with a USB soundcard the USB Phono Plus - see:

I use an ARTcessories DJ-Pre-11 phono preamp (this is the same preamp as un the USB Phono Plus) feedinf and Edirol UA-1EX soundcard - this produces excellent recordings, including of classical music, for me. I would have bought the ARTcessories integrated device had it been available at my time of purchase.

There are even higher-end similar devices available (with corresponding higher prices) - but the ART always gets good press.