Clicking in the recording.

I’m trying to do some simple recording with my laptop but I get incessant clicks. It’s not Audacity’s fault, it happens with just about any application I try to record with. Here’s what it looks like:
click.png
I have a sneaking suspicion that the culprit may be the laptop fan. I have a Toshiba Satellite and it is pretty beefy, and it has a number of fans inside. It seems to happen often just after I start recording, indicating that perhaps it is the hard drive creating heat, causing the fan to kick in. They sometimes happen alone but they usually happen in groups, lasting up to five seconds of incessant clicking. However, it doesn’t usually go on for more than five seconds.

I called Toshiba and they were of no help. Any ideas as to what might be causing it and how I can stop it?

You don’t mention what audio device you are using, so I’m assuming it’s your laptop’s onboard soundchip. If this is the case, I’m pretty sure the only way to avoid this problem is to use an external USB or Firewire audio device or alternatively a PCMCIA audio card. Laptop soundchips can pick up all sorts of internal circuitry and hard drive noise. The Realtek chip in my laptop picks up so much noise it’s pretty much useless for serious recording.

I guess that’s the way I’m going to have to go, thanks.

<<>>

What does that mean? Describe the wires and connections. The microphone input on most Windows machines is terrible, the line input less so. You can even get into trouble with USB services if the USB device gets its power from the computer. If that five volt service is “dirty,” the dirt will appear on the captured audio.

Oh, and the fan kicking in is nothing compared to the hit when the hard drive spins up.

Koz