Waveform and input levels low from ProFx16v3

I have a Mackie ProFx16v3 connected to Audacity via USB on a Windows 11 Laptop

When I record anything through the mixer to Audacity the levels are extremely low and Waveforms are barely visible, closer to a straight line. If I use the basic laptop microphone the levels are great.

The problem seems to be the USB driver supplied by Mackie (ProFx16v3 company)

I have tried all settings on my mixer and Audacity but nothing seems to correct the problem.

First, make sure Windows “enhancements” are turned OFF. That can do lots of “bad things” to the digital audio before it hits Audacity.

But, I’m thinking it might be normal - I found the manual online and it says the USB output is pre-main fader, and I’m not sure if there is another adjustment other than the individual channel faders. The analog-to-digital converter is obviously built-into the mixer and ADCs are hard limited to 0dB. The last thing you want is to clip (distort) the ADC so you need enough headroom for all 16-channels to be at high-level at the same time. If you aren’t using all 16-channels, the mixed signal may be weak.

Low digital levels aren’t necessarily a sound-quality-problem, especially at 24-bits. Pros typically record at -12 to -18dB.

It might be using your standard Microsoft-supplied drivers that come with Windows. I saw something about ASIO drivers, and I don’t know if Mackie also supplies regular Windows drivers. Audacity doesn’t support ASIO so it will just ignore any ASIO drivers.

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