This is my very first post and I am in need of help. Lots of it.
I think I have just thrown away a lot of $$$$$$$$. I just bought a Audio-technica turntable, AT-LP120-USB in hopes of recording all my albums and 45’s to the computor and then to flash drives and an ipod. I hooked it all up last night. Everything was fine.
I sat there with a thousand yard stare in a ten foot room look. The Audacity manual, actually just a software guide, is absolutely useless. It doesn’t give one step on how to record a song.
I have to mention I am completely challanged when it comes to digital recordings and computors. The best I can do is burn music from my computor to CD’s - that’s easy…so was analog recording. :smiley:
I was hoping I could just buy this turntable - hook it up to my computor - press a button or two and record a song. NOPE!
I have no idea what most of the buttons do and how to use them. Is there a users manual someplace I can download?
I haven’t got any idea on what I’m doing. Here is what I do know.
AT-LP120-USB turntable
Audacity 2.0.3.
HP windows 7
What other info do I need to give?
I don’t want to be fancy(maybe later on), I just want a simple way to record a song to the computor - if that’s possible.
I also have a computor with XP if that makes it any easier to record.

Sorry but I must disagree that the Audacity Manual is “useless and does not show how to record a song”. However if you are reading some physical leaflet that came with the turntable, we did not write it.

Please try reading Recording with USB turntables or USB cassette decks - Audacity Manual . Windows 7 has more “gotchas”. The issues are explained in the Manual, but you may have to be prepared to to make changes in Windows “Sound”.


I think I have just thrown away a lot of $$$$$$$$.

The GOOD NEWS is you have NOT thrown away your money. (Although, I do advise people to buy the CD or the MP3s if they are concerned about audio quality and if the music is available digitally.)

I have no idea what most of the buttons do and how to use them.

You don’t need to use all those buttons/features. Audacity is an audio editor… It’s a LOT MORE than a recording program.

Audio editors are not easy to use, especially if you are not familiar with the concepts or the terminology. But, once you get the recording figured-out you’ll find it’s not as hard as it seems now.

There is a program called [u]Total Recorder[/u] ($18 USD and up), and I think it’s easier to use, but I don’t own it. And even with a special-purpose recording program, you still might want to do some editing/processing with an audio editor.

What I said was " the Audacity manual, actually the software guide" was useless for giving step by step instructions on how to record. All it said was press the red button to record. Nothing on how to check it or play back.
I did not get a manual - just the guide and it was for version 1.2.6. and the disk was 2.0.3 so there was a little discrepancy, but I did eventually figure it out…I hope. Yes, it is from Audio-technica not Audacity.

Not getting a users manual made it impossible to try making a recording. I’ve been on “you tube” all morning watching tutorials on how to make basic recordings. Still looks very complicating to me, but will try to make a recording when I get home tonight. I read somthing about I still have to download something called LAME in order to record in mp3. What’s that now??? What else am I missing?

Sure wish I could bring back analog recording. Sooooo simple. Hopefully in a month or two I’ll be saying this also is soooo simple. :slight_smile: just not right now.

And that’s still an old version :sigh:
You can download the current (2.0.5) version here:
If you use the recommended “installer” version, the (full) manual will be in the Help menu.

You need to be a bit cautious about YouTube tutorials - many of them are quite old and some of the advice is… (politely) dubious.

Hopefully so, but if you get stuck, feel free to ask.

Just a reminder, the (written) tutorial here is quite comprehensive and (importantly) accurate:

Thanks for the replys. I hate being the new guy asking a million questions, but ya gotta learn sometime.
I did come across that manual and printed most of it. I also saw that it’s now 2.0.5 maybe I should download that before I get too involved with 2.0.3. :slight_smile:

What is LAME about? Do I need it?

Only if you want to make mp3 format sound files, ( if you are transferring from Vinyl to CD then no you don’t need LAME ).

Audacity 2.0.5 is the current and recommended version. It is not hugely different from 2.0.3 but there are quite a few improvements and bug fixes. You can install it “over the top” of your current 2.0.3 version (no need to uninstall the older version).

Lame is required if you want to export MP3 files, otherwise it is not required. Audacity cannot ship with Lame included due to licensing/patent issues. In many countries there are legal restrictions to encoding as MP3 without a paid license. (

MP3 is a “lossy” format that encodes audio in a much smaller (but lower quality) format than WAV file.
An open source alternatives to MP3 where small file size is required is Ogg, which is included in the shipped version. Most computer media players can play Ogg files, though some require additional plug-ins to do so. (VLC and Foobar 2000 are both excellent players that support Ogg).

If you want to make audio CDs, export from Audacity in a “lossless” format such as WAV for best quality.

If you wish to install Lame, instructions are here:

I no longer need to make CD’s. I did in the past because my cars and motorcycles had CD players, but I just bought a new Harley last year and they deleted the CD player, so now I have to put everything on a flash drive, SD card or on my ipod to play through the usb connector.
I’m really getting tired of progress - it’s costing me a fortune to try and keep up. First I had reel to reel then 4 track, 8 track, cassette, CD and now this. And each time it gets more involved in trying to record something…to me. If I had to pick the easiest format to record in, it would be the cassette. I guess I live by the expression “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks” Hopefully maybe a few. :mrgreen:

I really don’t have the time or want to play around adjusting hundreds of settings (exaggeration)to copy my records to the computer. I don’t need studio quality Hi-Fi sound, just decent quality sound. I just want to put my 45’s on one of the above digital mediums so I can listen to my music while riding down the highway with the wind in my hair(what’s left of it), bugs in my teeth and a smile on my face reminiscing about the “good ol’ days” of rock-n-roll. :smiley: :smiley:

How much more space does a wav file take up compared to an mp3 file? Is it a lot? Double - triple the size? I’m assuming a player can play either one?

I’ll leave the serious listeding to sitting at home listening to my record albums.
Thanks again for any and all help.

At 160/192 its around 10 times bigger in my experience

At 256 it seems to be about 5 times bigger



I’m assuming those numbers are recording/playback speeds or size of song? Is they adjustable? Larger number = better sound?

Those numbers are the “bit rates” of the song (see - the higher the bitrate, the larger the file and the higher the quality.

320 gives a file which to most ears will be indistinguishable to the WAV file

256 gives excellent play back quality imo (it’s what I use on my iTunes/iPod)

192 is what I used to use in my older smaller iPod as a compromise between audio quality - but I could still detect small artefacts when listening carefully on good speakers

128 is normally regarded as the minimum quality for music

64 is normally regarded as the minimum quality for spoken word


Sorry, but I wasn’t clear what you meant and had to reply in case your comment was taken out of context by someone else reading this.

“Our” Audacity Manual can also be thought of as a “software guide”. And some users make your complaint even about “our” Manual, because they can’t find Recording with USB turntables or USB cassette decks .

I know Audio Technica have been bundling some documentation for 1.2.6 and I’ve been intending to ask them about this.

Unfortunately this is very hard for us to control. Manufacturers rarely contact us or submit their documentation for approval.

Just to be clear, is the document you are referring to a physical book? Or is it a PDF? There was an official PDF Manual for 1.2.

If you still have 2.0.3, or their installation CD, did they include our official Manual (in a “help” folder)? If they did, then pressing Help > Manual (in web browser) would give you “our” 2.0.3 Manual.

The Audacity installers from always include a Manual for that version, accessed from the Help menu in the same way.


I can almost understanding users not finding the Manual - but once they have it the front page very near the top has:

and there on the right is a section labelled “Tutorials” - so what’s not to find :confused: :unamused:

@Gale: I do think that it might help if in the blue header at the top of this forum we had a direct link to the 2.0 Manual in addition to the “Documentation” link which shunts the reader off to the SourceForge site where the link to the Manual takes a little finding imo and causes a second unnecessary link.


Lots of reasons. They are only focused on their turntable. There is nothing on the front page that says “USB”. They are not thinking about the word “Tutorial”.

There is lots of stuff on the front page that appears not to be relevant to them.

YouTube seems easier because it’s a live video.

Thanks, I agree so I’ll change it. It was OK at the time we released 2.0.0.

I can link to the legacy documentation (wherever its final home is) from the legacy 1.2 and 1.3 Forum boards.

It’s probably not easy to make a lot simpler given it’s got to link to the released Manual in two formats and to the alpha (development) Manual as well.


I just started reading the manual. Talk about overwhelming. Starting on the first page - there must be 4 or 5 links to other additional info and those links have 4 or 5 links to yet another bunch of info/definitions and so on. My head is swimming in db/wav/clipping/overdub/mixer/gain/headroom/RMS/amplitude/latency etc. etc. Sure not the same as only adjusting volume and pressing record. :open_mouth: :confused: :smiley:

I guess I’m just going to have to jump in and do some experimenting. Not what I wanted to get into. Wish I had more time available.
From what I’ve read so far is recording to wav files is the best? Doubt I’ll record to CD’s - just flash drives/SD cards/ipod.
Approximately how many songs (in wav) can I get on an 8 gb flash drive/SD card???

I’ve never been a fan of huge files, that’s why I liked CD’s and Cassettes so much. I could have a given CD with a certain genre without having to play around with selecting individual files like you would on an ipod. If it wasn’t for Harley discontinuing the CD player, I’d still be recording/burning and enjoying my hundreds of CD’s.
To make matters worse(if that’s possible), I just bought an ipod and am going throught the same thing with learning to operate/record to it.

Oh well, I’m sure if I run into problems on recording vinyl to digital, I’ll get the help here.

CD quality WAV format is 10Mb per minute.

8Gb = 8000Mb => 800 minutes @ 10Mb per minute = 13.3hours

If you used mp3 format @ 256kbps instead of WAV you could multiply that time by at least 5x ,
( i.e. about 70 hours of music on a 8Gb card if you used mp3 format @ 256kbps).

@MUSICMAN1 let me know if you can whether this document they provided about Audacity 1.2 was a printed book or what it was. That’s not good, especially if they actually provided the 2.0.3 Manual as well.


The only manual was for the turntable. The one for the Audacity was a 15 page “software guide” on how to install it on your computer - last page told you how to record = “press red button”.
That guide was printed version 1.2.6, but the version printed on the disk was 2.0.3
Don’t remember seeing a manual on the disk, but I wasn’t looking for one at the time either.
Hopefully I’ll have some time this weekend to try to make a recording.

I thought if I wanted to make mp3 copies, I needed to have LAME? I’m already too confused to worry about yet another program.
13 hours seems to be more then enough. After that I can pop in another card/drive.
I bought a few 8gb SD cards and flash drives so I can put a different genre on each one…with tons of space left over.
I’ve been trying to find smaller sizes, like 1gb or smaller, but the smallest ones I can find are 8gb. I can find smaller ones, but they want the same price or more. That’s crazy. I wanted to buy somewhere around 10+ if I could get them for a couple dollars. Cheapest for a 8gb is around $4 on sale around here.