Recording level weak, max 0.25

Audacity Forum 2018-01-15
v. 2.2.1, build Dec 6, 2017
Win 10
Windows Direct Sound
Recording: USB Audio Device (Input from Vinyl Record Player)
Speaker: Realtek High Def Audio
Recording level weak, max 0.25

It seems impossible to reach a higher recording level, preferably close to 0.5 the limit on the display.
However the LPs seem much better than the EPs, which give only 0.1 approx.
Is there a filter I’m not aware of?

Thanks for hints,
Ingemar Saevfors

If the turntable doesn’t have a level/gain control you get what you get. The analog-to-digital conversion is being done inside the turntable and Audacity is simply “capturing” the digital audio stream.

If there is no gain control it’s better to be on the low-side than the high-side. Records do vary in loudness and the most important thing is to avoid clipping (distorting) the ADC by “trying” to push it over 0dB.

25% (-12db) isn’t too bad. You can run the Amplify effect after recording and there should be no problems with quality loss because 16-bit (or better) digital has a LOT more dynamic range than analog vinyl.

10% (-20dB) is “pushing it” but I suspect you’ll still be OK. The bigger problem with “quiet records” is that the surface noise isn’t necessarily lower so you can get a poor (analog) signal-to-noise ratio and when you amplify (digitally or electrically)you’ll also amplify the noise.

NOTE - Even after Normalizing/amplifying to 0dB peaks, digitized vinyl usually sounds a bit quieter than the CD version. The vinyl cutting/playback processing tends to increase the crest factor (peak-to-average ratio) and the mastering may be different.