Clicking While Recording Every Two Minutes

Hi, I record Let’s play commentary for a youtube channel. I use Audacity to record my voice and until recently, I have never experienced a single problem.

I recently bought a new computer, a HP Pavilion with 8GB RAM, and several sets of storage space, running Windows 10. I got all my recording software up; OBS for game capture, Logitech Quickcam for the face cam, and a Blue ICE Snowball mic recording on Audacity for the commentary; and started to go.

Now I’m editing the footage, and I’m noticing that there are a few seconds of audio popping or clicking occasionally, littered throughout the recording. It’s invisible when looking at the waveform; no peaks, gaps, spikes, or other signs of distortion; but it’s definitely noticeable when listening to the playback, and distorts the sound quite unquestionably. The clicking can be heard even when no sound is made, but is exacerbated by any kind of sound.

The playback device is “Speakers Realtek HD”.

I experimented with recording with only Audacity, and found that the clicks occur consistently around the 1:58 - 1:58 mark, and reoccur every two minutes or so. This regularity is consistent when after restarting the machine, unplugging and replugging the mic, using alternative USB ports, having the mic as the only USB to plug into the machine, swapping USB cables, moving the mic do a different place, putting the mic at the lower sensitivity setting, and unplugging the AC adaptor.

The clicking occurs when recording through the Snowball using Logitech Quickcam, so I’m not sure if Audacity is to blame, and I can confirm that the mic records just as well as it used to on my older computer (3.4 year old Windows 7 Sony Vaio), so I don’t blame the mic either. Just to confirm, my current laptop uses Audacity 2.1.1 while my old laptop uses Audacity 2.0.5

I checked recording using the Logitech Cam mic and the laptop’s inbuilt mic and have not encountered this problem, it seems to only happen when using the blue mic.

I have tried changing some settings in audacity, such as increasing buffer time to 1000 ms, but to no avail. I’ve included two mp3s in which you can hear the distortion. Both of them are snippets cut around the 1:57 mark. The timing is so consistent that I can predict quite accurately when the popping will start and end.

I have never encountered a problem like this before, and any attempt to remove the distortion digitally results in more damage done to the audio and no real effect on the distortion itself.

If anyone has any suggestions, advice, or even an explanation as to what might be going on, please let me know as I’m rapidly running out of ideas.

Thank you

several sets of storage space

What does that mean? Hard drives? Solid State Drives?

Two minutes is hard. Every ten to twelve seconds could be Audacity writing to the “Storage Spaces.”

Does the snowball have a home run? Does it go directly to a port on the computer? They don’t like going through hubs.

My cellphone checks in with the mother ship about every two minutes. It makes noises in the sound system.


My C drive is SSD, while my D drive is a Hard drive Disk. The temp files default to the C drive. I did try to redirect them to being created in the D drive, but the clicking still occurred.

The USB goes directly into a USB 2.0 slot on the side of the laptop. I don’t even own a USB hub. I do have USB 3.0 slots as well, but, as stated, changing the slot didn’t have any affect.

recording using the Logitech Cam mic and the laptop’s inbuilt mic and have not encountered this problem, it seems to only happen when using the blue mic.

You may have a version of The Yeti Curse. The Blue Yeti and Blue Snowball have no power supply filtration. Whatever supply (five volts) falls out of the USB socket, that’s what they use for microphone operation and processing. The problem comes when the 5 volts isn’t clean or well behaved. Neither microphone has any provision to stop computer electrical trash from riding along with your voice.

In the case of the Yeti, it’s possible to actually hear leakage from the data management service in the USB connector. You may be able to dig enough to find some service in your machine that activates every two minutes and can disturb the USB system.

That’s all I got.

You did turn your cellphone off, right? I wasn’t kidding about that.

Bzzzaaaak tic tic tic tic.


Can I divine that the spinning metal hard drive is external USB? Disconnect it.


Sorry, no. It’s internal. Couldn’t disconnect it if I wanted to.

So you found a laptop with both spinning metal hard drive and an SSD? Which one?


HP Pavilion 15-ak011na Gaming Laptop

I checked recording using the Logitech Cam mic and the laptop’s inbuilt mic and have not encountered this problem, it seems to only happen when using the blue mic.

You already narrowed it down to the microphone and I would argue the microphone type. There is one possible solution, but we stopped offering it a while ago because it can cause other problems. Plug the microphone into a wall-powered USB Hub—by itself—and then plug that into the computer. The power that runs the microphone then comes from the wall, not the computer. You can’t use the hub for anything else.

It’s not a sure fix because people found wall-powered hubs so cheap they caused other problems.

The only guarantees are upgrading to an analog microphone and USB Preamp like some of the AudioBook people use. Those do have power processing and aren’t subject to USB noises and distortion.

Or not use a computer microphone. I rather like the Olympus WS823 stand-alone recorder. The Zoom series do OK.

I also record with analog microphone, small analog sound mixer and either Mac or USB interface and PC.

I recently recorded a simple sound test with a setup like that which passes ACX AudioBook sound quality conformance.

Chances are very good that anything you choose of the same type and price range of what you have is going to do the same thing. USB Microphones are shortcuts and sometimes the shortcuts catch up with you.


While I can see the logic in what you say. I’m not convinced that my USB mic is entirely to blame.

Right now, I have it plugged in to my old lap top, and am able to record to Audacity just as I used to do, no problems at all.
As it stands, it means that while recording, I can do the screen capture and webcam with the new machine, and the commentary with the old machine, then transfer the files over when it’s time to edit.
It’s a work around, and not a necessarily elegant one, but it works for the time being.

Do you have any idea why it is my USB mic picks up interference at 2 minute intervals from recording start in my new laptop, but not my old one?

I can do the screen capture and webcam with the new machine, and the commentary with the old machine, then transfer the files over when it’s time to edit.

That is the recommendation, yes. Record on Something Else That Works and combine the segments and tracks later for editing into the final show.

Do you have any idea why it is my USB mic picks up interference at 2 minute intervals from recording start in my new laptop, but not my old one?



For a start, Blue mics do not officially support Windows 10.

Have you tried 44100 Hz project rate bottom left of Audacity, Windows DirectSound host, then in Windows Sound, Recording tab, Snowball Properties, “Advanced” tab, make sure both Exclusive Mode boxes are enabled?

Does using 2.0.5 on the new laptop cure it? I would hope not.


He has a snowball, not a yeti. Both microphones tend to be sensitive to their computer and connection.


Two minutes is rough.

Sorry, yes that was a mis-association, but I in fact I now see Snowball Ice has a lower sample rate of 44100 Hz:

I amended the details in my post.

Regardless, that mic still does not officially support Windows 10.


That’s a little disturbing right there. It’s not like this microphone has billions of options. There are only three I know of, and they’re hardware switch selected. That means this is a generic USB sound device. If each individual device on earth needs to be explicitly supported, the phrase “a nightmare” springs from my lips.

So it’s not a joke: “Behave yourself, or we’ll put Windows 10 on your machine.”


Two minutes is still rough. There are no natural two minute errors or events.

The Snowball isn’t broken and in my opinion, sending it back for an exchange will gain you zero. What’s broken is the interaction between this microphone type and your computer. It’s very common for someone to plug their misbehaving microphone into their mum’s computer one afternoon and it works perfectly. People who have no alternates available are at full stop.

If there is such a thing as an activity monitor, diagnostic or other way to tell what your computer is doing, run that and see what runs every two minutes. You have one strike against you. You intentionally bought a custom gaming machine, so you can’t put out a call for “everybody who has the same machine I do.” You’re likely to get crickets…

There are desperation methods. Restart the machine and strip it down to minimums. Shut down the network. No WiFi and no wires. Don’t let your email start, No Skype, no games, no game management. Zippo. See if a simple recording still makes noise.

Note in particular if you hit something that can change the noise. Better, worse, louder, longer, anything.


And here I thought getting a customised gaming rig was going to make recording my videos Simpler. Oh the frustrating irony of it all.

I’m not sure what such diagnostic tools would be, and if there are any that wouldn’t cost more than this problem is worth, though if you hear of any worth trying, let me know. I’m not all that keen on the idea of stripping my machine down to the bare minimum in order to test things out. I want this problem sorted, or at least understood, but not at the expense of having an operational machine.

I can confirm that changing the project rate has no affect on the interference. Nor does playing with the machine on airplane mode and booted up with nothing connected to it except the mic and the earphones. I can also confirm that the sound persists whether those exclusivity checks are checked or not. Also, it’s not the antivirus, I uninstalled McAfee to check, no change.

And don’t worry about Audacity versions, one of the first things I tried was downloading the older version on the new machine. No change.

There is, however, one thing that has changed the interference. I use Blender to edit and render my videos, and when I tried recording the sound while rendering on blender, the interference came early.
Rather than the usually consistent 1:57, it came at 1:47, and then again at 3:37, a full 10 seconds ahead of when it usually occurs. This potentially means it goes from every 2 minutes, to every 1 min 50 sec while rendering.
My blender program utilises the on board CPU to render everything.

I had something of an issue with pops/skips in audio when listenign to streaming radio, which translated when recording it. I have no idea of it woud have done the same thing if I was recording myself.

I work for a gigabyte or more of data almsot every day and this seems to for what ever reason mess with the audio, even though there’s plenty of RAM and memory. I’ve found the only way to stop this is to stop this is to regularly clean and maintain the system.

Each day I run Temp File Cleaner (you can get that at the site; a site for people with computer troubles) to remove excess junk files (run in Administrator mode) and I wind up deleting a hundred megabytes each day, even hundreds. Then for good measure I Diskc Cleanup (Windows start button > All Programs > Accessories > System Tools; may be located elsewhere depending on your windows version) and check the boxes I want and delete the junk there, too, which can clear a few more megabytes and even more. Then I Defrag the hard drive. This clears it up.

Likewise I found some programs can slow things down and cause errors. I’ve found the Microsoft Security Essentials program to be perhaps one of the most evil in that regard, ever. I wants to constantly go online to update daily, especially after I’ve handled data (like it’s reporting it or something), is slow, takes forever and is just a pain in the butt. And it’s pure evil, too, 'cause if you want to disable it, it’s not easy. You got to go in and manually disable it and then – get this – disable Windows Update! Yes, it’s runs through Windows Update, too, so I have to go to services.msc on the computer and disable Windows Update and set it to manual (if not manual, it’ll try to re-activate Windows Update; did I mention the thing is evil?). Anyway, there may be programs conflicting with hard drive updating online or accessing hte drive, causing errors, I might guess.

Could it maybe just be a fluke bad sound card?

Could it maybe just be a fluke bad sound card?

USB microphones don’t go through the soundcard. They are a device.