It most often turns up when people plug a brand-new Blue Yeti microphone into their computer. It’s not a particularly expensive microphone, so the maker is forced to leave out filtering and processing to prevent this sound. The effect is completely down to how well behaved the USB connections on your computer are. Basically a cross or leakage between USB services that are without question never supposed to be crossed.
Noise Reduction can help a little, but because the whine is so close to fingernails on blackboard, it’s really difficult to suppress completely.
The only sure fire solution is take the microphone apart and redesign it to work better.
There are pages and pages of partial solutions. How long is the USB cable? How short can you make it? The effect goes down with cable length. The effect changes with cable maker. Change the USB connection if you have more than one. Some work better than others.
In general, once you have a combination of microphone/computer that does this, you’re dead. Change either the computer or the microphone (or both).
If it’s low enough, we may be able to help with Noise Reduction.
Before you reach for the screwdrivers there is a software-fix for the mosquito whine that is worth trying …
Copy & paste the CODE below into something called “Nyquist Prompt” , which is in Audacity’s effects menu
(setq mysound s)
(setq q 50) ; set the base Q for the filter
(setq iter 8) ; set the number of iterations
(setq freq 1000) ; set base frequency
; start the DO loop
(dotimes (i iter mysound)
(setf mysound (notch2 mysound (* freq (1+ i)) (* q (1+ i))))
) ;end of loop
Then you select the audio with the whine and apply “Nyquist Prompt” like any effect.
That notch filter-code removes almost all of your whine …
The filter works by cutting tiny chunks out of the show. Make sure you still like the sound after you apply it, particularly if you are recording music. Any musical tones at 1000Hz, 2000Hz, 3000Hz etc up to 8000Hz may be affected.
It certainly is the connector at the microphones end, while I was waiting for a response here I continued the investigation by re adjusting how the cables are laid out.
I noticed that when it came to doing this at the microphones end I had unintentionally let the cable go taut at the microphone connector end. And after I gave it some slack the whine was gone.
However the cable wasn’t so taut as if someone was tugging on it, just enough that there was no curve from the base of the connector molding to the next point it was weighted to (under my keyboard)
Should I be worried about how easily it reacts to that sort of thing and get a replacement? or should I just take this as a lesson learned that from this level up, Mics are way more sensitive to a good wiring job?
Only if by “replacement” you mean an analog microphone and USB interface such as a Scarlett 2i2 or MBox unit recommended by ACX. Or the way I do it with analog microphone, analog sound mixer and Mac or Behringer USB interface. The problem is endemic to USB microphones that try to jam everything into one “affordable” package.
We are investigating a different way to record voices and other sounds. The stand-alone recorder which doesn’t have USB noises because it doesn’t record using USB.
If you have a way to suppress the noises, then you win. Many people weren’t so lucky.
Unstable problems like this are the most fun. Like I said earlier, there is an impressive list of fixes for this exact problem; none of them work reliably for everybody all the time. Most of the solutions partially work. You can change the problem but you can’t ever make it go away without possibly damaging post production effects.
I think I’m alone in being able to get this noise without using a USB microphone. I used a very cheap ICUSBAUDIO headset adapter.