Tinny, hollow sound of Audacity files...

When I burn an AIFF exported from Audacity to iTunes on a Staples CD-R the sound is tinny or weak when played on a home or car cd player. I had to adjust bass and treble controls to max. Still didn’t sound right and of course I shouldn’t have to do that.

Songs downloaded from iTunes and songs transferred from commercial cds and burned in iTunes sound full – normal with no tone adjustments needed. The problem is when a song is run through Audacity and then exported as an AIFF file.

I use a Mac mini and a Technic LP player with a Pioneer receiver.

I don’t make any adjustments to Audacity except recording volume.

Has anyone else experienced this problem? Thanks, Peter

I use a Mac mini and a Technic LP player with a Pioneer receiver.

Do you have the turntable connected to the “Phono-In” of the receiver? Did you connect the thin black third turntable wire to the receiver ground screw? It sounds like you connected to Tuner-In, Line-In, or Tape-In of the amplifier instead of Phono-In. Any of those three would make weak sound with no bass.

The connections from a Techniques turntable are not “straight” audio. They need a special phono preamplifier to sound right. Did I hit it?


There is one more exotic thing to try. If the show sounds just fine in Audacity, do Tracks > Stereo Track to Mono. Now play it. Does it still sound normal, or does it sound like your CD? A mono version of a stereo show should just sound a little flat with no directional cues. It should not become obviously damaged.


Hey Koz, thanks for taking the time to try to help. Unfortunately…the problem started with my very first attempt at a transfer when I was using the cheesy Encore turntable purchased from a catalogue as a supposed turnkey way to transfer LPs to cd. That connected directly from turntable via USB to the Mac mini. So I switched to the Technics and receiver and yes the phono is connected to the phono in jacks. I’m not sure what you meant by my trying to transfer a “show”. The LPs are all regular with a mix of styles. Unless I misunderstand, I don’t want to turn stereo recordings into mono.

It’s odd because I get the idea no one else has run into this. Thanks again and get back to me if you think of any other possibilities. Peter

We’ve had plenty of people that have problems with tinny sound when recording from a turntable without RIAA equalization. I think that Koz is trying to establish whether your system includes the necessary RIAA equalization stage.

When your are listening to the LP while recording it in Audacity does it sound OK?

Can you hook up headphones or speaker to the receiver to listen to the LP that way? If you can, does it sound OK?

– Bill

I know you don’t want a mono show, but if you have phase reversal problems they might not show up until you shock the system by converting a song to mono as a test. If it magically sounds a lot like your CD error that might tell us where to look. Koz