[LAU] Low recording volume in Pulseaudio

Antony Gelberg antony.gelberg at gmail.com
Fri Mar 19 21:56:58 CET 2021

Hi all,

For the purposes of this discussion, I am playing guitar through an Axe-Fx
II into a Behringer UMC1820 USB rack soundcard. OS is Xubuntu Focal 20.04.

This works fine for general jamming, I can play a backing track from the
computer and use the hardware monitoring to mix in the Axe-Fx as necessary.
But when I want to record, the levels are low. I record using my Android
phone, and activate Audacity to record the guitar tracks from the Axe-Fx.
But the levels are so low, the waveform is tiny. I can apply a plugin to
increase the volume, but you can imagine the quality.

I see the same thing in the Pulseaudio Volume Control Input Devices tab, so
it's not an Audacity issue. With jackd active, the input levels are fine, I
can see them in Ardour. But I don't want to have to activate jack for more
simple stuff like this, it's a pain.

For what it's worth, the output level of the Axe-Fx is around 75%, and the
input gain knobs on the soundcard at about 25%. Any higher and the clip
lights come on when I play hard.

Any clues on how to debug / fix this? I'm suspecting a driver issue,
because there simply aren't that many moving parts.

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