Insufficient Volume,Recording / Output Level with Behringer UCA202

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Member Since: Dec 30, 2007

Well, I've been trying to get this silly unit working for the best part of a year and I *still* can't get the dashed thing to provide any significant output level when recording an input. Discussion forums across the net all describe the same problem with no effective resolution clearly described.. as well as no definitive response coming from Behringer.

I've tried it on a laptop and a number of PCs, all running Windows XP (and various distributions of Linux). Through "Control Panel" -> Sounds applet -> Audio tab... I select the "internal" sound card for Playback (AC97 something on the laptop, SoundBlaster Live! on the PCs) and the "USB Audio CODEC" for Recording. As previously described in other posts, there is no control available for anything on the Recording device.

I can use the "USB Audio CODEC" in Audacity (in both Windows XP and Linux), Cakewalk and even the normal Windows Sound Recorder... I can barely hear the input but it IS there. I'm trying to record from a Stratocaster guitar (low output pickups) or a turntable.

I've tried using the ( driver from the Behringer web site and the ASIO4ALL driver as well and they offer no improvements over the standard Windows XP USB Audio drivers.

Of note... I've read in a few places that people have had to use some sort of pre-amp when using the interface, particularly when trying to record from a turntable. In these cases, volume control was only provided by the pre-amp and they still had the problem that there was no volume/level control within Windows or their application. It almost seems as if the UCA202 is just a "pass-thru" device that does nothing but convert the analog data into a digital stream... but in the process, makes a mess of the Windows dirvers and disables any control(!)

For those people who HAVE managed to get this interface working as expected (namely ecc83 and spanishmartin, at least), would you *please* explain what your application is AND what you did differently to what I described above to get the interface working and/or providing some sort of volume control within Windows XP.


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Prince CZAR-ming
Since: Apr 08, 2004

Dec 30, 2007 10:11 pm

You will need a preamp. Hence the name.

A preamp will boost MIC level signal up to LINE level signal.

This boost is necessary. Passive guitars will send out a little higher level than a microphone, but not much. Certainly not LINE level. Active pickups may be closer to LINE level.

Yes, output signal level can be controlled by a preamp, both on input (gain, or trim) and output. This will be the area that you want to control the volume of the signal coming into the UCA.

And yes, the UCA is only acting as a converter: converting from analog (sine wave) over to digital (bits and bytes).

After the signal is recorded at a decent level, then your software can control it's volume compared to other tracks.

Czar of Midi
Since: Apr 04, 2002

Dec 30, 2007 10:17 pm

Sadly that is the story with this unit all over the place. It is as you stated simply a converter. And yes, a pre amp of some sort is needed to do anything. A guitar going in will not have much if any signal at all. A mic of course will need a pre amp to be certain, that is with any converter not just the 202. And a turntable will need a special pre amp made specifically for a turntable.

The only control you will have of the output will be that which is part of any play back source you use. Whether it be Windows Media Player or your recording application.

The low level you are getting is caused strictly by not getting a hot enough signal into the device which is due to not using any pre amp.

I know its not exactly the solution you wanted to hear but it is the only real one out there.

And lastly, the device should give you playback outputs as well as input. If you can it is preferred to use those instead of the built in sound cards and the like. But you can use them if there is no alternative.

Since: Dec 30, 2007

Dec 30, 2007 10:56 pm

Many thanks for the speedy responses...

> The low level you are getting is caused strictly by not
> getting a hot enough signal into the device which is
> due to not using any pre amp.

Ahh, well it seems it's pretty-much definitive then. For this unit, a pre-amp IS required.

Tha's Ok for the guitar, as I've already been 'making-do' with using my V-Amp 2 as a pre-amp... so it seems that's required.

As for the turntable, what can I arrange for a pre-amp? Being 'kind-of' ignorant of mixers, DI boxes, etc I'm not sure what I need to look at to get the output level higher without degrading the S/N ratio.. and to do it 'on the cheap' :)

Any suggestions in that regard? Maybe it would be better to buy a different Audio I/F that had some control over the signal AND that included sensible drivers for Windows? ...but I'm pretty constrained by budget here. As it was, the UCA202 cost ~AUD100 at the start of this year, which was pretty hefty for my budget at the time.

Anyway, I'd appreciate any further thoughts.


Prince CZAR-ming
Since: Apr 08, 2004

Dec 31, 2007 07:52 am

Yeah, the vamp can boost the signal up enough to get line level (sort of).

Mic preamps can be found in tape recorders, if the plugins fit. I've heard of a few people using old tubey tape recorders and quite liking the 'tube' effect on the signal.

As far as phono, preamps for these are different than for mic or guitar:

There's one, for example, though I'm thinking ZZ doesn't ship to OZ =).

There are some preamps that will have mic preamp, and phono preamp in the same unit. Though I can't seem to find one at the moment.

Czar of Midi
Since: Apr 04, 2002

Dec 31, 2007 07:02 pm

Ya, if you have a local record shop as in vinyl then they can probably hook you up with someone who has a pre amp for the phono. Otherwise try a local audio place, hopefully one of them will have that. But pjk has the right idea. I have a couple of DJ mixers I use for phono pre amp and they work just dandy for about the same price as a good phono pre.

Since: Dec 30, 2007

Dec 31, 2007 10:24 pm

Hmm... Ok, Fanx! Seems a pre-amp would be a handy gadget to have in the armoury anyway.

My first attempt at searching for a pre-amp came up with this joke:

Probably more audiophile than me!

...but maybe one of these will do:


Although, I'm a bit wary of Behringer again, given the past experience (although, the V-Amp 2 has been working fine).

Heh.. Maybe I should just do what you said and talk to someone in a shop :)

Fanx! again for the help.

Czar of Midi
Since: Apr 04, 2002

Jan 01, 2008 08:18 pm

Ya, the little cheaper bugger might do nicely. But if you have a shop near by that might work out well as you can see and hear what you are getting. Like I said above, I use a couple of nice DJ mixers for their pre amps for my turntable, and even the low budget jobs will get the job done nicely.

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