Windows 8.1 Desktop: Line In Too Loud

Windows 8.1
Audacity 2.0.5

I’ve my turntable running through my receiver and into my blue Line In jack in the back of my desktop computer. It’s an HP Pavilion 500-164.

Even with my Input Volume adjusted to 0, my Input Level is still a little higher than I want (roughly between -6 and -3). Seems weird that I can’t turn it down any further than that. I wouldn’t expect the Line In to have any automatic pre-amp boost.

Any ideas?

If you don’t mind some possible slight quality reduction, you could connect from headphones out of the receiver and turn the volume knob down.


That might be an acceptable workaround. But it doesn’t address the fact that the Input Volume has an unusually loud “0” level. I don’t remember it working this way on my previous desktop computer running Vista. I’m wondering if this is a hardware issue (sound card) or a software issue (OS, drivers, Audacity, etc.).

I had that problem with a computer once. It’s either the soundcard or the drivers. I bought some [u]attnuators[/u]. I think I have a pair of -3dB and a pair of -6dB attenuators.

Or you could replace your soundcard, or get an external USB interface.* The [u]Behringer UFO202[/u] has a built-in phono preamp (but it doesn’t have a recording gain control).


  • Don’t get a regular-consumer “USB soundcard”. They are only have mic-in and headphone-out. There are lots of really nice USB audio interfaces starting around $100 USD. Just make sure it has line or phono inputs (most will have switchable mic/line inputs).


Even with my Input Volume adjusted to 0, my Input Level is still a little higher than I want (roughly between -6 and -3).

If your peaks are not actually hitting 0dB you are not clipping and everything should be fine. Nothing bad happens when you get near 0dB. And of course if you are not clipping, you can simply reduce the volume after recording if that’s what you want.

We can’t see your computer but we can tell you that Audacity doesn’t apply real-time effects to recordings.

You can ensure you have the latest audio drivers for your computer model from the HP web site and then ask HP for technical support or a replacement external sound card if the computer is still under warranty.