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Recording too loud or too soft

Permanent link to this postPosted: Sun Mar 21, 2010 9:37 pm
Posted by byteratt
I hope someone can help with this. I'm new to Audacity but I've read the FAQs and instructions and can't find my particular problem. I want to record vinyl LPs and cassettes, but when I monitor the input from my phono player, it's way too loud even when I have the input setting all the way down (both in Audacity and in my audio software), and when I monitor the input from my cassette player, it's way too soft even when the monitor is all the way to max. Both phono and tape deck are connected to the same receiver, and the input is the line-in on the computer (I have input as line-in in Audacity as well). I'm using WinXP and my audio is the Sigmatel on-board audio card. Anybody know what might be wrong? I've gone through the Audacity controls and can't find a solution.

Re: Recording too loud or too soft

Permanent link to this postPosted: Sun Mar 21, 2010 11:15 pm
Posted by steve
Check that you are using a "Line In" socket and not a "Mic In" socket on your sound card.
Also check in the Sigmatel software - there may be an option for "+20dB" (may be called "boost" or "mic boost"). This needs to be off.

Re: Recording too loud or too soft

Permanent link to this postPosted: Mon Mar 22, 2010 1:35 am
Posted by byteratt
I double-checked and it is the line-in that I'm using, and there was a +20 boost setting but it's off.

Re: Recording too loud or too soft

Permanent link to this postPosted: Mon Mar 22, 2010 2:03 pm
Posted by whomper
byteratt wrote:I ...Both phono and tape deck are connected to the same receiver, a...I've gone through the Audacity controls and can't find a solution.


can't you adjust the volume at the receiver ?

sounds like your devices go into the receiver and the receiver line out goes to the pc line in. if not , give a better description of how everything is connected.

Re: Recording too loud or too soft

Permanent link to this postPosted: Thu Mar 25, 2010 4:15 pm
Posted by byteratt
Yes, my devices go into the receiver, the receiver out line goes into the PC line-in jack. I can adjust the volume on the receiver, but it doesn't affect the volume of the source that Audacity is detecting. That stays the same, unless I adjust some properties in the software I guess. But it seems I have everything turned up to max, and the tape deck sound is still too low. With the phono, I have to turn all software down to the minimum levels, and it's still too high.

I had the exact same equipment set up a few years ago with the phono, and I don't remember having this problem. Maybe it's the new beta version of Audacity?

Re: Recording too loud or too soft

Permanent link to this postPosted: Thu Mar 25, 2010 7:52 pm
Posted by whomper
strange. sounds like the preamp for phono is not doing anything. line out should be same level for line out for both devices.
if the receiver does not adjust line out level then do you have a headphone out ? that will be adjusted, guaranteed. you would need a special cable to go from headphone plug to rca (or mini plug ) or whatever your line in at the pc wants. conventional wisdom says it is not as good as line out but it will be hard to tell the difference when you record it. audacity cannot know what is on the other end coming into the line input. the signal is different. you need to find out why your equipment is doing that.

Re: Recording too loud or too soft

Permanent link to this postPosted: Fri Mar 26, 2010 12:27 am
Posted by byteratt
ok thanks I'll try the headphone out line and see what happens.

Re: Recording too loud or too soft

Permanent link to this postPosted: Fri Apr 02, 2010 6:53 pm
Posted by byteratt
plugging the cable from the headphone jack on the receiver to the line-in on the computer worked great! I recorded all my cassette music into electronic files, and was able to adjust the volume. thanks for all the help.