H2 microphone corrupted only on Mac

Hi there,

I am using a Mac OS X 10.7.4 with Audacity 2.0.3. The built-in microphone on my laptop works just fine, but when I plug my Zoom H2 mic in and record with Audacity it keeps randomly getting into fits of distortion and static. I use this same mic on my Windows desktop computer and it works perfectly, only with the Mac does it have problems.

Here is an example of what keeps happening:

Any help would be appreciated.

Thank you

Sorry I forgot, another thing,
sometimes the static and distortion do not occur, but instead I get this nonstop ticking over the recorded audio:

That’s impressive. Which laptop? I have a MBP 15". How old? are the USB ports USB3? Do you have two ports and does it do it on both? Are you going through a USB hub? Any other USB stuff plugged in?

Can you try it on batteries clear on the other side of the apartment or house? It sounds like it may be radio interference and the shielding in the Mac is just different from the Windows machine.

That tinkle, tinkle between the two blasts of noise is the show, right, that’s your piano? those are very highly distorted, too, they’re missing the additional trash.

Does it do that at the H2 headphone port?

You are connecting it to the Mac USB, right?


nonstop ticking

That’s the USB hub. Microphones need home runs to the computer.


Thanks for your help and inquiries. It’s a Macbook Pro. Don’t know exactly how old, about 3-4 years. I’m not entirely sure if it’s 2.0 or 3.0 USB, I think it’s 2.0. It does it on both ports. It’s going straight into the laptop, no hubs. There isn’t any other USB stuff plugged in.

Actually, it usually works on the H2 headphone port.

Actually, it usually works on the H2 headphone port.

More English words. The H2 Headphone is correct while the distorted recording is being made? Usually?

Does the H2 have the ability to monitor a computer playback while a live recording is being made the other direction – overdubbing? I think the H4 can do that.

That is exactly what it sounds like when you try to use a USB hub with an audio device. One of the engineers called into a video conference with his microphone connected to his computer through a hub and it sounded almost exactly like that (in three cities). I’m calling it a bad data connection – somehow.

You can monitor in real time to try and troubleshoot this.

Audacity > Preferences > Recording > [X] Software Playthrough (select). OK.

Now control-click on the red recording meters > Start Monitoring.

The red and green sound meters should both wake up and you should be able to plug your earbuds into the MBP and hear everything happening in real time – without actually going into record.

Now change things. If you’re on wall power, try going on batteries. What’s your battery life normally?

I have a printer that has a ratty USB cable and takes multiple reseatings to get it to work.

I would still try setting up on batteries somewhere else in the house.

Is there a second USB cable you can try? I know it works on the PC, but I’m out of ideas except to say it sound just like a very bad data connection.

Are you using the H2 on batteries?


When the mic is plugged into the MBP and I’m using the headphone port of the H2 mic as the audio output, the sound is still distorted and I still occasionally get bouts of static and noise. When the mic is plugged in and the static episodes are happening, the monitored audio levels in audacity skyrocket but the monitored levels on the mic remain as if nothing were happening. As I monitor the audio, nothing I do changes anything. It’s the same on or off batteries. I record things on the mic without the computer here and they are fine. Also it’s the same result in both USB ports…