Volume too low in Audacity

I’m using a Scarlett 2i2 with a Blue Bluebird mic. I’ve been using Audacity for years without issue. The other day I downloaded the ASIO 4.36.5 drivers for the Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 so it would work with Studio One, which fixed the issue I was having there but now when I record in Audacity the sound comes in way too low. I didn’t mess with the gain on my Scarlett and it’s almost all the way up anyways. The sound is find recording into Studio One. I also tried with a USB mic so the Scarlett wasn’t involved and that volume was even lower. I have the mic turned all the way up in Audacity. I’m including a photo of what it looks like when I record in Audacity now, you can see that the levels aren’t at all high enough on the .wav. Anyone have any ideas? This happens in Audacity 2.2.2 and 2.0.6. Thank you!
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Audacity doesn’t easily accept ASIO software, so whatever you did went right by Audacity. But that’s not to say nothing happened.

If you regularly record a 2i2 in mono, the latest change may force a 6dB reduction in volume. It’s one of the shortcomings of using a stereo interface (2i2) to record mono or a single microphone.

Does the volume come back if you record in stereo with the right-hand track flat or unused?

Also, since Audacity gets its sound from Windows, not the device, open the Windows sound control panels and make sure they’re set OK. Right-click the little speaker > Recording Devices.

Some Windows systems offer a Microphone Boost for just the problems you’re having. If you need that, make sure it’s selected.


Yeah… -6dB (half amplitude) is normal in mono unless you plug-in a 2nd microphone. That’s probably not the case with Studio One since that’s a multi-tracking application and it’s probably designed to record multiple mono-tracks. If the difference is greater than 6dB I don’t have an explanation.

That shouldn’t happen with a USB mic since it’s mono and you don’t have to leave headroom for a 2nd input. But low levels can be normal with USB mics. If the USB mic doesn’t have an analog gain control they are usually “permanently turned down” to prevent clipping the built-in analog-to-digital converter. And, I’d expect the same signal level with Windows driver and with ASIO.

Low levels don’t really present a quality problem, especially if you’re recording at 24-bits. You boost the levels after recording which can be inconvenient, but presumably you’re leaving a little headroom so you’re probably going to boost the levels (to some extent) in post-production anyway.