Tinny audio w/switch to newer laptop/newer Audacity

I’m trying to make the switch from my older HP laptop to my newer Dell laptop, the latter which has the latest version of Audacity,
and my mic tests produce a tinny audio quality, upon playback, that I haven’t had a problem with on older laptop.
Wondering if this is Audacity issue, or maybe more likely a mixer issue (Mackie ProFx8)?

thanks in advance-

Could be you’re not recording from the mixer. Do you know where the new machine’s microphone is? Scratch that and the performance microphone.


Is the mixer connected with USB?


Hi Koz,

I don’t think it’s the recording connection. USB mixer is clearly selected in the recording options; the recording level is lower than with the prior laptop, but otherwise everything is the same.

:smiley: Do you suppose this could be a speaker issue? What happens when you a view from the older HP on the newer Dell?

Sorry, no, not a speaker issue that I know of.
I’m testing using the same headphones setup that I use with the HP (the older laptop), which are plugged into the mixer.
So it’s not the laptop speakers…
maybe there’s some issue with Audacity picking up the new device?

OK, so you have two different Windows computers, each running Audacity, each connected (at different times) to the same USB (Mackie ProFx8) mixer. All I/O and digitation is done via the microphone and headphones connected to the mixer.

So you have done koz’s scratch test and the USB mixer is clearly selected in Audacity as both microphone and speaker.

:smiley: So let’s check if Windows is doing any pre-processing/enhancements of your sound. Click on the speaker icon in the lower right-hand corner of the screen and select Sounds > Recording > (your Mackie ProFx8) > Properties. Make sure that all of the settings are the same on both computers, particularly on the Levels, Enhancements, and Advanced tabs. Generally all enhancements should be off.

Do the same for your headphones: speaker icon > Sounds > Playback > (your Mackie ProFx8) > Properties.

Since you only have one mixer. You will probably have to get a paper and pencil and write down all of the settings. :wink:

I hope this helps. :smiley:

Thank you so much, Jademan!

I will give your steps a try and let you know how it goes- :exclamation:

:smiley: You are welcome. :smiley:

So you have done koz’s scratch test

I don’t think the poster ever said they did that.


Unless you turn it all off, modern Windows laptops apply corrections, filters, and effects.


I had a Windows machine drive me nuts because the Systems people when they set it up for me left “Cathedral Effects” running in playback.

Also, if you have Skype, Zoom, or any other chat application running, they add effects and filters.


Hi again @jademan and @kozikowski

Finally getting back to this issue. I’m attaching a sample from the Dell laptop where I still can’t figure out what the issue is.
Please see if you think it sounds a little off.
I’ll attach a sample from the original/older laptop shortly, thanks in advance.

And here is a sample audio from the older HP laptop that sounds better, I think-- thanks again in advance.

Now, my ears aren’t the best, but I amplified the Dell track by a factor of 7 and the two recordings seem to be the same to me.

So, why the level difference? I don’t know why, but I could speculate that one of the machines is applying a mono/stereo level adjustment that the other is not. I don’t think Audacity would be doing this. Perhaps you are using different drivers.

I hope this helps. :smiley:

I applied a 10dB volume boost to the Dell voice and it matches the HP voice. No difference except you’re too close to the microphone on the HP recording and it’s P-Popping.

You should do what we’re doing. Listen on one machine instead of trying to shuffle back and forth. Select the Dell voice and Effect > Amplify: Amplification 10dB > Enter. That should make up the volume difference between the machine recordings.

So if you hear an objectionable difference, it’s on the playback side.

Newer machines go to a lot of trouble to advertise how much better their music is than the competition because of “Enhanced Processing.” You might want to find out if your machine does that, find it, and turn it off.

That and Audacity doesn’t apply effects, filters, or corrections on recording.


Given the volume difference we should note that some machines have a microphone boost buried in Windows settings. This was in response to the microphone maker’s products getting quieter and quieter.

Home microphone makers have an advantage when they make a quiet microphone. It sounds OK and the performer thinks the low volume is their fault. Loud microphones are prone to clipping and overload damage which immediately sounds awful, it’s permanent, and makes the performer want to send the microphone back. Quiet it is.


Thank you so much for all the feedback and expertise, @Koz and @Jademan- you’re the best! :smiley:

I can finally start using the Dell and know that it’s just something in the settings.
Again- very much appreciated! (thanks prayer emoji)

Hi again guys-
I’m sorry but I still can’t figure out a way around this problem: the recording level is still very low, even with the mic setting at 87.
I’m attaching another mp3 where I call my voice mail, which is, as always with USB incoming calls, at very high levels.
So even if I did Amplify x10 for my part of a recording, it would be super time-consuming to Amplify for mic recordings while lowering or leaving the incoming phone audio.

A search of Microphone Boost starts by recommending using the Recording Audio troubleshooter, which came back “Troubleshooting couldn’t identify the problem.”
So if any more suggestions I would really appreciate- here is the new MP3 sample:

Actually scratch that last message- issues seem to be two things: de-press the Hi-Z line on the mixer, and then in App volume and preferences, lower the audio setting for whatever browser i’m using for incoming call (or zoom)…


If you are using Audacity to record Zoom calls you will be one of only a very few who have been successful at this. If you need a recording of a Zoom meeting, I understand you can get these from Zoom. Good luck!

@Jademan yes, you are right!
I haven’t figured out how to record a zoom call on Audacity since the various updates Zoom has had…
I was able to do it back in the spring, but not now.
But I did figure out how to get the audio from Zoom using their recording option.