I am new to this program and a little techno-challenged. I am trying to record myself while playing the piano. It appears to be recording fine but when I try to playback the file, it appears to be playing but there is no sound or very low sound. I believe I have all of the volume levels set as high as they will go but still nothing. Is there anyone out there that can help me get my settings correct? Thanks so much!

Audacity has two tools you can use to set your recording volume. The recording meters and the blue waves.

When you record in Audacity the red recording meters should bounce up to the right-hand third of their range. The blue waves should exhibit peaks in the 0.5 range like this.

That’s a perfect live recording.

You can make the sound meters bigger (recommended) by clicking on the right-hand edge and pulling to the right.


If you elaborate on exactly how you’re trying to record your performances, we can advise you further.


Right… Are you using the microphone built-into your laptop, or what?

You have to select your recording input (internal mic, external mic plugged into your soundcard, the line-input on your soundcard, etc.)


Typically if you are recording acoustic piano and you want reasonably good quality, you’d use a “studio style” condenser mic. (Or more likely, a pair for stereo.) But, studio & performance mics do not interface with a standard consumer soundcard. That means you either need a USB audio interface or a studio-style USB microphone. (Not a cheap “gaming” or “communications” mic.)

Acoustics and microphone position are also important. I’m not an expert on piano recording, but I usually see the mics inside the piano near the hammers. Getting a good strong signal into the mic shouldn’t be a problem with a setup like that! :wink: