USB Mic Too Quiet on Mac Since Audacity 3.3.3 Update

Hey there,

Since Audacity upgrade to 3.3.3, my recording volume and wave form have been very low. Reading endless forums I see this is a glitch for the update, with only solutions for Windows. I use a USB mic and Macbook Air. Everything was ok until the upgrade.

Things I have tried:

  • Adjust input volume on Mac settings. All the way to the highest and still very quiet.
  • Adjust volume on mic. Volume is fine on other programs - only Audacity.
  • ‘Start Monitoring’ on Audacity. The bars go between the sweet spot of 18-24.

Any suggestions?!! Thank you!!

**Edit. I have also read that it is being recorded on half input since the USB mic is on ‘mono’. Playing around with Audio Settings I am unable to switch to ‘Stereo’. The selection is not available for USB (as expected). Stereo only available for laptop built-in mic.

What I’ve tried:

  • Clearing storage space on my laptop
  • Reset Configuration

The more I research, it looks like I need it to stop recording half input. But I can’t figure that part out!

Traditionally, any time a system “converts” from stereo (two channel) to mono (one channel) they would reduce the overall volume by half. For example, if you were singing full volume into both stereo microphones and you just smashed the two sounds together, you would get 200% sound or gross overload, damage, and distortion.

The problem can come when you connect a single microphone, but the system thinks it’s one half of a stereo pair and drops the volume. I have an older commercial microphone that will mount on a computer as either one. Neat trick.

Traditionally, there was no way around that volume dipping thing and there was a move on to give the performer some control over that in Audacity adjustments. I don’t know how far along that move is.

You’re also bucking Marketing, Promotion, and Publicity. Quiet recording, no matter how you get there is usually acceptable to the customer. The instant the volume gets too high, it sounds terrible and the customer sends the microphone back.


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Thank you very much for the response, Koz.

Looks like I will have to look into a different mic. Appreciate all the info!

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