Trouble recording vinyls from turntables

Hello people,

I’ve been using Audacity on my previous laptop to digitalize my vinyl records. It worked well at that time but I can’t remember the settings…
Now that I have a new laptop, Audacity won’t record how I would like to.

I would like to record just the exact sound of the record, but not the external sounds of the room, or me speaking out loud.

I’m using Audacity 2.3.3.
With settings like WASABI → Speakers (Realtek) → 2 canals → Speakers, I could click on the recording button but then nothing happens, the cursor is like frozen and doesn’t move.

I’ve read and tried solutions from previous posts like changing rate to 48000, checking on my laptop setting etc but nothing works.

Please help :frowning: .
test auda.jpg
Audacity periphs2.jpg
Audacity periphs.jpg
deviceinfo.txt (6.12 KB)

I bought a USB turntable to record my vinyl records. It has made things simple and headache free. I decided to use the standard RCS patch cords tho and have a adapter - dual RCA into a stereo plug and then plugged it into the mic of my computer. Is this a option for you?


How are you connected? You need a phono preamp, which can be built into your stereo system or built-into the turntable, etc. (Or a USB turntable has the preamp and “soundcard” built-in.)

Then you need to use a line-input on a regular soundcard or a USB interface with line-inputs. (The mic input on a soundcard or laptop is “wrong”.)

I decided to use the standard RCS patch cords tho and have a adapter - dual RCA into a stereo plug and then plugged it into the mic of my computer.

You should be using a line-level input. A microphone signal is about 1/100th that of a line-level signal. And a phono preamp is RIAA equalized and it has higher input impedance than a mic input.

USB turntables have a preamp built-in and sometimes there is a switch bypass the preamp in case you want to use your own preamp.

You don’t say what ( if any ) analogue amplifier system you currently use to listen to your records. If this system has an amplifier with a line-out option then that is a good starting point. We also need to know what quality of sound you are aiming for and what budget you would consider spending to achieve it.


Thanks for your replies.
I use a 2 Chanel mixer (numark x6). My turntables are plugued in phono to the mixer.
Then I use the « master » out to my sound system, and the « record » out to my laptop.

out to my laptop.

Like I said, you need a line input. Most laptops only have a microphone input.

Your screenshot shows that you’ve selected “microphone” but I’m not sure if that’s the microphone built-into your laptop, or the external microphone input. If you’re picking-up room sound, of course that’s the actual microphone.

If you laptop doesn’t have line-in you’ll need a USB audio interface with line inputs. The [u]Behringer UCA202[/u] is popular and inexpensive. They also make one with a built-in phono preamp so if you’re only using one turntable you wouldn’t need the mixer. But, since the Behringer doesn’t have recording level controls you might want to keep the mixer in the setup.

The [u]ART USB Phono Plus[/u] has a phono preamp and a recording level control. Or, there are lots of [u]higher end interfaces[/u] with switchable mic/line inputs. Do NOT buy a regular “USB soundcard”. They are like laptops with only mic-in and headphone-out.

How can I check if my laptop hab line input?

Check the specs. :wink: It would be rare. It would probably have three 3.5mm jacks. One output for headphones, one input for the mic, and one more input for line-in. They should be labeled but I don’t actually know what the symbol for “line” is. If your jacks are color-coded it would be blue.

Some computers might have a switchable mic/line input. There would be a utility to select which one you want to use.

Most newer laptops have just one mic/headphone combo jack. They make headsets with headphones and a microphone with just one plug that plugs into the combo jack. The headphone connection is compatible with a regular 3-conductor (TRS) headphone plug but it takes a special 4-conductor (TRRS) plug to make the (mono) microphone connection so an older computer mic won’t work without an adapter.

Almost every desktop/tower computer has [u]line input color coded blue[/u].

Yes I have my laptop for only 2 years. There’s only only 1 headphones plug, with no color.
The point is, with my previous laptop (not the same model) I used to do exactly the same config and it was working well… :frowning:

So far what I understand is that I have to buy an external USB adapter.

As Doug has said if you only have one 3.5 mm socket on your laptop it is almost certain to be a combination socket. This link explains more:-

But note that the input is mono only so is unlikely to be suitable even if the input level was corrected for line level in the driver software.

A usb audio device is the answer and the cost will depend on how accurate or faithful to the original you want your recording to be. The key role of the interface is to convert the analogue input signal to a digital one by sampling the sound level at a certain frequency in samples per second. For example CD quality is based on sampling at 44,100 samples per second so by purchasing a device which supports this ( usually referred to as 44.1KHz) would give you about the same quality as a CD. More ambitious and expensive interfaces may well go up to 192KHz or even higher. If money was no object there would still be no point in matching a low quality turntable and cartridge ( not that I am assuming that is what you have) with an expensive analogue to digital audio interface. Apologies if you already know all this anyway.

Thank you guys everything is very useful and interesting.
I’ll investigate about my best options.