Question Issue with USB audio capture - driver or hardware?

Sep 15, 2019
Hi everyone,

I'm hoping to get some insight into this issue, I've searched google with no solution.

I use my laptop to record audio from tapes and vinyl on occasion, and my old laptop had a dedicated 3.5mm line in jack which worked great with Cool Edit or Audacity.
Unfortunately, that laptop bit the dust the other day, so I went an got a new one. It seems that the new trend is to have a single 3.5mm jack for headphones and a headset, but doesn't work for line in audio.

No worries, I thought. I have a USB composite video capture device. I hook that up, and it does work for audio. It installs as "USB2.0 Mic".

The problem is, it records was too loud and the recordings sound like over-driven flaming garbage. I try to adjust the mic level in Control Panel. but it does nothing. There's no microphone boost option to adjust either.

In my research, I found that it might be related to not having updated/correct drivers for Realtek HD audio. And I read that there are issues with R282 of this driver for Windows 10, so I uninstall everything related to Realtek, and install R281. I also uninstall everything related to HP audio. Now I have the Realtek HD audio manager, but it doesn't give me any options for this USB mic device.

In Audacity, there's an option for microphone recording level, but this doesn't do anything to the volume of the input either.

Is there another driver that I can use that will recognize this device better and give me more control over the volume?
It came with some weird Chinese capture software that I never used. I did try installing that driver too, but it made no difference so I removed it.
Or do I need a different piece of hardware entirely? I'm not doing professional level stuff here.

My system:
HP 15-dy0008ca with Intel I3 processor
Windows 10 home
el-cheapo UVC composite USB capture device: View: