no red lines

Im using Audacity 2.2.2 Windows 10 64 bit Allen and Heath ZEDi8 Sterling condenser mic..Ive had on again off again issues with the display…I`m not getting the red line and the show clipping box is checked…the wav form tops out and is flat top and bottom…anything I can do? Thanks

also how do I find my previous post…I`ve had this problem b4 ?

OK, let’s try a couple of things -

Run the Amplify effect. What do you see as the default amplification value?

If it defaults to 0dB you may* have (digital) clipping.

If it defaults to a negative value, you are currently over 0dB and it should “show red”.

If it defaults to a positive value you have headroom and you are not (digitally) clipping.

Click the box to Allow Clipping and apply enough gain to go over 0dB. (This is just an experiment and you don’t have to save or export the file so it’s OK to amplify by +20dB or more to make darn-sure you are into the “clipping-zone”.)

Do you see red now?

…Audacity doesn’t “analyze” the waveform looking for flat-topped waves… It looks for potential clipping by checking the peaks. (0dB is the limit for integer-formatted digital audio.) You can have clipping below 0dB or with floating-point audio you can have a waveform that goes over 0dB without clipping.


  • If your peaks hit 0dB immediately after recording you can assume you have clipping. But if you’re amplified or normalized the file, your peaks can hit exactly 0dB without clipping and you may still see red. (Sometimes you’ll see red after normalizing even if the data is not actually clipped.)

I fixed it…in my audio device manager I moved the recording slider from 94 to 100 which gave me clipping although that seems odd to me that tiny amount would make a difference but it works…I`ve had on again off again issues with this however when I get this Allen and Heath mixer working it works…crystal clear recordings with virtually no noise…thanks for looking at my post

You don’t have to record “hot”. When you are recording “live” with unpredictable levels you can shoot-for peaks at -6dB or less. Pros often record at -12 to -18dB, leaving plenty of headroom. You can boost later in “post production”. Recording levels are not that important as long as you avoid clipping.

In the old days of analog tape we needed a hot signal to overcome tape noise. Analog tape is also more forgiving at the top-end and it can go over 0dB before it starts to soft-clip. So it was common to go occasionally (or frequently) “into the red”. With digital there is no tape noise so we don’t need a hot signal.

Analog-to-digital converters hard-clip at exactly 0dB… Nothing bad happens when you get close to 0dB so if you are shooting for -6dB and you hit -1dB, don’t worry.

Acoustic levels ARE important… You need a strong signal into the mic to overcome room noise, and in some situations to overcome preamp noise.