Old cassette tape is too loud (or "hot")

I’m trying to digitize a 1980 tape of a coffee house performance of mine.
Playing it on a little plug-into-USB machine. Over the earbuds the sound does not distort. However, with the input volume set at minimum, the Audacity copy records too loud and the playback is distorted.

What can I do with this?


Playing it on a little plug-into-USB machine.

Such as what? Model numbers?



Windows? The Windows Control Panels may have sliders that control volume of a USB device.

I think you can get there by right-clicking on the speaker icon on the lower right, but I’m no authority. You should wait for a Windows elf.


Awright…I don’t know what is going on.
I opened that set of Windows windows and fiddled with the input volume.
All of a sudden, the input volume on the Audacity window is working. (I have it set @ .2).
This is not apparently due to anything on the Realtek controls—that one is at max.

I guess this means that for the moment, my problem is solved. Only I don’t know how or why.

Thank you for your input. I expect I’ll be ba-a-a-a-ck…


When you have the input device in Device Toolbar set to the USB tape player, the Audacity input slider “should” move the recording slider for the tape player in Windows “Sound”. But this may not work with some devices, especially ones that cost only a few dollars to make.

If so, please help us to help you by posting in the Windows board Windows - Audacity Forum . Otherwise you’ll get asked again what operating system you are on and that step wastes time. I moved this topic to Windows.