Should I be able to hear what I am recording?

Apologies for a basic question -

I have an (old) ION record deck which I have not used for quite a while. I have now moved it to a Win 7 PC (fairly basic one).
I have downloaded and installed the latest Audacity file, 2.1.3, from the .exe, and have got it up and running.

It is recording from a vinyl (my husband’s treasured 1960’s LPs) and I can playback the recording OK.

But it does the recording in silence (some might say a good thing! :smiley: ) - is this right? Or is there a way I can set it to hear the input to Audacity as I record?

Settings are : MME, Microphone USB - the ION, speakers - windows default.

Any ideas from a more experienced user??

Enable Transport > Software Playthrough top left of Audacity.

You nay want to read this Tutorial:


Well, that was easy - can now hear as I record. However the quality is bad, and I don’t think that is the speakers. I attach a screenshot of the recording phase - should it look like this? I also attach a small cut of the recorded sound.

Any comments?


Turn the input volume down. If the turntable has a gain knob, probably under the chassis, turn that down.


Magic!! First I adjusted the input level for the input channel in Control Panel, from nearly full to about 5%. Much improvement. Then I did as you said and looked for a gain knob under the turntable, found it and turned that down and the sound is lovely now.

A final question (hopefully) - how do I know when the adjustment is right? Do I use the Monitoring (top right) or do I balance it on the recording screen, presumably making sure the tracks down hit the top/bottom? This is what I now have…

That waveform looks pretty good, just a little high. As it says in the Tutorial, play a loud part of the record and aim for about -6 dB on the meter. It is easier to check there because the meter band changes to yellow shade when you approach -6 dB. and there is a vertical bar in the meter that shows the highest level reached so far.

The -6 dB is the same as +/- 0.5 dB in the blue waves.


Thank you for all your help.