Reverb on recording

I have a Xonar DX sound card. On this card there is a combined Mic/Line In jack. If a mic is hooked up and selected as the default recording devied then the input is mono; if a stereo input device is hooked up and selected as the default device, it sees and inputs both tracks. I do not have a mic hooked up. In the control panel, the Xonar Line-in is selected as the default and the Listen to this device box is checked. My turntable is hooked to my stereo receiver which is hooked to the Line In/Mic with a 3.5mm male/female right and left RCA cable. When I play a record I can hear it and it sounds normal. If I click start in Audacity and immediately pause it, it still sounds normal. But as soon as I take it off Pause and start recording I get a very noticeable reverberation effect. Sounds almost like one channel is a split second behind the other, but only when I start recording. However, when I play back what I just recorded, it sounds normal. The only time I get the reverb is when I start recording, so I think it must be a setting withing Audacity that I am missing.

My other problem probably has nothing to do with Audacity, but I’ll ask anyway. With my current set up, I cannot get the volume up to recommended -6 level even with the mic volume in Audacity turned all the way, the stereo receiver turned way up and the system volume turned all the way up. I suspect that the problem is that amplification on the stereo receiver is just not enough.

Can anyone help me with these?

I’ll take the last one first. The Line-In isn’t really Line-In. Mic-In connections work by installing a very sensitive, special purpose amplifier in the system just as your connection enters the computer. The volume boost is very high and you cannot control it. Once you overload this amplifier, it’s overloaded, it produces distortion and the story is over. This amplifier typically overloads at -6.

Manufacturers have been trying to erase the difference between microphone and line level for years with varying levels of success. It’s rough to do. The two signals are 1000 times different in size.

Are you sure your stereo Line-In is really stereo, or do they duplicate the left signal to both tracks and hope nobody notices? If you don’t have access to a show with instruments or music that shifts from side to side, magnify the blue waves. They should be different from each other on a real stereo show. People do make electronics that do this Mic-Line trick successfully, but they’re highly abnormal.

For people trying to achieve good quality stereo music on a PC (or any computer) we recommend the Behringer UCA202 or equivalent.


When I record a stereo record with Audacity, the right and left tracks are different when I have it set up as line-in rather than mic. If I switch the input to mic, they are both the same. If I record a Hi-Fi record (yes, I still have a lot of those!) both tracks are the same on mic or line-in. My old on-board sound card (chipset) had separate input jacks for line-in and mic, but when it went belly up, I couldn’t find any sound card that had them separated, or at least none that I could afford; that’s when I got the Xonar DX.

When I record a stereo record with Audacity, the right and left tracks are different when I have it set up as line-in rather than mic.

If I record a Hi-Fi record … both tracks are the same on mic or line-in

Are you referring to a HiFi Record as mono rather than stereo? That’s confusing because Stereo records are high-fidelity.

Do you have your turntable connected directly to the computer? What kind of turntable? If you have no phono preamp in the system, then the UCA202 may not be for you. They make a phono preamp device called the UFO202. The sound out of a simple turntable is not correct sound. It has vinyl compensation that has to be removed.


Yes. I mean mono. I guess my age is showing! When I first began buying records as a pre-teen, everything was mono and we called it hi-fi. Then in my teens, along came stereo, but we still thought of mono as hi-fi. Sorry.

Now my problem has changed a little. My turntable is an Audio-Technica AT PL50. The hard-wired connector that comes out of it is a male RCA cable. It came with a Y-connector cable that has a female RCA plug on one end and a 3.5 mm stereo jack on the other. The turntable has a pre-amp selector switch. I turn it on when connecting through the Aiwa stereo, but not when connecting directly to the computer. I was moving along quite rapidly on converting my vinyl when the sound chipset on my motherboard went bad. I got the new sound card and have been having all sorts of problems getting all the settings right. Although I could get an old 1970’s-era Olympic stereo receiver with an 8-track player to work, I could not get the turntable to work without using the newer Aiwa stereo as an amplfier. That’s when it was getting the reverberation. Since that was working otherwise and I could get the sound up to -6 without having to turn all the volume controls (Audacity, computer, and stereo) up to the maximum, I thought I’d try the turntable alone again. Now it plays through and records just fine but I can’t get the recording level much above -24. Upping the volume level on the computer makes the sound through the computer speakers louder, but doesn’t make the recording level any higher. The Audacity recording level is at maximum. I can use the Aucadity effect Amplify to boost it up but it also boosts all the snaps and crackles. Perhaps because of the new sound card this is just something I’ll have to live with.

The turntable with built-in preamp is the combination you should be using for everything unless you plug into the Phono-In of a large amplifier. Phono-In has its own preamplfier and the one inside the turntable isn’t needed.

Bass notes do not “fit” in vinyl grooves, so a standard way of reducing them before pressing was developed. The RIAA designed the most common one. The process needs to be reversed on playback with a “phono preamp.”

Yes, it’s the same RIAA that’s suing you for downloading music without paying for it.

Your soundcard is sick. Did you save the receipts? Every time you touch it, you get non-musical symptoms and sound damage – and all this on a machine that used to work fine. I think it’s counterproductive to try and troubleshoot it any further.

Here’s the UCA202 in cassette use.


Now I am thoroughly confused. I just replied that I AM using a turntable with a built-it pre-amp. So why are you recommending a pre-amp? And I had no choice about the sound card–as I said before the sound chipset on my computer motherboard quit working. I had to replace it with a card because not even my regular computer repair shop wants to get into trying to solder a new chipset on to a motherboard. And what’s this about non-musical symptoms and sound damage? My problem is getting the recording sound up to an acceptable level.

And as for downloading music without paying for it, I have no earthly idea where that is coming from. I have NEVER downloaded music without paying for it, and I can’t imagine where in my previous posts you got the idea that I did. I have been recording albums and tapes that I already own so that I can play them on my MP3 player because I haven’t figured out a way yet to take a record player on the airplane or in the car with me. The majority of my albums are not available on CD so I can’t buy them.

My problem is getting the recording sound up to an acceptable level.

Which I don’t think you can do with that sound card.

The recording connections on sound cards seldom work right. Yours appears to be one of the ones that has problems. I don’t think it’s fixable.


If you want to stick with it, you can record everything low and boost the volume later using Effect > Amplify. Koz