USB Recording input volume set low to get to-6 dB

Hello. I’m running Audacity 2.0.3 on windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit. I’m recording vinyl from a Turntable to my PC with a direct USB cable from my turntable (Set as a line input) to my PC. When recording music I find that the INPUT recording volume needs to be set so low (at about 0.0504553) in order for me to get around -6db. I’m pretty sure this is not normal. Any help would be greatly appreciated!

It’s probable that the Phono/Line switch on the turntable only affects the analog RCA cables, not the USB connection. There is no provision for Phono on USB, so that one’s always “Line”, similar to the connection from a cassette machine or a CD player. Good to go, no correction needed.

Are you recording from the USB connection? You should probably have no other connection between the turntable and the computer. Audacity > Edit > Preferences > Devices > Recording > Device. Does that say something with “USB” in the title like “USB Audio Device” or maybe the name of the turntable?


Now that you mention it I did have the RCA’s plugged into a mixer this whole time but the mixer was off. I will take out the RCA’s and try to record something and see how it turns out. I’ll keep you posted. Thanks for your help!

Took the RCA cable out and the problem is still happening. Everything else to my knowledge is configured properly :Output is from my pc speakers and recording is from microphone(2-USB Audio Codec), host is MME,

Look for a knob on or under the turntable to turn the output volume down.

USB inputs are often said to be “hot” on Windows Vista and later. Sometimes it is suggested this is because most USB audio input devices (even USB turntables and USB cassette decks) are seen by Windows as “microphones”, and as a result, Windows Speech Recognition may set the input level of these devices rather high.

See for what you “may” be able to do to configure the USB Audio Codec level in “Speech Recognition”. I am not convinced by this. For a physical microphone, running the Speech Recognition microphone setup does change the system input level slider for that mic, but the system slider input level of my USB turntables does not change after running them through Speech Recognition setup.

If anyone tries this and finds it makes a difference, by all means post here. It is possible it may make a difference if you do not have a system slider for the USB device (and thus the Audacity input slider does not affect the input level).

Do you have computer line-in (blue)? Recording from the RCA cables (connected to computer line-in with the turntable switch set to line) may enable you to adjust the input level more finely.


Unfortunately I do not have a line-in connection (I have a all in one computer). I will try what you suggested and post back with my results. Thanks a lot.

No luck. Still have this issue. Ugh I can’t think of anything else to fix this problem. Any other suggestions?

Is the USB TT your only turntable?

Do you have an older hi-fi analog turntable available? If so then considerer junking the USB TT and buying something like the ART USB Phono Plus - see: (note that it has a gain control :sunglasses: )

I did just this - I started out with an ION iTTUSB and relegated it to the attic - and instead gave my old Technics/SMW TT&arm a home service and pressed that into service with an ART phono preamp and an Edirol USB soundcard (the integrated ART device was not on the markey at my time of purchase. This gave MUCH better results that the ION.


Thanks alot. I will definitely look into this!

Also, make sure [u]Microphone Boost[/u] is disabled.

While there is no harm looking, I think it’s very rare that a USB converter would have a boost switch (even though Windows sees it as a “microphone”). At least, I’ve never heard of it.


If one only had the USB turntable, wouldn’t the RCA cables of the turntable be suitable for connecting to the RCA inputs of the ART (just make sure the phono/line switches on turntable and ART were set the same way)?


Yes but (and this is a big but) you will probably still end up with a poor quality USB TT with an underweight platter and low-grade arm and cartridge. Not true of all USB TTs there are a few high-end ones - but not many. The reason I got rid of my ION was not because of the electronics, which to me seemed perfectly ok, but because the light plastic platter engendered very noticeable wow&flutter on the recordings.

To get back to your original point here Gale. If one only has the USB TT and if it has RCA leads and if it is switchable between phono output and line output - then you wouldn’t need the ART - rather you could get away with just using a USB soundcard, but you would need one with a gain control on it (like my Edirol UA-1EX) to manage the signal level.