Buzzing upon playback (in speaking portions only)

New VO actor here. I’ve been using Audacity for a couple of months now along with my new Rode NT1 5th generation mic (USB for now until I buy an interface). I just installed Audacity 3.5.1.

Things were fine until I went on vacation for a week and came back yesterday to a buzzy sound when I play back my recording, but it only buzzes during the speaking sections. I didn’t adjust anything on Audacity.

Here’s a clip I threw together VERY quickly to demonstrate. No adjustments were made other than normalization to -3.0 db.

I’ve looked all over online, and nothing applies to me or nothing works, unfortunately. Any help would be much appreciated.

“Buzzy.mp3” only has frequencies up to 8000Hz …


could be that a Windows update has reset USB mic properties (advanced) to 16000Hz

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When recording, do you hear the same as when playing?
If No: See Audacity Record Settings
If Yes: Reduce your microphone Gain

Thanks. I went into Sound settings in Windows. My Rode mic only has 3 settings, all 1 channel, 24 bit sample rate: 48K Hz, 96K, and 192K. I made sure 48K was selected, went into Audacity, and made sure that the sample rate and format matched. Playback when I speak is a bit less buzzy now, but still buzzy. =(

The answer was “yes”, and your recommendation worked. The odd thing is that before I left for vacation, my recording levels were below -12 despite being at the highest mic level setting, but now that I’ve adjusted the mic level downwards, my recording level is hovering around -12. Very strange.

Anyway, thank you SO much!

VOIP, like Zoom/Skype, can take control of audio and not let go.
It restricts the frequency range to ~7kHz, whereas a VO recording should go up to >14kHz

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It’s OK. The recording level should be approximately -12 dB… -9 dB. The record can then be processed (reducing the dynamic range), and set the volume level to desired level in LUFS

Processing will not bring back the frequencies above 8kHz …
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Buzzing upon playback (in speaking portions only) - #2 by Trebor #

Absolutely true. I was talking purely about dynamic range, but not fixing poor recording quality