Too high recording levels with Behringer UCA202

I have Windows 7 and have been using Audacity for several years with no problems. I’ve used it to digitize old cassette tape music just fine. Recently I bought a Behringer UCA202 audio interface to digitize my records. I’ve encountered a strange problem trying to use Audacity for this. I set up the UCA with a cable from my receiver tape output into the input on the UCA, then plugged the USB into my laptop. I put on a record and tried to start recording on Audacity. I had the recording lever at about 50%, which is what I’ve always used. The level bar when immediately all the way to the right. I tried to slide the Audacity lever to the left and it still clipped until I got it almost to zero. Then the songs would almost clip but not quite. I haven’t set anything differently on Audacity from the hours I’ve used it in the past. I also had to set the recording level on my laptop to about 5 out of 100, where it normally would be at 50-60. I assume this is something with the Behringer. It has no preamp or recording level control. On my turntable i have a Denon Dl110 high output MC cartridge. I suppose this could be the problem, but I don’t know. I’m not a tech person, so I’m operating in the dark. I thought maybe when recording vinyl it is necessary to set some things in Audacity that I don’t know about. I’ve followed the instructions with the Behringer and used a YouTube showing how to use Audacity to rip vinyl. Any ideas?

Audacity won’t mess with the digital audio stream, but Windows sometimes can -
Make sure [u]Windows Enhancements[/u] are off and make sure [u]microphone boost[/u] is off (set to 0dB). You may not have a microphone boost option… Of course it’s not a microphone and I don’t know if it shows-up with USB devices, but Windows generally doesn’t know if it’s a USB microphone or some other USB audio device.

The UCA202 doesn’t have an analog gain/level control and it’s possible to clip the analog-to-digital converter inside the Berhinger interface. If that’s happening you’ll have to reduce the analog signal.

If your receiver has a “preamp output” it output will be volume-controlled. Another option is the headphone output (with the appropriate adapter cables). You can also get an [u]inline attenuator[/u].

On my turntable i have a Denon Dl110 high output MC cartridge.

“Traditionally”, moving coil cartridges have lower output than moving magnet cartridges. If your receiver (or preamp) has a MC/MM switch, try the MM position. It should have lower gain.

You should have a phono preamp somewhere in the system, or be recording from your entertainment music system. Unless it says otherwise, turntables only have a connection from the cartridge, a thin black wire for ground and full stop. The sound comes off the record with intentional RIAA distortion and you have to turn it back into high quality sound somewhere.

Behringer makes the UFO-202 which has a phono preamp and RIAA conversion built-in.

See it has a little screw terminal for the thin black wire.

There is a much better one, the Art Phono Plus. It does have a volume control.

As above, many of the volume adjustments stop working with a USB connection. You are expected to make the volume correct Somewhere Else and deliver perfect digital sound to be recorded.

I set up the UCA with a cable from my receiver tape output

Some of those connections do not respond to the volume control on the front of the amp. Do you have another connection—like to a much larger sound system, Line-Out for example?


Its probably not safe to assume that this is just a level issue. Have you listened to the input without Audacity running? You can do this by using the standard windows audio control panel ( which from my recollection of Windows 7 is available from the main control panel). Look at the properties of the input device then one of the tabs has a listen option. Keep your overall volume low because its very likely that you won’t hear what you expect! Once this plays correctly turn off the listen option ( very important! ) then audacity should be OK. You might just have a bad hum or buzz but my guess would be that you have created a feedback loop somehow.