Too much input volume and slider bars not working

I’m using Audacity 2.0.5 which I downloaded using the .exe installer. It’s running under Windows 7 Home Premium Service Pack 1.

I’m getting the hang of Audacity using a tape cassette - to usb device. Works well. Now I’m trying to record an LP from my turntable through my pre-amp and then into the PC through a usb port. The turntable is an aged but top quality Sansui and the pre-amp is also an aged Sansui G-4500 but again, good quality and at 45 watts per channel is probably quite mild by modern standards.

I’m getting a signal OK - in fact too much. I can’t control the incoming volume through the slider bars as they have no effect on the volume regardless of where they are set - it’s like they are not working.
Tinkering around with some of the editing options has got rid of some of the volume distortion.
But the point of my question - and trolling back a bit through the FAQs hasn’t found me anything - is there something I should be doing to make sure the slider bars are actually doing something to the incoming signal through the usb port.
Thanks for anyone’s help

David H

Try a RCA connection from the Line-Out of the Sansui pre-amp to the Line-In of your PC if it has such a connector.

Thanks for the prompt reply Robert2 -

Unfortunately, my HP Pavilion G6 doesn’t have a line-in plug. The way you suggest is the way I did it on my old Acer, which worked fine. I’m stuck with using this little converter thingy which takes the RCA jack in and plugs into a USB port. It has a volume control which doesn’t seem to do anything. The volume on the pre-amp of course doesn’t do anything either (presumably because it’s connected to the speaker outputs). What’s interesting is that when I plug the USB lead in and start Audacity in readiness to record, the volume slider bars are both at zero. Even if I leave them there, I still get a full signal from the pre-amp and the input and output level bars are right up at the right hand end - below the -6 optimum that the help dialogue suggests as being the best. Playing with the click and noise remover facilities does help quite a bit but there is still distortion.

Which “little converter thingy”? It might not be up to the mark…

We live on fine details like model numbers or web sites. We can’t see what you’re doing and Remote Vision died out with my maternal grandfather.


Maybe the Audacity forum threads should be managed through videoconferencing… :unamused:

Point taken about fine detail - The “converter thingy” has only the words 7.1 Channel Sound" on it. I’ve attempted to upload a picture of it attached to this. The line in feed goes into the mike plug at the left end. You can play with the volume buttons in the middle, though there is no noticeable difference registered by Audacity that I can see.
external line in to usb converter.JPG
It cost me AUD35 at a local hi-fi gizmo shop, so I’m not expecting miracles - and indeed - perhaps this is the culprit because it’s not working properly. It’s just that I’m puzzled why the volume slide bars go to zero when it’s connected and seem to stop working.

Hope this helps

David H

Maybe the Audacity forum threads should be managed through videoconferencing

A good trick since we cover all time zones and are never on-line at the same time. Maybe a Skype DVR?

The only time you should be using a “Mic-In” is if you have a MIC (Microphone) and you want to put it IN (record it).

Other combinations don’t work. When asked why I frequently recommend the Behringer UCA-202 and its cousins, it’s simply that they do offer a good quality Stereo Line-In (not Mic-In), they’re simple to use, they’re cheap and they work with no additional software on all three major computer platforms.

Hard to beat that.


If the converter you have only has a mic input and not a line input then the converter is a mic to usb converter and is not suitable for what you are trying to do. If you could reduce the amp output by 100 times with a device of some kind then it may work but a better option is to return the converter to the shop and explain what you are trying to do and swap it for something more suitable.

My thanks to Koz and Capricorn12 for their helpful and easily understood replies. I had worked for over 40 years in IT before retiring, so the computing side of all this isn’t too hard to work out - BUT my knowledge of hi-fi and sound systems could be written on the edge of a postage stamp. I have trouble enough wiring the speaker systems to the pre-amp!!

I shall now go in search of that Behringer device - which may be fun as we don’t live in or near a big city and our local regional town is not exactly well endowed with suppliers of this sort of stuff. Still - I’m sure they will be on E-Bay somewhere.

Thanks again for your help.

David H