Recording into Audacity w/UCA222 - possible fault?

I’m on Mac 10.14.6 and using Audacity 2.3.2.

I’ve been recording vinyl into my computer using a Behringer UFO202 for a few years now but I’ve been having increasing trouble with variable buzzing problems on the unit, which are worse on low volume recordings that need to be amplified using the effects bar but which can vary dramatically between changing the side of the record sometimes and disappear just as quickly when i go back to record again (I was here in the summer to get tips about how to deal with it).

Anyway, I recently saw that the apparently higher quality UCA222 was available at a price just as cheap and I decided to buy one and see if it was any better. However, when I set it up and started recording, I started getting a different kind of buzzing on recordings, a clear pulsing sound which is different from the usual steady buzz that I often get. I’ve tried turning the monitor on and off and shifting the position of the turntable but to no avail. I am recording with the turntable running into an amplifier, with the Behringer unit connected between that and the computer.

This is not something I get when using the UFO202, so I’m wondering if this is actually a fault in the unit? I bought a Behringer UCA202 a few years ago off of eBay which tuned out to be a knock-off, but it worked for a couple of years before it started doing exactly this thing and I had to throw it away. Is this similarly useless?

Any help would be gratefully appreciated.

vary dramatically between changing the side of the record sometimes and disappear just as quickly when i go back to record again

That screams a bad shield inside the arm. Sometimes the shield is there and working, and sometimes it’s not.

The sound on a record isn’t perfect and normal. Bass notes do not fit on a record, so they are made quieter and higher pitched sounds could use a little work, so they are boosted. That’s the RIAA system. Preamps that advertise a “Phono Connection” (like the UFO202) are designed to correct the record’s sound and deliver perfect pitches and tones. That’s one reason you can’t just unplug the UFO202 and plug in a UCA202. The UCA202 can’t remove RIAA.

One problem with RIAA is that it makes hum and buzz worse.

Did you notice that the UFO202 has a fifth connection? A place to put the ground (GND) wire.

Screen Shot 2020-10-14 at 8.24.36 PM.png
That thin black wire is required to get rid of hum and buzz. If it’s loose or missing that can cause serious interference problems.

Depending on where you live, you can plug the turntable into the wall backwards. That can affect hum and noises.


Hi, thank you for yr response. I have a Rega RP1, which has no ground wire. Back in the summer when I was trying a bunch of stuff with this, I did get a ground wire and ran it from the amp to the UFO202 but it didn’t make any difference.

I did a bunch of stuff back in the summer - turned off everything electrical in the room and turned it all back on one by one, got little rubber feet for the laptop computer, etc - and the only thing that turned out to be really important was making sure that the charger in the computer was plugged in, which made the buzz less loud and jagged. I used to turn the turntable around, cos I had some plugs mounted on the back of the unit wall next to where it is, and that had seemed to help, but it stopped being useful after a while and in the end i moved the plugs anyway. I was thinking of giving that a go again anyway tho.

The prolonged struggle with buzz is likely to continue, but I can get some useful recordings out of the 202. However, the pulsing noise is likely to render the 222 entirely useless and it seems like something different from the usual general buzz. Should I just send it back?

Depending on where you live, you can plug the turntable into the wall backwards

I don’t really understand what you mean by this? Could you explain further?

Given that this problem is something that’s emerged over time, I can imagine that it’s a problem with the record player somehow (it is not a problem with recording tapes for instance). But it isn’t something that affects the actual playing of the records, only the recording of them, so I expect that I’ll end up letting it go until something is more substantially wrong with it. It’s bloody annoying tho.

OK, so i actually have another turntable set up in the house that i forgot about. So I went and tested it out and everything works fine on there. So there’s nothing wrong with either of the boxes, it’s the turntable downstairs or the general set up. I guess that the next stage would be to connect my usual turntable to the other system and see if it’s better in that room (there isn’t much in the way of electrics). But it seems likely that, if I want to do any recording, them i have to use the other system instead. Which has its own problems or i’d be using it all the time, but it is a solution of sorts.

And…both turntables work fine in this other room, plugged into this other system! The other system is, tbh, quite fancy, preamps and stuff, but there’s still no ground wire or anything, there just isn’t any other electrical equipment up here. Other than the “unplugging everything” thing, which didn’t work, do you have any other suggestions for problems with a particular room?

OK, I have found the problem! I’m back with my first system and, if I plug the turntable directly into the amp, with no extension lead on the connection, then it all works fine. The problem is that I do not have the room to get the turntable sufficiently neat to the amp to do this without stacking the turntable on top of the rest of the system. I understand that it’s a bad idea to have a turntable on top of the rest of yr hi fi with no room for ventilation, but would that do any harm for the odd hour once in a while? The alternatives are very difficult to manage.