That’s normal. The A/D (analog to digital) converter is exterior to the computer inside the Behringer’s little plastic case. The UFO202 is designed to handle either “line level” or “phono” input (there’s a switch on the side to select one or the other). That’s the only input control that the UFO202 provides.
After recording you can apply the “Amplify” or “Normalize” effects if required.
But what I don’t get is why I CAN adjust input gain in WavePad using the identical setup?
I also don’t get why I can easily adjust input gain when using this cheesy Amazon interface (which also has no controls).
I’m just getting started on a fairly large collection of my LPs (nearly 2,000). As a proof of concept, I started with phono out to the Amazon thingy to Audacity. The results were just fine (and with full input slider control). I wanted to experiment with the UFO202 RIAA equalization versus my standalone phono stage just to see how they might differ, better or worse.
That’s the confusing drama started.
I suppose at this point the experiment as exactly as you say; apply normalize after the fact and see how that sounds.
Like Steve says, the issue is that the A/D converter is inside the interface. You could boost (or cut) the digital level after it’s digitized and that’s probably what WavPad is doing…
The problem with that is… If you [u]clip[/u] the D/A converter lowering the digital level after it’s clipped doesn’t remove the distortion. It just “hides” the clipping.
So if you are going to control the recording level you need to control the analog level before it’s digitized.
If you’re not clipping, digital recording levels are not critical and if you do have an analog adjustment you should leave some headroom to make darn-sure you’re not clipping. Since you’re leaving headroom you’ll want to amplify/normalize after recording anyway.
Oddly, I do not have this issue with an even more basic USB interface I purchased from Amazon.
I think it’s possible for the operating system to adjust the analog level, if that feature is built-into the device. Or, maybe it’s a “driver feature” allowing a digital adjustment.
I wanted to experiment with the UFO202 RIAA equalization versus my standalone phono stage just to see how they might differ, better or worse…
…I suppose at this point the experiment as exactly as you say; apply normalize after the fact and see how that sounds.
Normalize is a linear volume adjustment so it doesn’t affect “sound quality”. And before you compare you should normalize (or otherwise match the volume).
Do you have a test record? It would be “nice” to have the best RIAA EQ, but in reality the “frequency balance” on records varies a LOT… I assume you have older records left-over from the vinyl days… Newer records might be better or more consistent. Some older records are a little “dull sounding” so I’ll boost the highs (by ear).