Blue Yeti only makes feedback noise when recording?

So I just bought my blue yeti, and was really excited to use it. I plugged it in and pluuged my headphones in to it to hear myself and it sounds crystal clear. However, when I open audacity and press record, I get this weird feedback noise…I’ve attached it below. This only occurs when recording, but if I open reaper, when I arm the track I hear it. When I open sound recorder, I hear it.

What is going on? I don’t want to use noise removal because it makes the voice sound bad. I’ve tried on multiple computers, in multiple rooms, multiple USB ports, I even attempted using a powered hub. Could it be the microphone itself?

If you really love to record internet sound, no doubt you’re used to using Stereo-Mix or one of those services. Stereo Mix is also known as “Everything Playing On The Computer.” So when Audacity goes into record, it picks up everything active on the machine and sends the mixed signal back to the microphone/headphone connection which is what Overdubbing does. So no, I’m not shocked that you have completely scrambled sound.

However, I’m not a Windows elf, so all I can do is guess at the solution. In all cases you have to select devices and services that you can touch and feel. In Audacity, select your microphone specifically in the device toolbar. Stereo Mix is a program, not a device. You can’t touch it.

If you intend to play older tracks into your headphones while you sing a new one, then you need the complete overdubbing tutorial.

One of the steps in this tutorial is set up to make a simple recording. If you can’t do that, then all the later steps will just drill you a hole deeper and deeper. It appears that the Yeti is one of the microphones that can do a good job of perfect overdubbing — once you set it up.


When I did the tests, I did them with a Samson G-Track microphone.

It’s a good bet it has a lot of the same setup instructions as yours.


That noise is “normal” with USB devices. You have not recorded loud enough to mask the noise. Your words should be up to +/- about 0.5 on the blue waves. Do you have the mic slider turned up in Audacity?


I actually do have the Blue yeti set as my recording setting, not stereo mix! I don’t intend to do singing on it, I’m using it for video voiceover.

Is this really normal? It’s pretty loud during silence, and you can even hear it when I’m speaking. I also do have my settings in Audacity turned all the way up, with the gain all the way down on the mic.

You have said nothing about your version of Windows or your computer.

Yes it’s pretty “normal”. If you have a laptop, the USB interrupts are often shared so you get the noise from the USB modem, USB mouse and other peripherals.

The recording is not loud enough. You are not recording far enough above the “noise floor”. Are you close enough to the mic? Even in your test, the noise is not severe. You can reduce the noise below -60 dB in Noise Reduction without creating artifacts in your words.


The gain should be turned up to a reasonable level on the mic, and then adjust the recording level on your computer to suit.

If your mic has a “clip light” on it, turn up the mic gain until you can just make the clip light flicker on when you speak at the maximum volume that you will be recording (or just a bit louder than that), then turn down the mic gain a smidgen so that the clip light does not come on.

Ahh, sorry about that! I’m running Windows 7 home premium 64-bit on my desktop. I attempted on my Windows 8.1 Laptop too, and got the same noise. I thought I was pretty close to the mic, but I may be wrong. What level ideally should my microphone be in recording settings? I honestly didn’t think it did anything because it didn’t sound any different in my headphones that were plugged in to the mic (Which obviously makes sense looking back on it, it’s picking up what the mic is reading at a base level, the gain is what affects that).

I hate to be a burden, but could someone explain to me how to use the noise reduction feature in audacity? I get my noise profile, but don’t mess around with the settings because to be honest I don’t know much of them :frowning:. As such, the noise is gone, until I speak, and then you can hear it moreso because it goes from not being there to being in the background of my voice.

whenever I watch videos of someone using the microphone though, I cannot hear any sort of feedback like this, even when it’s obvious that their setup is similar! It’s just weird because my very cheap ($40) headset has no feedback like this at all, but sounds pretty darn clearn. it just seems weird that a $180 microphone would.

Should the gain be at around say, 9’o clock on the microphone?

Try about 10 to 15 cm from mouth to mic.

The “right” level :wink:
It depends entirely on how loud you talk. If you have a quiet voice the mic will need to be turned up pretty high. If you bellow like a fog horn then it will need to be set much lower.

Unfortunately the Yeti does not appear to have a “clip light”, so, assuming that you have a “medium volume” voice, try setting it to about 3/4 gain, then adjust the recording level on your computer so that Audacity registers about -6 dB (half track height waveform) and make a test recording. Post a short section of the test recording in WAV format in your reply (see here for instructions:

Remember to project your voice. Talk as if you are talking to a person, not as if you are talking to a microphone.

I will give it a try when I get home! What do you mean registers about “-6dB”? half track height waveform? I’m not too familiar with it all to be honest, with my older microphone all I really did was change the recording level and hit record :smiley:

Should the recording level always be at 1.00 on audacity, and I just change the gain on the microphone and in windows settings?

As the recording meter dances around, it should ideally be reaching a maximum of around -6 on the recording meter like this:
(you may need to scroll this image to see the right hand end of the picture)

Note that I have dragged the recording meter very wide so that I can accurately see the recording level.

Like this:

That can vary from one machine to another. On some machines the Audacity slider is tied to the Windows setting - in this case you can use either. On other machines the slider in Audacity is unavailable so you have to use the Windows setting in that case. I don’t use Windows so I’m not sure which is most likely, but when I used to use Windows I would generally ignore the Audacity slider and just use the Windows settings.

Are you using the latest Audacity 2.1.0? See the pink panel at the top of the page.

You can get 2.1.0 here Audacity ® | Download for Windows. You can read how to use Noise Reduction in 2.1.0 here Noise Reduction - Audacity Manual. Noise Reduction has changed (improved somewhat) in 2.1.0. From your description, it sounds as if you might be using Noise Removal in an older Audacity version.

If you get the blue waves up to about +/- 0.5 on the waves (which is the same as -6 dB on the meters) then noise will not be such a problem.

Setting the gain on the mic too high can bring up noise too or exaggerate your voice, so you should experiment with closeness to the mic and the mic gain to achieve what sounds right to you, using the Audacity recording slider or Windows recording slider to constrain the achieved level to about +/- 0.5 (-6 dB).


And no, that’s not “feedback.” That’s just noise that’s not supposed to be there. Classic feedback is when the rock band at the local pub gets their sound adjustments off and it starts screaming at full volume …eeeeeEEEEEEEEEE!

It used to be that a USB microphone was automatically the best choice for cheap, clean microphone sound. It’s becoming less and less the case. The sound is rough to get rid of, too. It whines in that sweet spot that baby’s like to hit on jets.


Nobody will come after you with a gun if you don’t hit -6 on the sound meters. That was chosen as the sweet spot to allow you some upward loudness variation for expressive presentations (never get so loud that the meter maxes out), and loud enough to cover up whatever noises the microphone is making. That whine isn’t the only noise that microphones make. It’s just, in my opinion, the worse one. Ice picks in the ear.


Note that “restoration” tools like Noise Reduction are not designed to make silk purses out of sow’s ears. They are intended for polishing a good recording, not for polishing dung. The task in hand is to get the raw, unprocessed recording as good as possible - once you have that you may not even need Noise Reduction, or if you do, only just as a touch of polish.

raw, unprocessed recording as good as possible

We’re working with another poster who is experimenting with different microphones and configurations. He hit one combination that only takes gentle volume boost to make it fully ACX AudioBook and Broadcast compliant.

“OK, stop. Let’s use that one…”

polishing dung

I think I know what next April First product is going to be.


Thanks for the help guys! I will record some stuff tonight, and link a good recording when I’m done!

Already on the market Koz …