Microphone playback too deep

I have two microphones: an older C-Media USB mic, and a brand new ATR USB mic. I use Ubuntu 12.04 and Audacity 2.0.0. My quality settings are 44100 Hz and 16-bit. However, my recordings with the ATR mic play back with a much deeper pitch and make a scratchy sound; on the other hand, the pitch on the C-Media mic is fine, but the overall quality isn’t nearly as good. I’ve tried changing the default Sample Rate with the standard Edit > Preferences > Quality procedure, but that didn’t do anything. What should I do? I’d hate to go back to the old mic…

You may be experiencing the shock of using a good microphone. Make a scratchy recording with the new microphone and click View > Show Clipping. If your blue waves turn into a forrest of red lines, you are overloading the sound channel. The blue waves are never supposed to go all the way up and down, either. This is a perfect recording:


You can either back away from the microphone or turn it down if the system lets you. Some USB microphones are not adjustable. Pull down the volume slider (Illustration).

Communications (Skype) microphones and entertainment microphones are very different beasts:

Communications microphones are designed to be harsh, piercing and forward in order to cut through noise and sound damage. They sound very loud all the time. Entertainment microphones are designed to make you sound like you, who, we assume, is not normally forward and piercing.

Entertainment microphones can appear quite a bit quieter and restrained. People are also shocked when their perfect, accurate sound track appears a good bit quieter than a similar voice track on a commercial recording. Enter the magic of compression. Commercial recordings are usually not “straight.” They have processing to make them good quality and louder.

Those are all assumptions on my part. So is this your problem? You could simply have a broken microphone.

Screen shot 2013-12-26 at 11.02.30 AM.png

Are you playing your trumpet into your microphone? Many microphones will fail if you do that.

This is for voice recordings. When I play the recording once I’ve finished using it, its pitch is very low, no matter how close or far I am from it.

Also, the volume isnt the problem, as far as I can tell.

Use the little black down-arrow menu to the left of the track and change rate from 44100 to 48000. Did that cure it?


Well, it made the pitch higher, but it’s still very deep.

To put it in perspective, when I record withh the ATR mic on 44100 Hz, the recording is roughly two octaves deeper than normal. I suppose I could fiddle with the pitch to make it as close to the correct sound as possible, but for all intents and purposes, I shouldn’t have to do that at all. Or I’m just a lazy sort. :stuck_out_tongue:

I’ve never experienced a mic that far off.
Post two clips: One what you sound like normally and the other the same words with the broken mic. You don’t need WAV for this. You can use very high quality MP3 – like mono 128. That should be enough.



Sorry for the wait. Here are the files, completely untouched.

I don’t know where to go with that. Did you save your receipts?

I was sad that this post did not have a conclusion about the problem. I too had this same problem. Exactly the same. My voice would “play back” slower and deeper and there would be missing crackling spaces in the audio. It sounded as if I had recorded it and “fried” the audio. But I had not. Then we decided not to use Audacity but to use Audition. –

So thinking the problem was "fixed’ by not using Audacity – I ended up WITH THE SAME PROBLEM over on Audition. I was stunned. We spent a lot of time trying to figure out if the problem was out TASCAM - US-122 or that I hadn’t used it since I upgraded to windows 10. So is the problem in Windows 10? Was it in the TASCAM?

What worked for me. It may not work for you, but this worked for me is that we moved the Cash from the C Drive to Our “G” drive. ( I have 5 drives) The “G” drive is faster than the temp files in the C Drive. And you know what. The problem is gone. –

So I hope my post helps someone else. I hated having to fix the “pitch” of each and every recording. Now I can use Audacity again and all is good! :smiley: - Also I am a woman and I am doing the best I can figuring all the computer stuff out. But my “name” on this forum is the name of the character in the movie “Morning Glory”