Please, please help!!

Where do I begin describing the nightmare of recording vinyl records onto my Media Center PC?? Nothing is ever easy with these freaking machines. :imp: Anyway, enough ranting. Well, OK, probably more later.

Anyway, after much reading, trying cables, settings, voodo and everything else I can think of, I am finally actually getting the music to record in Audacity. The only problem now is that it is so faint, I can barely hear it when I play it back through the PC speakers. I’ve tried all of the amplification plug-ins I can find, but even when I boost it as much as those will let me, it’s still weak and now also distorted. My set up is as follows:

HP Media Center PC, top end, about 2 years old, but with 2Gigs RAM, etc., so sufficient hardware
Have connected the red and white audio cables from my turntable into the AUX In jacks of a small, Denon bookshelf system (no Phono In available)
Have run a patch cord from the Tape Out jacks on the Denon to single, small stereo Line In jack in the back of the PC (tried every other connction possible, and this is the only one that actually gets sound recorded, other than going through the Mic jack which has similar lousy results).
Decent sound is coming out of the speakers hooked up to the Denon when I’m playing the record, so I know I’m OK there, but just can’t get the recording volume to anywhere near satisfactory.

So how can I get the thing to record at a higher input level?? I’ve got every volume setting I can find cranked to the max, and I’ve tried a hundred different settings and checked everything a thousand times (at least that’s what it seems like at this point).

Please help before I chuck the whole set up out the window. Thanks.

No. Not yet. I’ll tell you when to heave it.

You have three wires coming out of the turntable, right? The red and white ones and one thin black cable with a metal fork on the end, yes? You didn’t think I was going to know about the third wire, did you?

You are missing one piece. NO! Put it down. We’re not throwing yet.

The sound out of a turntable isn’t audio in the conventional sense. It’s RIAA compensated, pre-distorted, and low. No surprise to you, right? You need one of these things conveniently enough, supplied by your local Radio Shack for $29.

This will restore the sound level, take the distortion out , remove the RIAA pre-emphasis, and walk the dog.

OK, I’m kidding about the dog. But you should be able to take this and feed directly into the Line In of any computer.

Of course, if you wanted trouble-free, straightforward operation, you should be on a Mac, but that’s just me.


Unless you’re using Leopard, or want Audacity 1.3.4 … :wink:


Or poke yourself repeatedly with a sharp stick. We are avoiding upgrading until we can see some benefit without having software packages stop working.

But all seriousness aside, Have you ever found a way to file an actual program bug? I wonder if the programmers even know about the Leopard thing. I wouldn’t want to be an Audacity mommy. They’re now stuck with a whole swath of the computer population that has no stable version of the program. Do you push 1.4.0 out the door or issue 1.2.7 and 1.2.8?


Koz, no I don’t believe that there is a proper formal channel to report bugs. The Audacity websiste implies that you just send eaails re bugs to the Audacity Helplist email a/c - see

I don’t think this is really a good way to handle bug reports - I think there should be a formal section of the forum devoted to bug reports (actually 2 sections - one for 1.2 and one for 1.3). I would then like the developers to review these reports and triage them - and provide feedback via the forum as to whether these are bugs - if there is a good workaround - and when and in which release the bug is likely to be fixed. The top of the section should have a permanent anchored posting which lists the known bugs.

I think I will copy the contents of the guts of this posting the Forum admin section and see what response we get.

And yes your point about release versions - this is a topic which always plagues software development shops when they have to support software in a multi-platform environment. Makes me quite glad I don’t do that for a living anymore …


Thanks!! I figured it was something simple that I was missing because I was almost there, and hopefully this is it. Ran to my local Radio Shack and they didn’t have this in stock (not much demand for turntable accessories in this day and age). Called a couple of other stores that showed they had 1 or 2 in inventory, but no luck either. So they ordered one for me which should show up next week.

Radio Shack guy said the same thing you did - apparently AUX jacks don’t have the pre-amp needed for turntables. I could test this whole thing out by dragging my PC across the room to get close enough to my big home stereo set-up, but I’ve got all my cables neatly tucked away, etc. so it would be a royal pain in the rear to do it just for a test. I’ll just wait for this part to show up and hope it does the trick.

Thanks again for the quick answer. I’ll post again when (staying with the positive thoughts) this thing works.


I’m 100% sure you can’t do that. “I can’t get LameLib to work, this is a bug, right?” If you can’t keep trouble postings out of the forum forum, there’s no hope for a bug forum.

No, it has to be an insider thing. You get to post bug reports after your 50th posting to help someone else and then only after you can recite the formal definition of a program bug without cue cards.

That’s a good start.

Oh, but I would certainly make it visible to everyone even if they can’t post to it. This will make them all crazy (this is my evil side coming out).


<<<don’t have the pre-amp needed for turntables. >>>

No. That’s getting hard to find now.

Really early on, they discovered that the bass notes wouldn’t fit in the groove. I mean big time. By the time they reduced the volume of the performance so everything fit, the fiddles in the south forty were lost in the groove noise.

After several years of letting everybody do their own thing–badly–the Recording Industry Association of America engineered a standard and highly defined process of suppressing bass notes and boosting treble so everything fit in the groove gracefully. As a logical extension of that, they also published the playback specification, so the listener was as close as possible to the original performance. I have a song around here somewhere which I equalized for standard lathe groove RIAA so you could hear the difference.

That’s the playback curve, so it has boosted bass (left) and suppressed treble (right). Those of the engineering persuasion will note that the greatest volume boost is right around power line hum frequencies. That accounts for the extra thin black wire coming out of the turntable. Without that, the sound will almost always have a slight annoying mmmmmmmmmm in back of the music. The ground wire provides extra shielding.


Here you go. I took out the level shift, so this is all due to that curve.


Let me know when you’ve heard it. I should probably take it down because of the other functions the RIAA has.


Hallelujah!!! It works!!! I am having a blast ripping all sorts of old, obscure, rare vinyl (and cassettes) that I thought I’d never get to listen too again on a regular basis into MP3’s that I now listen too on those long business flights!! This rocks!!

Thanks so much for the help from this forum. :smiley: :smiley: :smiley:

Now I’ve got another question, but I’ll post it under a new thread. Thanks again.