Lots of audio pops when recording from mixer

I have the latest stable version of Audacity running on a PC laptop. I’m recording a stage play’s audio.

Here’s my audio flow:
Mixer’s 1/4" headphone jack → 1/4" Stereo audio cable → 1/8" stereo adapter at other end (have also tried 1/8" mono) → Laptop’s microphone port (no other input audio port available)

I can get a good signal, but there’s constant audio pops/clicks happening at a steady rate. I remember reading somewhere else that problems can arise when recording directly from a mixer due to the high signal strength coming from it. Any ideas why this is happening? How do I fix this?

I have the same issue, but I am pushing my sound into an external USB interface that Audacity records from, I am using beta 1.3.3 on Vista. I tried a reference tone to eliminate the Mic and the pops and clicks are srill there at a regular interval that is visible in the spectrum display. I’ve also gone direct to an internal sound card with the same results. I have tried a low latency ASIO driver to see if that corrects the issue but still no joy. Anyone have an idea?



You’ve got a Line level device plugged into a Mic level input. That’s a recipe for problems as you said. For this reason, I would recommend a USB sound card with a Line In. However, I would expect quite a bit of clipping with your current setup, but I wouldn’t expect popping (especially at a steady rate).

I don’t know why you’re hearing popping, but I don’t think it’s related to your signal strength. Can you upload an example of this popping so we can listen to it?

It could be caused by having a slow / fragmented hard drive, or if you’re recording to an external drive. It could also be bad drivers.


Have you read our wiki page on using Vista?

You will almost certainly need to update your drivers. Also note that ASIO drivers will not work, Audacity can’t support them until their legal status changes.


I read yesterday in the trouble shouting guide for audacity that if you are are getting very consistent popping (every 6 secs) then the sound card may be picking up noises from the hard drive or something like that. hang on i’ll find the link…

Periodic noise every 6 - 12 seconds
Audacity writes to disk roughly every 6 or 12 seconds, depending on your settings. If you hear a funny noise in the background that’s relatively consistent every 6 - 12 seconds, it means that your soundcard is picking up the noise from your hard drive. See Improving recording quality, because you’ll probably need to find a better driver or update your hardware

dont know if this is sthe prob but it might be
read the trouble shooting guide

If meaksy has diagnosed your problem correctly - and it looks as though he has - then the the best way forward is to follow alatham’s advice and get an external soundcard (Behringer and Edirol are both recommended often on this forum - the Behringer is cheaper, the Edirol has more functionality).

This will isolate the soundcard from the noisy environment of your computer - and the other key advantage that you will get will be that you will get a portable soundcard that can be moved easily between different computers.