Low Recorded Volume

Hi all and apologies in advance.

Any audio I record sounds very low on playback, regardless of input source (Passive mike, active mike with PP, guitar etc) despite sounding fine during monitoring.

Flows something like this…
Cubase Pro 8.5
Recording into Tascam US - 4x4 (gain just below peak, PP selected where needed, line type selected correctly)

Input levels set just below peak in Cubase

Monitored sound is fine through speakers and phones and can record fine against previously laid tracks.

(For what it’s worth waveform on track can vary in size regardless)

Go to playback to listen to new audio track and it’s very quiet. Particularly noticeable on vocals. Normalise will help but I’m having to Normalise everything and don’t want to.

Tried a scurry through forums etc but to no avail.
Any other suggestions gratefully received, probably something obvious :slight_smile:


If the waveform seems to be OK (visually), and you use the same signal path for the recording and for the playback (it means, you are not using Direct Monitoring), then the level of the Monitor while Record and the Playback level must be the same.

What do you compare with?

Thanks for the reply. I am using direct monitoring, tend to record dry…hence the monitor mix sounds fine, as do the input meters when recording. The waveforms vary in “thickness” but are also low sounding (guitar/bass are slightly better than vocals and other miked elements). I guess I’m comparing to those line instruments and the level of any VST instruments used. It does feel like there is a stage I’m missing to up the actual recorded level as you say.


If you start to mix it, you should use Comoressor (and set it properly) and EQ. By proper using of these two effects, you can increase the Volume.

Thanks Martin, good advice…have had some success with mixing and EQ etc but my test subjects often say the vocals sound weak. Got some books on the subject recently too so hoping to do some swotting up on holiday. I guess I’m chasing the strongest possible base signal to keep the widest choice in the mix stage.

It won’t affect your choice in the mixing stage…turning it up with clip gain or mixer input trim is still possible and the result is no different.
A strong vocal just needs a strong performance, an ok capture (mic and room acoustics) and a little experience of mixing.

Oh…and vst instruments are pretty much without exception set way too loud…as soon as you combine a few you’ll be clipping your stereo out.