Total Newbie - Recording length and other stuff question

Hi there, as I’ve said, I’m a total newbie with Audacity so please be gentle…

I’ve tried now a couple of times to record a mix (two Technics 1210’s through a mixer and into the soundcard on my PC) but have a few problems. 1. Although at the bottom of the Audacity window I have a remaining track time of something like 13 hours, my mix stops at about 40 mins (when I say my mix stops, I mean that I can still mix but Audacity seems to stop recording). My HDD isn’t particularly big but has a good few gigs free space…not sure what I can do 2. When I play back what I’ve recorded, it’s very quiet on playback 3. If I record from one of my turntables directly into my soundcard and throught Audacity the sound is quite nice but when I go through my mixer, it seems very distorted, especially the bass. 4. I seem to have an echo which I can’t get rid of when recording.

I’d be grateful for any help on this. The only thing I’ll say is, my PC isn’t particularly good and the sound card is onboard. Could that explain the quiet playback?

Thanks in advance.

Let’s do the recording length last.

If you look at your sound card under a good strong light, are you plugging your mixer into Line-In (two fans pointing in) or Mic-In (little picture of a microphone–maybe pink). Are you on a Laptop?

The turntables only have one stereo sound cable plus the little thin black wire, right? That’s how the 1200’s are wired

Most PC laptops only have Mic-In as a normal thing. That connection is searching for a really tiny signal coming directly from a microphone, not the thousand times louder signal coming from your mixer. So that may be the distortion thing. That connection is also usually mono, not stereo, although some sound cards put the signal on both left and right to avoid production problems. It still won’t be stereo. It will be two track mono.

<<<I seem to have an echo which I can’t get rid of when recording.>>>

Hello and welcome to the Windows Sound Mixer. You are probably recording the show twice which is easy to do in Windows. Turn off Mix-Out or whatever it’s called on your machine.

Windows Control Panel

<<<HDD isn’t particularly big but has a good few gigs free space>>>

A good few gigs of clean space? When was the last time you defragged your hard drive? Audacity will not write to a badly fragmented hard drive–and it gets very much worse as it fills up.