Weird track display

Firat of all, my apologies if this is misposted…

I’ve just started ripping LPs using Audacity and a new turntable. I’m getting a weird display of the track and I can’t figure out what I’ve configured wrong. Here’s what I see:

Notice that the signal never goes above something less than 0.5, but it moves freely below -0.5.

Where do I go to start troubleshooting this? Is it my sound card? Did I set some kind of equalization or frequency clipping? I don’t see this when I record using a microphone, for example.

Thanks in advance for any hints – I know this is something stupid I’ve done.

a new turntable.

Whose make and model number is…

Something is broken. I’m not sure I could create that sort of damage is somebody told me to. I know electrically exactly what’s happening, but I can’t think of anything that can break like that without causing other serious damage.

Please tell me it’s not a USB turntable…


One more. Kind of computer?

Sorry – more details…

Audio Technica AT-PL120 with the cartridge that came with it

Connected using the included cable through a coupler I bought at Radio Shack (there’s the rub, right?) to another cable that ends in a stereo miniplug that connects into the line in connection on the back of my computer.


HP M8120N
Realtek HD audio onboard

For giggles, I connected my iPod touch to the same line input (but without the cheesy RS coupler) and got a full waveform at every level.

I’ve got Audacity set to 32 Bit float and 96000 HZ now, it was at 32 Bit float and 44100 before… No difference.

Koz – Your statement about USB made me go back to the weak link… It WAS the coupler! I had bought a Behringer phono preamp to use with an older turntable, so I swapped that in and took out the coupler. Switch the AT to phono instead of preamp and all’s well now… I appreciate the reply.

Too bad AT put such a short cable on this turntable!


Not necessarily, in fact I suspect probably not the coupler.

You also replaced the AT’s internal pre-amp with a Behringer phono preamp (a PP400?)

Right you are… I’m going to pick up a couple of new couplers today (I may actually try to find a cable that has a 1/8 mini stereo on one side and RCA jacks on the other…

Good point though. That would be disappointing (I think) if the AT preamp was the culprit – I’d have to figure out if I wanted to hassle with returning the turntable to Crutchfield or live with the Behringer preamp (yes, the PP400).

What do you recommend?

Pre-amps seem to be one of Behringers strengths (and price), so I’d not be at all surprised if you found the performance of the PP400 to be far better than it should be for the price.
Is the AT under warranty?
Can you be bothered?

Just got home with a new coupler from Radio Shack and as steve suggested, the problem appears to be the Audio-Technica turntable. I’ve written to Crutchfield for a return authorization.

I’d live with it, but it’s kind of irritating, so I’ll return it while I’m still not too far into this process – I’ve got a bunch of LPs to rip. But if the next one has the same problem… :imp:

Thanks again