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Is this Audacity or my microphone? [SOLVED - MIC]

Posted: April 16th, 2021, 10:15 am
by kharrelson
Hello all! I'm very much hoping that some veteran recorders can help me. I'm having an issue where whatever I record records VERY quietly, like it barely even registers as waves on Audacity! As far as I'm aware, nothing has changed with my Audacity settings and I'm afraid this means my mic might just be crapping out, but are there any Audacity settings I could double-check to see if I've possibly blundered something?

I'm not sure if this is needed, but I currently use (an admittedly cheap) USB plug-in microphone by the company Jounivo.

Edited to add: This is a brand new problem as of today. I've been recording without issue since January... well, at least without this issue! I have noticed some small technical blips here and there with this microphone, but nothing like this!

Re: Is this Audacity or my microphone?

Posted: April 16th, 2021, 11:57 am
by Peter Why
You might try some other recorder. In Windows 10, you can search for "voice recorder". You should be able to tell whether it, too, is recording too quietly.

In Audacity, View/Toolbars and show the Mixer Toolbar. Make sure your microphone and playback sliders are set to their maximum.
Peter

Re: Is this Audacity or my microphone?

Posted: April 16th, 2021, 12:31 pm
by Penumbra
I can think of several audacity settings that can cause this.

1) Are you using the mic you think you are? On the device toolbar you can pick the microphone to use. If your computer defaults to a different mic then you might be a lot further away from it than you think.

2) On the mixer toolbar, is the recording slider set too far to the left? This controls the level of the selected microphone. Sliding it to the left makes the mic input quieter.

3) On the mixer toolbar, is the playback slider moved to the left? This controls the loudness of the playback.

4) On the track control panel, is the gain slider moved to the left? This also controls the level of the playback.

If the waveform looks like always but the playback is very soft, then 3 or 4 is likely the problem. If the waveform has a lot less amplitude than it used to have, then the problem is likely to be 1 or 2 (or a mic problem, or something else).

If you aren't sure which toolbars are which, you can look in the audacity manual here.

Re: Is this Audacity or my microphone?

Posted: April 18th, 2021, 3:42 pm
by kharrelson
Thank you for the replies everyone! I did what troubleshooting steps were suggested and also tried a different program, but alas my poor Jounivo appears to have bitten the dust. Honestly I found its performance a bit lacking anyway so I looked at it as an opportunity to improve my gear and upgraded a bit. Thank you so much for trying to help. :)

Re: Is this Audacity or my microphone?

Posted: April 19th, 2021, 2:54 am
by lurcherlover
kharrelson wrote:
April 18th, 2021, 3:42 pm
Thank you for the replies everyone! I did what troubleshooting steps were suggested and also tried a different program, but alas my poor Jounivo appears to have bitten the dust. Honestly I found its performance a bit lacking anyway so I looked at it as an opportunity to improve my gear and upgraded a bit. Thank you so much for trying to help. :)
If you need a new mic there have been plenty of suggestions in several posts. You also could have a look at a mic shootout on here from a few years ago. I will try and find the link.

Here it is - https://librivox.org/microphone-showdown-3-by-various/

Peter