Help: I'm suddenly recording amplified background noise

I have never had this problem before and have been recording consistently for the last 2 months.

It all started when I tested out noise reduction for the first time (not my file). I cleaned it, all went well, but next time I recording I could hear the birds, buzzing and so much, much, much louder than the actual sound.

After a lot of research I saw that the only way to reset all settings was to uninstall audacity - so I did - and it worked.

Then I had to clean up noise again and once again the amplified noise was back. I have uninstalled and reinstalled 3 additional times now - but the problem persists.

It is even present when I turn the recording volume all the way down to 0.1.

I am using an inbuilt mic and don’t know how to/have never changed anything there.

Any tips?

have been recording consistently

Recording what? What’s the show?

How are you listening? Headphones?

You have a collection of symptoms that don’t make sense. For one thing, reinstalling Audacity doesn’t reset Audacity. So what it looks like you’re doing and what you’re actually doing are different.


Recording myself, i.e. I click the record button.

Before I simply got myself - and potential loud noises - now I get buzzing and all sounds amplified.

I am listening with headphones as I always did.

All the guides I found online told me the only way to reset audacity was to uninstall and install it again - is there another way?

My problem is, simplified: I always got great, clear audio - now I get blown up audio, with buzzing and more, even when recording volume is at 0.1.

Recording myself

Without being too much of a pain in the neck, can I assume your voice? You didn’t say the word “voice” anywhere in the last post. You could be playing the cello. Yourself. We’re trying to diagnose your problems without seeing what you’re doing and we hang on every word.

is there another way?

Yup. Audacity leaves behind a configuration file. It’s job is to adjust Audacity when you upgrade to a new one so you don’t have to do all your customizing and fine tuning all over again. Sometimes the configuration file itself becomes broken and the damage follows you from install to install to install.

This is where I tell you where it is and I’m going to have to look that one up. I’m not a Windows elf.

As we go.


This is a screen grab from that page.

Screen Shot 2020-06-25 at 13.34.28.png
I’m going to read through that again and see if I can find a machine problem to cause that.

Do you use Zoom, Skype or other chat or conference application? Those can create recording problems in Audacity. Two different applications struggling to use the same microphone.


It’s good to know if you use any of the chat programs like Zoom or Skype. They can create some serous sound problems.


Yes, but I don’t understand why it matters. I press record and it gets background sound amplified loudly. I’m testing it by just pressing record on the program and letting it record - getting blown up background noises I just didn’t get before.

To be clear, the tests are with audacity - simply pressing record - I have done this so many times before and it was never a problem until now.

Thank you. Any chance I could just delete the file and start afresh. I don’t need any preferences remember.

And no, the issues show up when I use just audacity and nothing else.

Reading the article I see I can delete the cfg, but I cannot actually find the audacity.cfg file … Search for it, but no result - looked in the folder and the only thing named audacity was the file itself.

If you see “audacity.exe” then you are looking in the wrong place. Do you see “audacity.exe” or do you see something else?

Thank you for all your help - finally managed to get it back to how it was.

finally managed to get it back to how it was

How did you do that? This is not a help desk. It’s a forum with users helping each other. It would be good to know what happened.