What am I doing wrong that I have to set the input volume so low

I have to set the input volume at 0.09 not to get overdriven tracks. I know I’m missing something somewhere in setting the record volumes. By the way, I’m recording on a Windows XP system using Audacity 1.3 Beta and recoring on a Pre Civil War IBM Thinkpad (Probably 20 years old. It’s all I have right now. I have the most trouble with guitar tracks. I am recording using the record out on a powered mixer. Any ideas.

You’re probably connected to a mic input instead of a line-input. The line-level output on your mixer is about 100 times stronger than a microphone signal.

Most laptops don’t have line-in (normally color-coded blue on a regular soundcard in a desktop/tower computer.)

You’ll need an audio interface with line-inputs. The [u]Behringer UCA202[/u] is popular and inexpensive. Or, there are lots of higher-end interfaces with switchable mic/line or mic/instrument inputs or there are mixers with USB outputs.

Sounds obvious to me now. Thank you ever so much.

Well I got the U-Control UCA202 and I don’t know how to hook it to my computer, into the mic input. It says in the instructions to send the signal to the computer thru the optical output. What cable do I need, I am unfamiliar with that type of connection.

Use the USB connection.

And, select the USB device as your [u]Recording Device[/u]. Assuming you’re recording in stereo, make sure to configure Windows and Audacity for 2-channel stereo.