trying to record 78 rpm records, horrible audio.

I downloaded audacity from a free online source. I am trying to record records with it but the audio is horrible. To describe it I would say it has a TON of very loud static and you can just faintly hear the music in the background. I have an electric record player i bought from walmart a couple years ago that has a headphone jack. i plug the cord from my laptop into this. when i listen to the record with headphones plugged in or any type of speakers, it sounds just fine. I also bought a audio pre amplifier that goes in between the cord from my laptop to record player, it says it is suposed to help with this kind of thing but there is no difference what so ever. When i press record in audacity, the meter in the middle(recording volume i suppose) spikes instantly all the up to the red no matter what i set the recording input to. I have tried to give as much infor mation as possible. If you need more, don’t hesitate to ask!

You risk harming your computer if you do that. Always download Audacity from us at

The headphones output of the record player is already amplified, but the microphone input of a laptop is meant for applying amplification to weaker signals from computer microphones. So if you connect headphones output to the mic input of a laptop, or add even more pre-amplification with an interface, naturally it will spike. Some laptop mic inputs can adjust for stronger signals, but it sounds like yours can’t.

Buy yourself a USB interface that has a proper line-in input meant to handle strong signals from a headphones output. For examples, see


That does sound like it because as soon as I connect and record it, the input bar spikes all the way up to the red instantly.

The only possible workaround is to right-click over the speaker icon by the system clock, then choose “Recording Devices”. Right-click over the external mic then choose “Properties”. Then click the “Levels” tab and see if there is a “boost” you can turn off. This might be called “AGC” or it might be behind an “Advanced…” button.

Even if it works, you aren’t going to get the quality that you would from a proper line-in input.


So if I get the item you linked above, will I still need the preamp I have right now? Or does it do it for me all-in-one.

You probably don’t need your pre-amplifier if you are connecting out of the headphones port of the turntable. Probably you just want the Behringer UCA 202 with a new cable that ends in two RCA male connectors.

Also see Recording 78 rpm records for things you need to be aware of.


I also bought a audio pre amplifier that goes in between the cord from my laptop to record player, it says it is suposed to help with this kind of thing

Your record player has a phono preamp built in.

In the 60’s, 70.s, and 80’s (and maybe the 90’s) every receiver had a phono preamp built-in, so you could plug-in a separate turntable. Now, its rare to find a receiver with a phono input, so if you want to plug a turntable into your stereo or home theater system you generally have to buy a separate phono preamp. Or, you can get a USB turntable that has a preamp built-in, and line-level outputs.

A phono preamp amplifies the signal from the phono cartridge (pickup) to line level (the same level you get from a CD player or the audio outputs from your TV). It also applies RIAA* EQ.


  • The RIAA EQ standard wasn’t introduced until about the time of the LP. With 78’s every company had their own standard but they had to be similar to be compatible with everybody’s record player.

I wonder if this turntable actually is a USB turntable, if it has a headphones output as described. If so and it came with the cable missing, it is easy to buy another USB cable and connect it to the computer via USB.