Recording in Audacity From Satellite Receiver

Discussion in 'Mixing & Song Critique' started by psyclguy, Jan 27, 2009.

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  1. psyclguy

    psyclguy Guest

    I need some advice about the best connection to use to record audio from my satellite receiver to my PC. I'm using the Behringer UCA202 usb sound card and Audacity for recording and conversion. I've tried three different connections to the PC. I've connected the RCA line out from the sat receiver to the UCA202 but the recordings lack some volume and depth. I can correct this by using the "Amplify" effect in Audacity with somewhat good results. I've also connected using the RCA outs on my A/V receiver which I use to distribute audio from the sat receiver with about the same result. The last method I used was using the A/V receiver's headphone out jack to the UCA202. Using this connection I can adjust the volume input using the AVR and get much more volume and range. My question is if using the headphone jack is the best choice (I'm very careful with the volume level) or if the line level results in better overall recording quality.
     
  2. Kapt.Krunch

    Kapt.Krunch Well-Known Member

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    Headphone out just sends it through yet another small amplification stage, which will add noise.

    You should have no problem getting a good level from line outs from anything, unless the interface is an inferior product that wasn't designed well :shock:

    You should probably check your input levels of Audacity, and the individual channel recording levels, along with setting them up in conjuction with the level knobs on the unit...if possible. Sounds like something may be set too low.

    Kapt.Krunch
     
  3. psyclguy

    psyclguy Guest

    My problem is that by using a line in usb connection adjusting the recording levels isn't possible. Audacity engineers recognize this. But when using the headphone connection I'm able to control what is being input with the volume control on the AVR. I can get to 0 db with this method.
     
  4. Boswell

    Boswell Moderator Distinguished Member

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    The UCA202 is a simple device with no input level control. Its full-scale input is +2dBV (about 1.3V rms), which is a reasonable headroom on a nominal -10dBV. However, your receiver may not put out a full -10dBV on either its line out or the RCA outs.

    If using the headphone jack gives you enough level, I would just carry on using that and not worry about it. Given the pedigree of the UCA202, you are probably better off using the headphone amplifier in the receiver to get you a good input level than digitally scaling the 16-bit UCA202 output in Audacity.
     
  5. psyclguy

    psyclguy Guest

    What about Kapt. Krunch's statement about the headphone amp adding noise?
     
  6. Boswell

    Boswell Moderator Distinguished Member

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    That's the point - any noise added by the receiver's headphone amp is going to be more bearable than hearing the 16-bit quantization and noise floor of the UCA202 magnified up by digital scaling in Audacity.
     
  7. psyclguy

    psyclguy Guest

    OK, you're talking a little over my head regarding "quantization" and "noise floor". Pardon my stupidity but is it any better then just to bypass the audio receiver altogether and use Audacity's gain control to increase audio level?
     
  8. iamfrobs

    iamfrobs Guest

    I belive thats what Boswell meant when he said digitally scaling the input signal.

    Possibly in a more technical term.

    I'm definitely not sure though.
     
  9. Kapt.Krunch

    Kapt.Krunch Well-Known Member

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    Must be more clear. Are the "input levels" for recording into Audacity at a healthy level? What do the recording level LEDs read when you are recording? Do you have room to turn the "Gain" up? What are you referring to when you say "gain control"?

    If the input faders to record into Audacity are set too low, you'll have that problem.

    Please expound further?

    Kapt.Krunch
     
  10. Boswell

    Boswell Moderator Distinguished Member

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    No, use the headphone output wound up to a comfortable level for the UCA202 input, as you have been doing. That's the best you can do with this set of equipment. Don't use the digital scaling in Audacity except perhaps for a final touch of a few dB before you export as a .wav or .MP3
     
  11. psyclguy

    psyclguy Guest

    Thanks Boswell. That seems to result in the best quality recording. Just needed expert advice.
     

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