Basic Microphone info

I use a basic tower computer with windows XP. I am recording fine, however there is a distinct hum on the recording. I am using a very cheap voice microphone ($10 type) until I learn the equipment required for a reasonable quality recording of musical instruments. Can anyone tell me if purchasing a proper mike will help me, or do I need to get more equipment? Any recommendations?

Thanks from a beginner.

The Mic-In on PC sound cards is widely considered to be pretty awful, but it’s not that awful. You may just have a poor connection. Get some Windex® and a paper towel and scrub the male plug on the microphone with a damp towel. Dry it with another. Plug and unplug it a couple of times and then do it all again.

Launch audacity and click once inside the red record meters. They will wake up and meter the sound level without you going into record. Without speaking, where are they bouncing? does it change if you gently wiggle the connection at the back of the computer? Wiggle the wire as it goes into the body of the microphone. Wires never die in the middle. Always at one of the two ends.

Then gently wave the microphone around the recording area. I have a power line that goes under my bedroom and I can’t record there.

As I lower the microphone, hmmmmmmm.


Thanks Koz. I don’t know if it made much difference, but it does give me something to try in the future if I want to improve the quality. I did learn from a search that my particular computer (HP Pavilion, a1520N) may have a very poor sound board compared to some.


<<<HP Pavilion, a1520N>>>

You know you can buy a third-party sound card and put it in. I don’t know how to deal with conflicts on a Windows machine, but we routinely do that with Linux machines to get better sound, so I know the computer will not explode if you do that.