Hiss on recording

Hi, are there any presets I can use or precautions to prevent hissing on a recording? I use an Allen & Heath 16fx mixer. I’ve contacted them and am waiting for a reply. Wondered if there was anything on the Audacity DAW I could do also? Annoying to hear background hiss after a decent recording ‘take’! Using 2.3.0 in Windows 10. Thanks in advance.

Hiss cannot be “prevented”. There will always be some amount of hiss. Even a copper wire produces a tiny bit of his (very very tiny amount) due to thermal noise. The objective is to prevent “excessive” hiss - to minimise the amount of hiss.

The most common cause of excessive his is when the signal level is too low at some point in the signal chain.
(“signal chain” means the path that the audio signal takes, from sound source (such as a person speaking) all the way through to the disk on which it is recorded.)
For example, if you are recording spoken word, and the microphone is too far away from the person talking, then the microphone signal level will be too low, so at some stage, you will need to boost the signal, which also boosts the hiss.

To minimise hiss, you need to take care to maintain a good signal level throughout every step of the signal chain, from sound source all the way through to disk drive.

The preamps in the mixer are probably the culprit. Make sure to turn-down any unused mixer channels. And like Steve says, try to keep a strong signal for the best possible signal-to-noise ratio. And, it may help to turn-up the channel-volume and then adjust down the master as necessary to get a good recording level without clipping.

Wondered if there was anything on the Audacity DAW I could do also?

You can try the [u]Noise Reduction Effect[/u]. But, listen to the results carefully because you can get artifacts (side effects) and if the noise is bad, “the cure can be worse than the disease”.