Find settings for less noise

I hardly ever use Audacity, but now I need it for a few voice recordings. But the noise is so strong that something must be wrong. Hopefully you can help :slight_smile:

  • The volume level fluctuates a lot when the microphone is switched off, between -18 and -12
  • The control below the volume level cannot be adjusted
  • The noise reduction does not produce a satisfactory result
  • System: Xubuntu (Ubuntu 23.04)
  • The microphone is cheap, but you can hear that there is noise even with more expensive microphones…
  • Pictures: Alsamixer, volume control, Audacity

What should I change? Which 30 - 50 € Micro should bring improvement?

It’s best if you post pictures so everybody can see them without requiring logins or other requirements.

Screen Shot 2023-09-30 at 9.58.07 AM

Also, English translation would help.

Audacity recording volume controls don’t work if you have a digital microphone. You are expected to manage the microphone volume before digitization.

There are lots of reasons your recording could be noisy. My recommendation is record on a stand-alone sound recorder rather than struggle with the computer. Do you use Skype, Zoom, Meetings, Games, or other application that likes to take over your computer’s sound services. Start there. Is your studio noisy? Just sitting here, I can hear a list of noise makers and they would all get into a voice recording if I tried to make one.

I proved a while ago that microphones can pick up noises from computer screens, tablets, and phones. I always read from paper.

And that’s not even a complete list.

You can post a short voice test on the forum.


Noise is an “analog problem” (1)

It can be acoustic noise in the room, or fan noise from your computer. Or it could be electrical noise from your soundcard/soundchip or interface, or from the analog preamp in a USB mic.

The preamp built-into most soundcards is poor quality. For professional (or near-professional) recording you need an Audio Interface. Note that audio interfaces work with “pro” stage-studio microphones. They don’t work with computer mics.

Or, there are some good “studio style” USB “podcast mics”.

Or most solid state recorders are very good, and cell phones usually work well, except phones don’t have directional mics. You can record with a solid state recorder or phone and then transfer the file to your computer for editing.

For truly-professional results you need a soundproof studio.

A stronger-louder sound into the mic will give you a better signal-to-noise ratio.

A directional mic helps a little with acoustic noise because it mostly picks-up sound from one direction. An omni-directional mic picks-up noise from all-around in addition to the sound you’re trying to record (usually from one location-direction).

Noise reduction works best when you have a tiny-constant background noise… It works best when you don’t really need it.:frowning:

(1) Dropouts/glitches/interrupts in the digital stream can create clicks & pops.

Thanks for your opinions. A USB microphone now brings the desired result.

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