Minimising recording noise


I have a minidisc recorder and I also have a laptop connected to a docking station. My live recordings are taken on the minidisc and there is very little residual noise - what should be silence is indeed very nearly silence. I transfer my minidisc recordings to the laptop using a 3.5mm gold plated stereo jack lead from the line-out socket of the minidisc to the line-in socket of my laptop’s docking station. The problem I have is that even when the minidisc is not playing there is a residual noise on the laptop’s line-in of about -34dB peak.

Yes I know the correct answer to this problem may be to use decent equipment. :blush: Assuming I’m stuck with what I have then is there some kind of gate function that says “if the peak input is less than -34dB then treat this as silence” ? Is this the sort of thing a VST plugin can perform?

Thanks in advance!

Holy crap, you’re only getting 34 dB of dynamic range? That’s abysmal. Nothing you can do with Audacity will be able to fix that problem, it’ll sound terrible no matter what. A Noise gate would remove the noise between phrases of the music, but the parts that are supposed to have audio will still sound really bad.

You’ve either got a bad output on your MD player, a bad cable, or a bad Line In on your computer. I don’t think this is a case of cheap equipment, I think this is a case of broken equipment.

Problem solved by borrowing a different MiniDisc. It would seem I have a noisy Line Out :frowning: