why so Quiet?


New member
While mixing down to my stereo casette deck I make sure that my recording levels are peaking at about 3db. When I play the tape back however I have to turn the volume knob up an unusual amount to get a good listening volume. What am I doing wrong?

Thanks for any help.

Do you mean an unusual amount compared to the recording setting, or an unusual amount compared to commercial tapes? Some decks have a single "volume control" which controls both recording level and output, and the setting are radically different for the two modes.
I assume that you have cleaned and de-magnetized your heads! If not do so often! Next try a different brand of Hi-bais
tape. Some times a better grade of tape will match your machine.

To be sure that it's really a problem do this:

Record a steady testtone (Like a single key on an organ or some other sustained sound). Record this at 0VU. then play back the tape. is it at 0VU? less more?

Try a different tape...what are the results?

You may have to hit the tape at +10 to get it to play back at 0VU. Is it distorted ?

Get a new tape deck, unless this is a very good one. (over $500.00). It would not be worth it to have it serviced, when you can buy a pretty good one for $200 to $300.

By the way some people prefer minidisc over cassettes. They are inexpensive, more reliable and you can edit your master
after the fact.

Dom Franco
Study the "signal paths" of your machine. Play the game of "follow the signal"

there are many volume controls involved aren't there? The volume control on the deck itself for headphones, which may also be connected to the volume control for the decks line outs, and the volume control of the amplifier your deck is connected to.