Line level recording


New member
I want to record LP to WAV using Sound Forge.
(i.e. I just want a faithful copy.)
What input level should I use for max signal
w/o clipping? Should I use the normalize feature? Or is that something I'd use when burning CDs with tracks taken from multiple sources? Any tips appreciated, I'm new to this.
What input level do you use? You answered your own question, set the level based on where you think the peaks will be, but give yourself a lot more headroom than if you were recording to tape. You never want to go "over" 0 dB when recording digital, and in fact try to get your peaks to around -8 dB. Then after you've recorded everything, run your normalizing, and magically everything will be pretty much perfect (but don't miss our normalizing page at
Heartiest of thanks to all. This leaves me quite where I was before my post. Because:
1) Dragon, a little experimenting seems to bear out what you say--according to my ear.
2) Dr.D, what you aver is according to my experience in analog and with line level recording-all the hardware input level controls should be 100%. But software recording level controls seem to be different from the hardware rec. level control. Wonder why?
3) drstawl, loved the pun.
Really all, at least now I feel qualified to experiment. Thanks!


[This message has been edited by Clem (edited 09-03-1999).]

The literature I have come across suggests recording as hot as possible (without clipping obviously). The authors say that the input record level affects the amount of data stored at each sample point along the wave. The more data collected, the more precise the sound reconstruction. Its more of a precision issue than a volume issue. Especially for those of us with more than one A/D - D/A conversion in the pathway (losses at dithering).

I'm no computer engineer,so I can only repeat what I have read. Anyone else run across this argument, or is it too trivial to be worth worrying about?

Personally, I strive for -3dB. But considering that the source is LP leaves a wide range of possibilities as to the level of fidelity required. I have some LPs in my collection that might benefit from a dithering loss, :)
and some DG platters that I'd want recorded as hot as possible. In the latter case pay careful attention to the table/arm and cartridge used and the cartridge alignment. But next to that balancing act, digital recording is a cakewalk. (sorry)
Aha! When I recorded at -6 db(yeah I RTFM), the fidelity is excellent--no distortion, either. Normalizing, it seems, used values set according to the peaks--12 or 14 of which turned out to be pops from the vinyl.
I removed those, re-normalized, and voila!
Ready for the burn.