I use Audacity 2.0.2 with a Logitech USB mic to record single-track speech (instructional materials). This was working fine on a Windows XP Lenovo T400. I have now moved to a Windows 7 Dell XPS. With a level setting anywhere from about 40 or higher, I get a constant thumping noise. Also, the audio levels are too low (even at a level setting of 100, the volume is too low). I also get a different but constant and even more obnoxious noise if I use the computer’s built-in Realtek High Definition Audio mic. In both cases (the Logitech USB mic and the Realtek), Audacity’s Noise Removal generally works very well, though randomly every fifth or so recording is choppy beyond any correction.
As you know, Windows 7 is using the Windows Generic USB Audio Driver, and there is no Logitech-specific driver. It seems there is nothing I can control except the level settings, which, as I’ve said, aren’t very good (for the USB mic; they are fine for the Realtek mic).
To repeat, Audacity’s Noise Removal generally solves the problem. But of course I’d rather not incur the noise in the first place. And with the USB mic, I’d like the range of level settings (that is, the corresponding volumes) I had on my XP. Any comments or suggestions are welcome. Is it a lost cause? Is the root problem with Windows 7? With the microphones? Are there better microphones (for my very simple purposes) to be recommended?
You are perfectly correct to address the noise at its source rather than putting an electronic band aid on it later.
Win7 has internal tools to “help you” with your microphone.
Entertainment recording can have problems with these settings and they should be turned off.
If your microphone was working correctly with your old computer, then it’s still working. The machine is doing something wrong. Have you tried different USB connections, assuming your machine has more than one. Are you now going through a USB hub? Audio and USB hubs do not get along except in some diagnostic situations.
constant and even more obnoxious noise if I use the computer’s built-in Realtek High Definition Audio mic.
It’s suspicious that the built-in microphone fails, too.
Try making a recording not using Audacity. This is where Windows Recorder used to be:
– Windows Sound Recorder
– Start > Programs > Accessories > Entertainment
You can gets all sorts of noise and odd behavior if you have Stereo Mix recording rather than a straight microphone or other device. You can cause feedback effects which because of the computer delays, don’t necessarily show up like a rock band microphone howling, it can arrive as a high hissing sound or dense, intense frying. And thumping.
Do you still get the noise if you turn off Edit > Preferences > Playthrough (deselect) and Overdubbing (deselect)? You will not be able to hear yourself, but make a test recording and see if the problems go away.
One more. If it’s a laptop, try recording on batteries – without the wall power brick.