Recording Audio Issue (Tried all solutions)

Ok so I run a YouTube channel and so recording my voice is a big part of what I need to do. I used my old headset for my PS3 with my old Vaio (windows xp) laptop and have always used audacity.

I recently bought a new Sony Vaio (windows 7) to help with render/uploading and ever since my recording have been so quiet. I have tried and read 100s of threads with possible solutions and tried them all.

My mic is 100%, the boost is up full. Ive disabled internal mic, Ive uncheched everything there is to uncheck. I’ll give you an example. This is with my mic on 100% and my holding my external microphone to my mouth and talking loudly.

Look how little the bar moves. I am out of ideas. I have email Sony for a possible software solution and there response was to restore to a previous state or do a full system restore.

This problem has been there since day 1 so I doubt either of those would work.

Anyway, any help/solutions would be greatly greatly appreciated.

Many Thanks


Check on the Sony web site to see if there are updated drivers for your computer model and operating system.

Drag-Select a portion of blue waves where most of them match, such as the middle third of your illustration. Effect > Amplify > OK.

That will boost the volume enormously, but the idea is to make sure that it still sounds OK if you do that. If it’s noisy or distorted when you boost it, then there is something seriously wrong. If it’s just low, then you should do a very careful search for that 20dB Mic Boost, or or other sound boost tool. Go on-line and search your computer’s features or instructions for that. Some computers have 30dB boost, but 20dB is more normal. Computers without that suffer from your exact problem. Very low level and you can’t do anything about it except boosting it in post production.


This suggests you have a mic boost option if you know where to find it.


Ok, thanks for the replies. The boost you are referring to is for the internal micrphone. Even on 100 and +30db boost the recording is still really quiet which is why I bought an external logitech microphone which doesnt have a db boost. The level is on 100 though. This is a picture of me talking into my mic on the ‘recording devices’ tab and look how far the green bar goes up. Ive watched videos on YouTube of this same mic and the bar goes to the top.

At this point do we think its a Sony issue or a Microsoft issue? Anyone seen this problem before? I know all the times Ive read up on it the boosting of mic levels seems to fix it. Shame that didnt work for me.

Im really stuck here guys.

Thanks again.


I’ve known this type of problem to be a sound card driver issue, hence my first reply.

Ive downloaded all the updates on the sony support page and nothing. There emails are advising a full system restore. Shall I try that?

It’s a bit of a pain to do, but that is a logical next step.

Ensure that you have all of your data backed up, and in particular ensure that you know any passwords that may be stored on your computer. If you use a local e-mail client (e-mails downloaded to your computer rather than a web based service), ensure that you back up an important e-mails. A full system restore will wipe out everything on your computer.

USB Microphones work by applying the 5 volts coming up the USB connection to the electronics inside the microphone module. Electret Microphones all have a tiny amplifier inside and that’s why they all take phantom power, USB Power, or batteries. When our battery-powered microphones get too weak to do the job, it’s always that the battery is flat or dying. When the microphones fail, it’s always catastrophic with loud noises, crackling and popping from bad cables or switches. The two sets of symptoms rarely overlap.

In the case of USB microphones, it’s much more difficult to apply gain later which is why all the Audacity gain sliders drop dead for USB mics. It’s all about what happens up at the mic capsule.

I don’t know of any convenient way to check the 5 volts at the USB connection, but if it’s broken, the audio will do what yours does. It could also be a bad connection or ratty or partially broken headset cable, but that’s pretty unlikely.

Can you try another computer? I think it’s unlikely now this is a software problem, although it could still be. Some mics have gain controls on-board and depend on the computer to tell them what to do. I’m not shocked that the mic would default to being too low. You can fix that in post production, but too loud is fatal and permanent.

We’re violating several fact-gathering sampling rules. It’s also possible your original computer was “broken” and normal computers work like yours does now.