Why left and right channels have different volume levels?

Hi,
I’m a complete novice to Audacity and audio recording, so pardon if this question is ignorant.

I’m using Audacity to record/transfer my minidisc music to my computer. I’m using 16-bit Stereo at 44100 Hz.

Currently transferring Beatles Abbey Road, which I originally recorded onto minidisc from playing the original CD. I notice that the Right Channel peaks at around -6 DB. But the Left Channel is consistently at around -42 DB. Is this a “problem”? Should I need to do some sort of adjustment in Audacity to make both channels at about the same levels? Or is this just how the original music came in? Will my ears detect anything different if I don’t make any adjustments?

Also, another question…is there some automatic way to split the single audio track into the various tracks based on the pauses, or do I have to do this manually?

Thanks, Vlad

That’s definitely a problem and you will certainly hear it if you listen back carefully. Does it sound right when using headphones to listen to the Minidisc directly? If not, then your minidisc is messed up. If it sounds alright, then your recording setup is faulty.

You could have a bad cable between the minidisc player and the PC (try a different cable if you can, if not then come back to this one later). Or you might be using the wrong input source (it should be Line In, most likely). Or you might have something really screwy going on in your driver software (seems unlikely, but possible).

Also, there is no way to automatically split the tracks in Audacity. You need to add a label at the beginning of each new track (don’t forget the very beginning) and then edit the names of the labels and select Export Multiple. You can try to highlight the whole signal and Analyze → Silence Finder. Ideally this should add a label at every bit of silence. You’ll still have to name them, but you’ll save yourself 20 seconds as long as the values are right. I’ve never tried any of this myself though.