Want to record an LP

I would like to record LPs into WAV files for use in converting to CD. I have looked at the tutorials and find them to be incomprehensible. The earlier versions of Audacity were simpler and I had no problem with them. My OS is Windows XP. The sound source is an ION iProfile turntable which feeds audio into the line input of a SoundBlaster audio card. So far what I’ve been able to do is see the audio wave being generated. However, the amplitude of the wave is much too high but I have no idea how to set it lower. Also, no sound at all comes from my speakers. Any help will be greatly appreciated.

There’s not actually that much difference except that the new version has additional features (that you can ignore). In fact the problem that you are asking about is more to do with Windows than about Audacity.

Excellent. You are well on the way.

For USB devices, Audacity is usually unable to control the recording input level. This was a problem with older versions and is still a problem because of how Windows handles USB audio.
The usual way to adjust the recording level for USB devices is in the Windows Sound Control Panel
Use the Audacity recording meter to watch the level while you adjust the level (See: Audacity Manual)

Again this is likely to be a Windows issue.
When a USB device is connected, Windows will usually set that device as the default device for recording AND playback (which is a bit silly for USB turntables as they only work as recording devices).
Again, in the Windows Sound Control Panel, set the default playback device to your normal sound card.

If you still have a problem after doing that with playback from Audacity, check the playback device setting in the device toolbar.

Please note that XP is obsolete and will become increasingly vulnerable to security issues because Microsoft have said they will not be fixing new vulnerabilities that appear.

Regardless, if the user is recording from the turntable into the SoundBlaster as they said, it’s the SoundBlaster input they have to control.

Select the SoundBlaster line-in in the third box of Device Toolbar .

Then does the Mixer Toolbar input slider:

not control the input level?


I wasn’t hearing the output because the Line Input of the volume control was set to MUTE! Brilliant, huh?
Another question: Every time I stop recording and then start again, Audacity creates a whole new set of stereo tracks below the previous tracks. Is this necessary, when all I’m trying to do is set the proper record level?

More modern machines usually don’t even give you the option to unmute the input in the Windows Control Panel. You have to listen to it by enabling Transport > Software Playthrough in Audacity.

As the Tutorial says ( Audacity Manual ) , you can click in the red recording meter to turn monitoring on. Then you can see the input level in the meters without recording. Play a loud part of the song and adjust the input level (and/or the output level of the turntable) so that the meters are at about -6 dB. If the red clipping lights come on, the input or output is too loud.