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Where has my Recording Level Slider Gone?

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Paul Sanders (AlpineSoft):
Hi Dave,

The slider in VinylStudio 5 did nothing useful.  It merely hid the fact that the signal was being clipped before it entered the PC.  I promise you I'm not pulling the wool opver your eyes here; that's the plain and simple truth.

Unless I am missing something, the thing to do is to turn down the gain control on the ART until VinylStudio stops reporting that the signal is being clipped.  You can do this in the Check Level dialog before you start recording for real.  I don't understand why the ART does not report clipping when VinylStudio does.  A shortcoming of the unit itself possibly.

Technical info: ART's own website ( states that the unit uses a 'standard A/D interface package'.  This is probably the Texas Instruments 2904 USB chip, which (for reasons I cannot fathom) has no gain control.  You can confirm this by opening the Windows Sound Applet via VinylStudio's 'Recording Controls' button.  It wil most likely report the device as Microphone on USB Audio CODEC, which is the driver Windows uses to talk to the 2904.

----- Original Message -----
From: D Merrick
To: AlpineSoft
Sent: Saturday, March 28, 2009 3:04 AM
Subject: Gain Control gone (via webform)

Hi I know you've covered this in the forums, but I *NEED* the gain control with my ART Phono Plus V2 preamp.

The ART has a built in gain control on the box, and my clip indicators are normal.  However, now in VS6, even though the gain on the art itself shows nominal, I'm 100% clipping (Even on quiet passages) within vinyl studio.

With ver 5, I would turn down the slider and life was good.

Apparently, this preamp is actually chained preamps and the 2nd stage is wide open! (Not good)

IN VS-5, that slider worked.
Now the program is pretty useless.

Like a dummy, I didn't keep a version 5 installer, do you have somewhere I can download version 5?  Right now, I'm out of business.

-Dave Merrick

Hi Paul
I believe the clipping problem is due to a bug in VinylStudio running under Vista. Like Keter (post of 1st Feb), I found that the signal from my standard cartridge (4 mV output) into my Vista-based Sony  laptop (via NAD PP-3 and USB) was saturating. Also like him, I found I could solve this by adjusting the “microphone” volume slider to about 35% after pressing Record in VinylStudio. The recordings sounded fine. I have three reasons for thinking that the clipping is due to software (probably VinylStudio), not hardware:
1. The PP-3 should work fine with a standard cartridge, without clipping.
2. If I use exactly the same record, track, turntable, PP-3, USB cable and VinylStudio 6.1 with my other computer (a new PC running XP Pro), there is no clipping: with the “microphone” slider set to the default of 100%, the signal is only about half of that needed for saturation. So, the hardware is OK. Unfortunately for me, this computer is usually in another room, away from the turntable!
3. To test this further, I recorded the same track on my Vista laptop with the microphone slider set to 100% (top panel in the attached file) or 35% (bottom panel). First, you can see that the slider has made a difference to the recorded signal amplitude, so Keter was right. Second, the fact that clipping occurs with the slider at 100% but not at 35% shows that the clipping is not occurring in the PP-3 but happens after the slider control, i.e. either in Vista or VinylStudio. My guess would be that VinylStudio is not talking correctly to the USB drivers with Vista (though it does do this OK in XP).
I think a bug-fix is necessary (the work-around using the microphone slider is pretty tedious!)

Paul Sanders (AlpineSoft):
You know what? You could be right.  I will investigate as a matter of urgency and post my results back here.

I know for sure that there is no hardware control of the recording level - I have checked the specifications of the USB audio chip that the PP-3 uses - but it may be that Vista is boosting the recording level (in software) when the slider is set at maximum.  If so, we do have a bug and we will fix it straight away.

Thanks very much for taking the time to post.

Thanks. I hope you find something!

Paul Sanders (AlpineSoft):
We did (find something).  Microsoft changed the way things work on Vista SP1 and later.  See 'Update' at the top of this thread for more details.  I have to say I can see absolutely no point in them doing what they did.  Nobody benefits by it.

Anyway, I owe you a thousand thanks for the work you put in on this.  Without your help, things would have just rumbled on as before and users would continue to be adversely affected.  As for me, it's 50% humble pie and 50% irritation that MS make changes like this with no warning.  And a slap on the wrist for making assumptions and not testing the software properly.

Once again, apologies to all users affected by this issue, and sorry to have offered faulty advice.  We will release a software update today or tomorrow which will reinstate the slider.


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