Vinyl Record level excessive

Hi - I have a SONY turntable (with EQ switch) and normal RCA audio outputs and am trying to record to a Dell Inspiron 9100 which has no Line In ports so I am inputting through the Stereo Microphone jack. The record level needs to be cut by at least 2 times even with the Record level set to the lowest i.e 0.1. Can I resolve this by inserting maybe a ganged variable resistor in the audio lines? Any thoughts about the resistance of the variable control?
Thanks - Ian

I’ve got a Dell inspiron 1525: on my Dell the mic input can be converted to line-in under software control …

A potential divider, (e.g. using a variable resistor), could be used to attenuate the signal, but I suspect there would be problems because of lack of impedance matching.

An audacityteam recommended solution is an external sound card which has line-in capability, (e.g. Behringer UCA 202 ) …


Some Macs and notebook/laptop computers do not have a line-in port. In that case check if your microphone port can be toggled to line-in with a switch, or by changing the recording source in the software. On some laptops this line-level source is called “mix” or “stereo mix”, in which case you could select this source in the system sound preferences (or on Windows and Linux, in Audacity as described above). If you see a line-in option available, always choose that as your recording source. If you have neither a line-in port nor any way to switch the microphone port to line-in, you need to add a line-in by adding a USB soundcard, or other suitable audio input/output device that connects to the computer via USB. Examples of recommendable input/output devices are the Griffin iMic which has a standard 1/8 inch input (Note: it is not compatible with Windows Vista according to Griffin) and the Behringer UCA 202 which has left and right RCA inputs.

For the record, I have now clarified that the microphone input for my DELL INSPIRON 9100 is only mono so I have to arrange an alternative input method (eg a turntable with a USB output or perhaps a Kaiser Baas Music Maker - not yet researched re usability with Audacity). Re the output level of the turntable (a SONY PS-LX250H) it has a switch which the manual advises to be ON if you need Equalisation performed by the turntable but this I think is both a preamp and EQ device because the output level is about 10 db lower with EQ OFF and OK then for Audacity and then data stream can then be manipulated by the software eg amplification and equalisation. I think my next step will have to be to change my turntable to one with a USB output hoping that I can be sure that the output level is both high enough and not too high.

If your existing turntable is fully functional then it would be cheaper connecting it to the suggested Behringer UCA 202* device, which has line-in, than buying a USB turntable.

[* other analog-to-digital converters with line-in are available].