recording level

I am trying to record vinyl to my Mac OS 10.13.6. Coming out of tape monitor on my receiver to a Behringer UCA222 the recording level is not adjustable and it is set to a maximum level. I am hooked up to the Mac via the USB port. There is no place to plug in a microphone on this Mac.

Coming out of tape monitor on my receiver

Does the receiver have a Line-Out? You may have to disconnect the speakers and listen to the computer during recordings, but that does give you control of the volume. Line-Out should follow the receiver volume control.


As long as you’re not clipping, digital recording levels are not that critical.* You can Amplify after recording. Pros often record at -12 to -18dB (at 24-bits).

What are your peak levels? The easiest way to check that is by running the Amplify effect. Audacity has already pre-scanned your file and Amplify will default to whatever gain is needed for 0dB normalized (“maximized”) peaks. So for example, if Amplify defaults to +6dB, your peaks are currently -6dB.

I wouldn’t “worry” unless you’re down around -20dB or less.

FYI - You can also connect a headphone output to line-in, and of course the headphone output always has a volume control.

There is no place to plug in a microphone on this Mac.

That’s OK. You don’t need it. A mic input is too sensitive for a line-level signal and it’s usually mono.

***** If you’re old enough to remember analog tape, you needed a “hot” signal to overcome the tape hiss. But with digital… No tape hiss! (There is quantization noise, but at 16-bits it’s below -90dB and inaudible so it’s not an issue.)

Thank you Doug
The headphone line is working.