Sliders for Recording Level and Playback Level

Hi there…

Using Audacity 3.2.1 on Win10.

In previous versions of Audacity, there used to be numbers associated with the sliders for Recording Level and Playback Level. Now it’s just a slider. Is there a number associated with it? What am I missing?


Double click on the slider and you will get a dialog that will show the current value - and allows you to reset it by over-typing a new value.

But yes the old Mixer Toolbar had hovertext on the sliders which showed the value. Now that the Mixer toolbar functionality has been incorporated into the mete toolbar the hovertexts just say “Recording Level” and “Playback Level”. Later today I will log an issue for this.


Another downside to the combined meters/volume sliders is that you can’t click to reset the clip indicator without setting the volume to maximum.
– Bill

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I don’t seem to be able to reset the meter’s clip indicator at all, other than by stopping and restarting playback.

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Logged on GitHub:

Hovertext tooltips for recording and playback sliders no longer show the values #3810


@Bill and @Steve

yes the inability to reset the peak levels looks like another regression on 3.1.3 - the underlying problem is now with the sliders a single left click in the meter(s) repositions the slider, so an alternative mechanism for the peaks reset may need to be sought. An item in the right-click context menu perhaps?

Perhaps one of you two could log this please?


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Turns out one of the developers has already fixed this in his branch build a week ago - so this shoud make it into 3.3.0 ore even 3.2.2 maintenance release hopefully.

Meter toolbar navigation & accessibility #3696


I was going to log this as an issue - but on testing I found that while cannot now reset while Audacity is playing or recording - or indeed while it is stopped or paused - as soon as one presses Play or Record after Audacity has been stopped the peak levels (and clip indicators,if any) are reset for either Play or Record (whichever is appropriate for the action.

I think this is probably perfectly acceptable behavior. The only slight change I personally would make would be the reset both meters’ peak/clip indicators when Stop is pressed. It makes good sense to me that the max peak for an entire Play or Record usage is maintained until the next usage.


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A “not uncommon” scenario when recording a live event.
The aim is to record as close to a complete event / concert without noticeable changes in recording level, and without clipping. In many cases there is no opportunity to do a “level check” before the event starts.

  1. Best guess the recording levels
  2. Start recording
    • If the recording level is “close enough”, then leave it alone
  • If the recording level appears to be way to low, tweak it up a bit, then leave it alone
  • If the recording level hits red, pull it down a little and clear the clip indicator
  1. At the end of the concert / event, press “Stop”.

The reason that it is essential to clear the clip indicator is because the recording is still likely to be rather “hot” after the level has been tweaked. If it clips again then you need to know so that you can tweak the level down a bit more.

The clipping indicators are more important than ever, given that the meters are now tiny (by default).

And here’s someone who couldn’t find the new volume sliders …

– Bill

Indeed, I saw that post.

I can’t help thinking that it might help if the sliders were more brightly coloured (the record one could be red and the playback one green)- anybody agree/disagree?

So how about this:
coloured meter sliders.png

I logged this on GitHub as an Enhancement Request:

Color-coding for Recording and Playback sliders which can be difficult to spot (in Light and Classic themes) #3827


My preference would be to bring back the sliders in their own toolbar, or integrate the sliders below each meter turning each meter into a double-height toolbar.
– Bill

That would be my first choice.

If that was done, then the slider position should match the dB numbers. I think it is currently confusing / misleading that attenuation provided by the slider is independent of the meter scale: This issue:

Other issues with the new combined meters / level slider include:


– Bill

I strongly suspect that this will not happen …

You could submit an Enhancement Request for this on GitHub - but again I suspect that Muse are fond of the reduced toolbar real-estate that the new combined meter toolbars yield and the simpler “look” that it gives the GUI.

So although this might be improved functionality to aid proper usability I suspect that Muse would be likely to reject this too, in favour of a simpler-looking toolbar set.


a) meters default sizing
3627 is fixed I believe.
Input & Playback metering toolbars: UI enhancements #3627

b) Clipping Indicators being obscured
I added a “nudge” to 3385
Meter clipping indicators obscured by sliders #3385

Update: Tantacrul added this response:

We’re not targeting this for 3.2 or 3.3. We have a lot of significant performance issues and unmerged PRs to work through.

That’s not to say it’s not a good point. I think we really need to soup up the mixer and make it more prominent and discoverable because, in truth, this is what I’d use in order to really keep track of my audio levels.

We’ll also give thought to the metering / obscuring issue as it stands too

c) Scales for the sliders
I think the scale of the sliders is being addressed by improving the hovertext tool-tips for them so that the tool-tip displays the current value. I recall testing a branch build of Vitaly’s a few days back that had this functionality (in response to a bug-thread posted by David Bailes re accessibility) but that has so far not been pulled into either 3.2.2 beta or 3.3.0 alpha
It’s this branch build:

And nicely the tool-tip updates dynamically as you move the slider.
recording level tool-tip.png
BTW this bug also relates to this:
Hovertext tooltips for recording and playback sliders no longer show the values #3810

d) Vertical meters
I think Muse are ignoring the ones that relate to vertical meters as they are planning at some stage to either do away with them - or use per-track vertical metering in the Track Control Panels.

e) Keyboard focus
Allow keyboard focus on the combined meter/mixer sliders #3230

I have no idea on what is happening with this one that was logged by Muse developer Kit Soze, but I note that it is assigned to Vitaly.

Update: Vitaly claims that this is also fixed by the as yet un-merged:
Meter toolbar navigation & accessibility Build Audacity #2779


Restated for clarity:
Meter sliders do not match scale with non-default options #3322
The scale for the recording volume slider is badly wrong #3690
Meter clipping indicators obscured by sliders #3385
Input & Playback metering toolbars: UI enhancements #3627
Malformed meters when orientated vertically #3510
Vertical meters lose numbering - and returning to horizontal also loses numbering #3254
Volume slider moves horizontally when the metering bar orientation is set to ‘Vertical’ #3242
Allow keyboard focus on the combined meter/mixer sliders #3230

Good news …

This has been fixed for the soon to be upcoming 3.2.2 maintenance release:

Hovertext tooltips for recording and playback sliders no longer show the values #3810


Before getting too excited, it’s only the tool tip that has been fixed.
The meter sliders still do not match scale.
The meter sliders still obscure the clipping indicators.
The meter / sliders are still malformed when orientated vertically.
(I’ve not re-tested the other related issues listed in the previous comments)