I’m attempting to record an old shellac 78 onto my MacBook Air with macOS Ventura 3.1. The input volume is coming in too hot, way up in the red (-6 to 0). So it’s almost all clipping. But I cannot figure out how to adjust the levels to bring the input volume down. I’ve gone to the Mac’s system preferences>sound>input but there’s no ability to adjust the input volume. What do I need to do to get this to work?
What turntable and interface are you using? Is there and output volume control on the turntable, or an input volume control on the USB interface?
“Near” clipping is OK.
The digital-to-analog converter (built-into the turntable) is limited to 0dB and it will clip if you “try” to go over but nothing bad happens when you get “close”. The common recommendation of approximately -3 to -6dB is so you have headroom for unexpected peaks.
There is no way to adjust the analog level into the built-in DAC so if it is actually clipping you’ll need to use the analog output from the turntable into a regular soundcard with a line-input, or USB audio interface. If you get a USB interface, make sure it has a recording control knob so you don’t have the same problem.
Or since 78 quality isn’t that great anyway, maybe the clipping distortion isn’t too bad and maybe you can live with it…
I assume you have a 78 stylus? (That probably won’t the clipping but you’ll get better sound quality.)
I do have a steel stylus for shellac records. (you probably know this, but not all 78s are shellac. Some are actually vinyl - so we have to be diligent about choice of needle/stylus)
After I posted this, I found out that another record I had was coming in quite low. So, I think your point about recording quality of the 1920s and 30s is probably the answer here. I may invest in an amp to control the input levels. The variance was pretty remarkable, especially since the two records in question were recorded only a couple years apart.
Also, thanks for the bit about the clipping. that is encouraging.
This topic was automatically closed after 30 days. New replies are no longer allowed.