Vinyl with Behringer U-Control UCA202

Hi, I’m completely new to this. I have a MacBook Pro (mid 2010) running Mac OS X 10.11.2 (El Capitan) and I purchased a Behringer U-Control UCA202 with the intention of ripping some vinyl to FLAC. So, I’ve taken the RCA leads from my phono amp out of the back of my integrated amp and plugged them in to the inputs of the UCA202. I’ve connected the UCA202 to the Mac by USB and I have then launched Audacity. Within Audacity I have selected USB Codec as the recording input, but I can’t adjust the recording level. The Audacity Help says I have to do this within the Mac’s Audio Midi Setup, but here the volume sliders are greyed out and I can’t make changes. I’d be grateful for assistance since I’m obviously doing something wrong.


If I understand correctly, you have hooked up your turntable directly to the UCA202?

First off, the UCA 202 has no gain settings. It’s a simple line level interface and there is no gain to set.

The turntable needs a phono preamp in between. The TT’s output is only 2-4 mV. The Berhinger’s input is line level, say 150 mV.

There is however, a Behringer U-Phono Ufo202, that has a built-in phono correction. Or you can add a phono amp, such as this one:

If your existing amplifier has a tape connection, you could use the tape-out to connect to the UCA202 too.

Thanks for your reply, but, no, you haven’t quite understood correctly. I have a Graham Slee Reflex M phono preamp and it is this that is plugged into the UCA202.

Generally, Mac’s do not permit volume adjustment of USB audio devices. The Audacity Manual will make this clear on the Mixer Toolbar page in the release after next.


Your expensive Graham Slee Reflex M phono preamp appears to have no gain control (fixed gain of 41.5dB), the UCA202 has no gain control either and as Gale points out “Mac’s do not permit volume adjustment of USB audio devices” - all of which means thar is nowher in your signal chain where you have any control over levels.

You might want to consider getting something like the ARTcessories USB Phono Plus:
This is a combined pre-amp and USB souncard. Most importantly you will note that it has a gain control and a clipping indicator.

When I converted my vinyls I used the ARTcessories pre-amp (DJ Pre-11) connected a an Edriol UA-1EX soundcard (now discontinued) both of which had gain controls to manage the signal. This combination produced excellent results.

Your other alternative is to feed the output of the Graham Slee Reflex M phono preamp to a high-quality amp that does have a gain control and then feed the output of that to the UCA202 - but the downside of that is that increasing the number of components and connections in your audio chain is likely to worsen your signal-to-noise ratio.
Most modern stand-alone phono pre-amps are mainly designed to provide a constant line-level signal (with RIAA equalization applied) for feeding to a moderm amplifier (most of which these days lack the traditional phono inputs) and thence on to loudspeakers. This is why most of them lack gain controls (plus the fact that the gain control itself can add unwanted “noise”).


Thank you. Presumably I could connect from the tape output of my integrated amplifier to the UCA202? I assume the output level is controlled by the amp’s volume control, but having never used it I’m not sure.

Some Tape-Out connections don’t adjust, but that’s what I would try. I tried that with my sister’s entertainment amplifier and the connections turned out to be a special purpose, odd volume level service designed to plug into their own proprietary system. Gotta love the stereo makers.

In general, as long as the sound doesn’t overload, you can use it and adjust levels later. Nobody can hit perfect volume all the time because records aren’t consistent. I finally gave up, set the volume slightly low and did all the corrections in post production.

You can’t go crazy. If you record so low you have no blue waves, that’s not good, either.


Tape output is almost always pre-volume, not regulated. But you can check if the level is better for the UCA202. It doesn’t need to be perfect, as you can always amplify in Audacity.

Yes, I thought that might be the case after I posted. The amp also has a couple of pre outs, which I guess would be post- volume and therefore OK.

eyepee you may be in luck …

I’ve just had a nice chat with a Mr John Cadman from the company that makes your Graham Slee preamp. He told me that they are about to launch the Accession range which is basically your pre-amp but with a gain control added.

He said that depending on where and from whom you bought it he might be able to arrange a swap fo you. He suggested that you give him a call on 01909 568 739 (or from outside the UK +44 1909 568 739)


WC, thanks so much for your interest. I know John and Graham and of the Accession, which is quite a bit more than the Reflex + gain control. It’s based on some new patent pending technology that Graham has invented. At list price the Accession is £105 more than the Reflex and I can’t really justify that at present, unfortunately.


That Accession looks a nice piece of kit Ifor, thanks for the link, most interesting.

A question for you are you also going to be using you pream and TT as an ongoing feed into a hi-fi rig or are you planning just to use it for transcribing vinyl to computer (just curious)?



Sorry for the very late reply. The turntables and phono preamp are here to stay. The vinyl ripping is solely for listening in the car.

In which case you might want to look at dynamic range compression with Chris’s Compressor:

Chris (now sadly deceased) wrote thsis so he could listen to opera in his car without having to twiddle the volume control all the time to deal with dynamic range changes in an in-car environment.


:smiley: :sunglasses:

Well, when I say solely in the car I’m not being 100% truthful. I will stream around the house when I’m feeling lazy. I think I’ll avoid compression.

Well me too - never touch the stuff.

I always think that the recording engineers have normally done a grand job - and I like dynamic range :nerd: