Recording being limited?

Hello, sometimes I notice in my recordings of my mix that there seems to be a limiter acting on the volume of my mix. I am a DJ and I have my mixer hooked up to my line in jack on the back of my computer through the record out section. I have the input volume for recording at 0.4. I know there is a clipping option in Audacity that shows red lines on the waveform, but I didn’t see any when I had it enabled. Is it possible that there is an internal limiter that’s acting on my volume level of the mix so that it doesn’t clip?

I have my mixer hooked up to my line in jack on the back of my computer…

Let’s explore that a little. Do you have a laptop computer? Connecting a mixer to a laptop or to the wrong sockets on a desktop computer can cause your symptoms. The connection overloads before the digital channel does. Audacity can only sense overload in the channel, so you can create great damage and Audacity tools will never see it.

Scroll down to Connections.


I have it plugged into the Blue Jack after I have converted it from a rca white/red cable into a single stereo 3.5 mm jack with an extender at the end.
and to answer your question, no its a desktop.

It was a common “feature” of several old SoundBlaster cards that they would clip the input just short of 0 dB. It’s perfectly possible that your sound card could be doing this,

And to bring this around, Audacity doesn’t do anything in real time. No effects, no filters, no clipping, zippo. It inhales the bitstream from the computer and tries to deal with it.

One of the complaints is that Audacity is a complete slave to the computer that’s running it, whether the computer is broken or not.

In that instruction posting, there is a $30USD USB adapter that can be put to work if your sound card is a lost cause. It’s the same solution for laptops that have no blue socket. Since you have a deskside, you can try to find and install a better sound card, but internal cards start out life with several problems.

The inside of a computer is not a pleasant place. It’s hot and electrically noisy, so the external card isn’t a bad choice.

The Behringer is one of the devices that will allow you to do sound-on-sound overdubbing and multi-track.


is that why people buy external sound cards because there is less interference and you can get better quality results?

Yes, though I’ve not personally had problems with internal (PCI) sound cards picking up interference in full size computers. Interference problems are most common on laptop PCs because the circuitry is so close to other (electrically noisy) circuitry. When installing a PCI sound card in a full size computer I try to leave a bit of space between the sound card and other cards (particularly the graphics card). High quality internal sound cards are usually electrically shielded to prevent picking up noise from other components.

Personally I prefer to use a reasonable quality PCI sound card than a USB sound card. USB sound cards can suffer connection problems and drop-outs (missing data), particularly if processor usage gets high, whereas PCI sound cards are generally more resilient against such issues.

There are pros and cons for both PCI and USB sound cards. For my laptop I use a USB sound card (a cheap Behringer UCA 202) which is considerably better than the on-board sound cards and has always been very reliable for me.