Weak signal when recording on a Windows 8.1 laptop

Hi Everyone!

From having great results with Audacity on my old Windows 7 laptop, I now have a problem recording with Audacity on my new Windows 8.1 laptop. And this has been the case straight from the start. Both laptops have exactly the same Audacity settings. I checked all sound settings on the new laptop and everything is working properly and is up to date.
I just can’t find out what’s going on. Help! :open_mouth:

Both laptops are standard systems and have installed: Audacity 2.0.5 using an ‘.exe’ file.
OS laptop 1: 32-bits Windows 7 Home Premium SP1
OS laptop 2: 64-bits Windows 8.1

Test 1: recording audio playing on the laptop, using stereo mix as input device, and YouTube as audio source.
Test 2: recording from the main output of a Proel M20 mixer, using RCA cables and a Behringer UCA202 audio interface connected to the laptop via USB.

On my old Windows 7 laptop I have NO problems. Both tests give good results with output and input volume somewhere between 0,60 and 0,70 (depending on the audio source). However, on my new Windows 8.1 laptop Audacity is receiving a very weak signal in both tests. So it is recording, but to get a decent recording level I need to set both output and input volume to max. And the recordings sound nowhere near what I am used to with Audacity. Nothing specific, it’s just low quality all over.

As far as I understand it can’t have anything to do with a 64-bits system vs. a 32-bits system. But who knows?!

Thanks in advance for any input.


Windows machines have the ability to change the volume of digital connections such as USB. So it’s good to dig around in the Windows Control Panels and get those settings right before you launch and set up Audacity. My older Win7 machine had tiny sound meters in the control system to help setting level.

This is a tutorial on First Recording and it might help show you where the settings are.


Also remember some machines do Stereo Mix or Self-Recording through the speaker playback system, so you can kill a recording just by turning the speakers or headphone volume down.