Uneven recording

I’m using Windows 7 and Audacity 2.1.2 .exe
I am transferring vinyl and tape records to CD via an ION USB turntable.
On the screen the + and - sides of the audio are not the same, the + side is much higher than the - This is the same with both channels.
Is this a fault with Audacity or the turntable?
Is there anything I can do please. Or shall I just live with it?
It doesn’t seem to affect the audio reproduction.


If you record from the turntable but lift the stylus off the record, you should get a “silent” (almost silent) recording. Try that and make a short test recording. Does it produce a flat line recording in the middle of the track (at zero) or is the flat line on the +ve side?
If you don’t get a flat line at zero then it is probably a fault with the USB turntable. If you do get a flat line at zero, then we need to look further to find the cause.

Note that some sounds are naturally and correctly more +ve than -ve, or the other way round, but you should not be seeing more +ve on all of your records. Whether or not it is a problem depends in part on how much more +ve than -ve it is, and how critical you are about the recording quality. Most Ion turntables cost less than the price of a good cartridge, so there must be some cut corners somewhere.

Thank you; I’ve tried that. I started recording, then lifted the stylus and the flat line was dead centre.

So far I’ve recorded three LPs and it’s been the same in each case. I realise that £79 this isn’t the most sophisticated turntable!

As I said in my original question, I can’t actually hear any difference on replay.

I have recorded a lot of LPs and tapes on a much older ION turntable, with an earlier version of Audacity and Windows XP, and the recording wasn’t uneven then.
BTW this new turntable doesn’t appear to be as good quality as the older version, but that wouldn’t work with Windows 7 so I had to change.


ps I will be away for a week after this afternoon.

If you have time before you need to leave, perhaps you could post a short audio sample in WAV format to illustrate the problem. Just 5 or 6 seconds will be sufficient. See here if you need help making and posting an audio sample: https://forum.audacityteam.org/t/how-to-post-an-audio-sample/29851/1

Thanks, I’ll do it when I get home next week


Sorry to take so long, I’ve been busy since I got home.

I hope I’ve got this right. You can see the uneven result, I hope


Ooh that looks a bit weird.
I’d say the problem is with the turntable.

If the turntable arm has an “anti-skate” mechanism, check that it is correctly set up.
Check that the stylus and cartridge are correctly seated, and using a magnifying glass, check that there is no visible damage to the stylus.
If the tone arm tracking weight is adjustable, check that it is set up correctly.
Look carefully to check that the stylus is perpendicular to the surface of the record.

You initially said:
“I am transferring vinyl and tape records to CD via an ION USB turntable.”
I’m a bit confused about “transferring tape to CD with a turntable” :confused:

Thanks. This turntable is very basic, not as good as the old one. So I can’t alter tracking weight or anti-skate. The only reason for buying the new turntable was that the old electronics didn’t appear to work with Windows 7.
Looks as if I’ll have to live with it.

There is a jack socket on the back so I can plug my tape player in and transfer tape to CD via the same electronics. I still have a lot of tapes recorded many years ago.

If the problem is insufficient tracking weight (probably unlikely with a cheap turntable) then you could try with a record that does not matter putting some very light metal rings (maybe even a very light coin) on top of the cartridge. Try centered, or a little to either side.


Does the same problem occur when recording tapes?

I hadn’t tried a tape, and now I have, you are right it doesn’t happen with tape so it must be the turntable. I will try a light weight (very light!) on the pickup.

thanks for the help