Input level rises after 8-9 seconds

Hi everyone,

I’ve recently downloaded Audacity and tried to record with it. First, let me share what I’m using:

Computer: Mac Pro (Late 2013)
Operating System: macOS 10.12.5
Audacity version: 2.1.3

Now, on to my problem.

I’m trying to record voiceover demos using a Logitech headset. At the beginning, the recording level is just fine, but after 8 to 9 seconds, the recording level rises out of control.

Who can tell me why this is happening and/or what I can do about it?

Thank you!

the recording level rises out of control.

Rises to somewhere? Or does it just keep increasing and sounding more and more crushed and buzzy?

It is possible to throw a Mac into feedback. I, myself did that with these fingers last week. Depending on the volume settings, you could get just about what you got. Starts out OK and then gets louder and louder.

Do you ever record internet content? YouTube? Do you have SoundFlower SoundFlowerPot or any of the tools in that family on your Mac?

Logitech USB headset? Analog? They make both.

Has this ever worked? Did you buy the headset for this? Are you a Gamer?

Koz

Sorry Koz! I meant it increases.

It’s possible with any computer.

I have recorded one or two videos on YouTube and Vimeo. I have used software to redirect sound from one output to another, but that should all be gone now.

The headset is connected via USB.

As far as I know, this is the first time I use Audacity. I did not buy the headset specifically for voice recording, if that’s what you mean. No, I’m not a gamer.

Audacity gets its sound from the machine, not the device, and Audacity doesn’t apply effects, filters and corrections during recording.

The two places to check and set system sound are Apple > System Preferences > Sound and Go > Utilities > Audio MIDI Setup. Make sure your microphone and earphone are properly listed and configured in both places.

USB headsets can be a challenge because they can come with driver software and the drivers have to be up to date and compatible with the machine. It’s not unusual for the drivers to not give you good, unrestricted access to the plain microphone and headphone.

A side note: My Logitech headset is a communications device and comes with automatic pitch restrictions and sound processing. I’ve never been able to stop it and it makes the microphone quality not up to AudioBooks or better quality podcasts. More like cellphone voice.

Another thing that can happen if the headset is old enough is the acoustic packing in the boom fails and the earpiece and microphone are feeding back right there.

Does it still do it if you turn playback completely off during a test recording?

Koz

I checked the settings you suggested. I found a difference in bitrate, but nothing else. I corrected that difference, tried again, and still got the same result.

The headset I’m using did not come with any driver software.

I see you mentioning feedback, but that’s not the kind of increase in volume that I’m hearing. There’s no repeating sound sample, it’s just the volume of the sound that should be there, keeps increasing.

I don’t use the playback during my recording.

MrVulcan

Do a recording where you perform normally and just watch the volume increase for 30 seconds. Stop. File > Export > MP3: 128 quality. The file should be under 2MB and allow you to post it on the forum.

Scroll down from a forum text window > Upload Attachment > Browse.

Normally we would insist on a perfect WAV sound file, but I’m more interested in the longer clip.

Koz

I just tried to save a recording with the settings as in the screenshot below.
Structure Screenshot.jpg
Please let me know if you need translation.
Audacity crashed in the attempt.

MrVulcan

I don’t think Audacity can export to a cloud. Try exporting to your local hard drive and then manually upload it to iCloud (assuming that is where you want it).

And make sure we have good access. It’s not unusual for someone to DropBox post for us and then lock it down by accident.

Koz

Although I believe I uploaded a recording already, I haven’t heard from you for quite some time.
I’m sorry if I appear impatient. I only want to try uploading the file again, to make sure that you receive it.

Right.

So it doesn’t increase forever. It takes your low voice and progressively increases the volume until it’s happy. It appears to reach maximum happiness around the ten second mark. The word “Essence” is very important. It’s loud and would normally cause overload distortion but oddly there’s no sign of damage. That and your voice has just the slightest “bad cellphone” quality.

You have voice or sound processing. I can’t tell where or how, but it’s unmistakable. I have a personal voice recorder that I can drive crazy by screaming once into the microphone and then start talking at normal volume. The recorded show sounds exactly like yours (without the scream). Very low volume slowly increasing to normal over 5 to 10 seconds.

I’ll go back and read the post again.

Koz

Remember this?

My Logitech headset is a communications device and comes with automatic pitch restrictions and sound processing. I’ve never been able to stop it and it makes the microphone quality not up to AudioBooks or better quality podcasts. More like cellphone voice.

You have the Logitech sickness. I don’t know of any way to fix yours any more than I was able to fix mine.

I keep it in a nice bag in the closet.

Koz

In other words I need a new mic? How about the Shure SM7B?

Shure SM7B

Perfectly lovely microphone. That and the associated accessories and you should be good to go.

Sweetwater has a package with cables, stand and CloudLifter.

https://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/SM7BCloud

Add a Behringer UM2 to interface with USB and you’re good to go. That’s the little box to the left of the computer.

Substitute the SM7 for that microphone.

Feel free to throw in any of the rest of the stuff in that pix. I see the SM7 system doesn’t come with a shock mount (the spider holding up the microphone). That’s not critical. That’s only important if you live next to a freeway, or as a recent poster, an apartment on busy La Brea in Hollywood. Floor rumble or vibration.

It also doesn’t come with a pop and blast filter, but I’m thinking the foam cover takes care of that.

I think these are SM7s.

Please note both Pando and I are using Macs. They don’t make noise. If your computer does, then you’ll have to manage that.

Koz

The Shure SM7B has an XLR connector, which I don’t know what to do with. Do you, Koz, or does anyone else have any recommendations? I need a mic with either a USB connector or…not sure what you call that other one, but it’s also popular with computers.

The Shure SM7B has an XLR connector, which I don’t know what to do with. Do you, Koz,

Totally. That’s what the Behringer UM2 does. The socket on the front connects to the microphone.
Screen Shot 2017-08-13 at 11.48.48 AM.png
…with one of these.

And the USB connection on the back goes into the computer with a “USB printer cable” (A to B style, if you’re counting).

The SM7 is not a particularly loud microphone. It’s moving coil (dynamic) and has to push sound through the foam cover. So that’s what the CloudLifter does. It’s a volume booster. It goes between the microphone and the Behringer.


You don’t need the CloudLifter if you have a real sound mixer. That’s how I do it and that’s how the Pando people did it, but that’s more expensive and harder to use.

Koz

I need a mic with either a USB connector

You will be tempted with a Blue Yeti microphone. That one does plug directly into the computer with a USB cable and most people find it works OK. We do have a number of people on the forum posting about Yetis that don’t work well. That’s when it stops being fun. We can’t always solve Yeti sound problems. Save your shipping information and receipts.

All that and you still shouldn’t be in the same room with a noisy computer.

Koz

Oh and stay away from this adapter.
Screen Shot 2017-08-10 at 6.22.19 PM.png
That one claims to allow you to plug your XLR microphone into your soundcard.

It can cause a number of serious technical and production problems.

Koz

That’s not to say that everything in the product line is suspect. The Yeti Pro® is a respectable microphone. Not “Pro Yeti,” “Blackout Yeti,” “Studio Yeti” or any other combination. The Yeti Pro is a higher-end microphone that has both USB and XLR connections on the bottom.

https://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/YetiProStu

They could still surprise me, but the additional electronics inside should mean it’s not subject to “Yeti Curse” noises and other problems.

Koz