Really low volume level recording from turntable

Hi folks!

I apologize in advance if this has already been discussed, I searched/looked around and couldn’t find exactly what I was looking for.

I am running windows 7 home Premium.
Audacity came in a CD with the Audio-technica turntable.

I just bought a Audio-technica AT-LP60 USB and I am doing my first baby steps converting my vinyl collection into mp3s.
The problem is that I am having a really low level imput recording.
I can’t find the link in the manual for this, but I read earlier something about DC offset cancelation.
The manual instructed me to enable a device that wasn’t enabled by default (stereo mix).
Recording with “stereo mix” as “line in” using Audacity results in a error, just some weird feedback building up. (hard to explain)
Using the USB audio codec as “line in” results in a file so low it almost has no peaks.

(The bottom image is the result of the recording, the top is after NORMALIZE).

But I noticed that if I monitor with Audacity, I can record with Sound Forge using “stereo mix” as “line in” and I get a recording with normal levels:

Why is the USB input so low?
Am I supposed to use the stereo mix as line in? (It is so much louder than the usb codec)

Please help.

We can only help you with Audacity, not with whatever software is in your pictures. Uninstall the Audacity version that was on the CD first, then get the latest Audacity 2.0.3 version from the link above.

Our Manual explicitly says to ignore any instructions you may see accompanying the turntable to enable stereo mix. That is only meant for recording computer playback.

Try the link to the Manual given above. Choose the USB Audio CODEC for input and your built-in sound device for output. Use this slider on the right here:

to regulate input volume from the turntable, or use the USB Audio CODEC slider in Windows “Sound” (Recording tab) to do the same. Also look under the turntable chassis to see if it has a gain knob you can adjust.


I’m sorry, I didn’t realize I took the captions with another software, I’m just not familiar with Audacity yet to display the full wave.
My apologies.

Here’s the screen capture:

Note the rec level is all the way up.

My turntable came with Audacity 2.0.3.

I was looking for help with low level recording in the manual, which led me to the instructions to activate the Stereo mix.
(Can’t for the life of me find that info again.)
I noticed that the level is much higher than the USB audio codec:

I don’t think there is a knob in the turntable, but I will double check.

I also read there’s an issue with Realtek HD audio.
Is it true?

Thanks again.

We can’t see where the Audacity input level is in your image.

Is the Audacity input slider greyed out on maximum? If so, Audacity cannot control the input level and there may not even be a system slider for it.

To check, you want to right-click over the AT-LP60 in Windows Sound and choose “Properties”. Then click the “Levels” tab and see if there is a slider you can move.

The level you have is only a little short of the -6 dB (0.5 on the vertical scale) that we recommend. It is better than being distorted. You can amplify it using Effect > Amplify.

It is not optimal to record using stereo mix unless you are forced to (it will lead to some loss of quality, irrespective of the level). If you do record with stereo mix, turn off Transport > Software Playthrough in Audacity.

Realtek is not used to make the recording if you record using USB Audio CODEC.


That looks a perfectly acceptable recording level to me - from looking at the meters you appear to be peaking at around -9 to -6db which represents roughly the 0.5 level on the default linear scale on the waveform (which is what we normally recommend). You don’t really want to go too much higher than that as then you will run the risk if irrecoverable clipping.

The temptation is to get the waveforms to fill the widow as much as possible (that’s certainly what I did when I started out until I learned better). The default linear view of the waveform is somewhat deceptive here - if you switch to the Waveform (dB) view you will see that your current recording does fill the waveform window much more. Click on the little-downward-pointing-black-triangle at the top right corner of the Track Control Panel - see: and

Personally I still prefer to work with the default linear waveform view - but it is the meters that are your friends here, but not in their ridiculously small default state. What you should do is to expand those (I have mine spread across the whole Audacity window) - see the section Undocking and Resizing on the following page in the manual:

You may also find this set of tutorials from the manual useful to you:

and this workflow may help you:


I don’t understand.
Isn’t it the mic, in he right upper corner?

My turntable does not have a gain knob.

The levels on the USB codec control panel options OR in the Audacity mic in are NOT greyed out, they are all the way to the right, all the way up. But I can move them.

Here’s 3 different screen captions:
Same song, same vinyl.

This is from a friend of mine, he has the same vinyl I’m trying to record: (His computer, his recording)

This is my record, AFTER normalizing:

And this is my record, before normalizing:

Is really low, don’t you think?
Comparing my normalized recording with my friends is not only lower, quieter, is inferior all around.
I’m sure you guys get the idea. Should I upload mp3s samples here?
The quality it’s not terrible, it just sucks to know it could be better.

Thanks for the help, I’m going to check all those tutorials.

Yes, the right-hand half of Mixer Toolbar, but the image is so wide that I can’t see Mixer Toolbar unless I paste the image URL into a web browser to view it.

Did you change anything in your latest recording which was quieter - or is it just quieter music?

Are you saying when you record from the turntable choosing the USB Audio CODEC input that the meters for Stereo Mix in Windows “Sound” are bouncing almost to maximum? Is that because you have turned Transport > Software Playthrough on in Audacity? Or have you enabled “Listen to this device” for the turntable"?

To eliminate possibilities, turn off software playthrough, turn off “Listen to this device” if it’s on (right-click over USB Audio CODEC on the “Recording” tab of “Sound” , choose “Properties” then look on the “Listen” tab). Then also right-click over Stereo Mix and disable it.

Also see this to check if you need to configure the USB Codec for “Speech Recognition”. I think the Speech Recognition part of that ART FAQ is somewhat dubious, but you may as well try it.


Hello. I have the exact same problem using a USB turntable to digitize some old vinyl. I’m using the USB Codec with input levels all the way up and the recording level is just really low. It’s not just that the waveform seems small, the volume is also very low when I mix down the recording to MP3 or FLAC. I can normalize the recording, but this results in more noise.

I am using Audacity 2.0.5 with Windows 7 Home Premium.

It seems like the signal being captured by the USB codec is just weak? Not sure if someone else has figured this out, but thank in advance for any help. I would be happy to include screen shots and additional details, but really my experience is just like Fungeon above.

Thanks again!


Check to see if your turntable has a level control (sometimes “hidden” on the underside of the turntable).
Check the recording level in the Windows Sound Control Panel.
See also this article: Audacity Manual

Thanks for the reply Steve.

I did check the turntable, and there’s no volume control (Audio Technica AT-LP120), and had already confirmed that the sound app in control panel is 100%. I did check out the FAQs also, and messed with some settings to no avail.

I’m pretty certain this is not an Audacity issue, but since i saw the earlier post (and they actually ship Audacity on a CD with the turntable) I figured I’d check to see if anyone has specific experience with this.

I’m also checking with Audio Technica and I’ll post back if I ever get a solution. I suspect they just don’t put out much of a signal on USB and i may have to get a sound card and use the RCA outputs.

I have the same issue, also using Audio Technica AT-LP120. I’m convinced it is not an issue with Audaicty but rather the turntable itself or the USB codec. Possibly low output signal?

Abruzzopat, did you have any luck getting an answer from A.T.?