USB Input Level Too High – Need help!

I am trying to record from vinyl into Audacity, but cannot adjust the input level low enough to avoid maxing out the input monitor. I moved the slider to 0.01, but the level still overwhelmed Audacity.
My Audacity 2.1.0 was installed via the installer on a Lenovo T440p laptop. I am running a Technics SL2000 turntable with a Grado ZF3E+ cartridge through a Pro-Ject Phono Box USB pre-amp into a USB port on the laptop.

Audacity settings include:
Recording Volume slider: 0.01 (as low as it goes)
Audio host: MME (other options are Windows DirectSound; Windows WASAPI)
Recording Device: Microphone – Realtek High Definition (other option is Microsoft Sound Mapper – Input. It appears I am missing a USB option.)
Playback Device: Speaker/HP – Realtek High Definition (other option is Microsoft Sound Mapper – Output)

Seems I am missing something in the Recording Device area – but not sure or how to correct. Thanks for your help!!!

There is one known oddity. Plug in everything and power it all up and then start Audacity. Doesn’t work backwards unless you explicitly tell audacity to search for a USB connection with Transport > Rescan Audio Devices.

Audacity gets the show from Windows, so if Windows can’t find the PhonoPre, this isn’t going well.

Did you try another USB connection? Do you get any Windows notice at all when you plug the USB in?


The little PhonoPre doesn’t have any lights at all, does it?

How do you know it’s on?


In that case I don’t understand why Audacity is getting any signal at all :confused:
The only connection between the Pro-Ject Phono Box USB pre-amp and your laptop should be the USB connector. The analog (phono plugs) of the Pro-Ject Phono Box USB pre-amp should not be connected to your laptop.

As Koz wrote, ensure that the Pro-Ject Phono Box USB pre-amp is connected (USB) to the laptop before you open Audacity. You can check in the Windows Sound Control Panel that Windows can see the Pro-Ject Phono Box USB pre-amp.

I assume that this is the cheaper model of Pro-Ject Phono Box USB pre-amp - the more expensive ones have a gain control enabling you to control the signal level fed from the device to your computer.

expensive one with gain control

Cheaper one - no gain control

The ARTcessories similar device, USB Phono Plus, comes with a gain control and costs roughly the same as the cheaper gain-less Pro-ject:
It gets good reviews - I used the ARTcessories phono preamp (as bundled in the USB Phono Plus) with a separate external USB soundcard (Edirol) for my vinyl transfers and got excellent results.


Koz - I followed the steps to power up the stereo and pre-amp, then start Audacity, and was able to adjust the input as needed. Thanks for the advice!

Steve - I wasn’t clear in my description. I did not see “USB Codec” in the selector in Audacity - I did have it connected to the computer’s USB port. Regrets for confusing the matter.

Thanks for the links, WC. I think I have it figured out by waiting until the stereo is powered up and connected to open Audacity.