Noise/feedback when listening back

Hi, I am recording an audiobook…doing the last couple of chapters and now getting a slight hum/whirring/feedback when listening back. Only when talking, not during pauses/silence.

It’s very subtle. I have tried new mic, moving further away, moving closer, turning the record level down, new mic cable… I don’t understand why this has just started.
Even if the meter shows I am NOT in the ‘red’ when recording, by the time I add my usual settings to pass AXC, it goes into the red at times when playing back.

I just downloaded new version of Audacity. Same thing.
I am using the same LOUNDESS NORMALIZATION, FILTER CURVE and LIMITER that I have used for 3 audiobooks.

Oh, and I have had to turn the record level down to about 88 or the noise floor is too low and doesn’t pass the ACX check - never had that before either! Maybe the new mic requires a new filter curve?

I am not techy at all!

Please help! I’m on a deadline! Any advice gratefully received! Thank you in advance!!!

Check any recording “audio enhancements” have been disabled
Disable Audio Enhancements - Microsoft Support #
[ A Windows update can re-enabled them].

thank you! I’ll try that.
I may have accidentally switched from MME to Windows Direct Sound…would that affect it? I am trying to think what I could have done by mistake…

On a Windows machine? Is the machine connected to the internet and does it do those Microsoft Forced Updates? That may be where those changes came from.

Also, do you use your machine for Skype, Zoom, Meetings, Chat, Interactive Games, or other voice applications? Don’t leave them running in the background. Some of them can leave settings and drivers running even when the app is closed.

This is good that you have a history of successes. New Users arrive on the forum with pages of misconceptions and errors (and effects).

I don’t recommend this in your specific case, but it’s possible to use Audiobook Mastering Macro and that will apply the accepted Normalization, Curve, and Limiter automatically in one pass.

a history of successes.

This is where we use the flip form of the forum and you get to help us. What is your room like? Did you create a “moving blanket studio” or have other soundproofing arrangements?

I’m of the opinion that with a quiet, echo-free room it doesn’t much matter what the microphone is.


Is this a Windows machine?


Hi! Thanks so much for responding. Yes it’s a windows machine and connected. I only have my email open and browser for looking up pronunciations. I am not doing anything different than for the last 18 chapters. Infuriating! That’s why I thought maybe the mic was dying.
I have recorded the chapter again at quieter level, but still getting subtle feedback. The red lines go when I do the filter curve, limiter, normalisation, etc
Don’t use zoom etc.
Other things like Youtube vids sound great, so it’s not my laptop or headphones giving feedback in playback… I just don’t get it.
Maybe the usb port? but it’s a new laptop…

and yes, little booth of soundproof blankets … same as the last 2 books…

What’s the possibility of getting a picture? When we make recommendations to a poster and everything works, we never hear from them again. Where did you get the idea for the blankets? That’s my favorite idea.

How new?

Did you change laptops after the 18th chapter? What’s the possibility of finishing the book on the old laptop? It could take a while to resolve this…


I’m not a fan of recording valuable work on the computer for just the problem you’re having. The concept is cool. Just use the computer you’re already successfully using for everything else (promoted strongly by the USB Home Microphone makers).

Until something goes wrong. That’s a stand-alone Zoom Company H4 recorder.

I have a newer H1n, but not a good in-progress illustration. That may be my Saturday project.


OK. So (rolling up sleeves) New Windows laptops probably didn’t come with USB-A connections.

So you had to use an adapter to plug in your Home Microphone.

Stop me anywhere in here.

USB connections can cause noise problems. The classic one is Whining Mosquitoes.

I know you’re saying, “The voice from the microphone to the computer is digital, right?” True, but the 5 volt battery from the computer to run the microphone (unless the microphone is battery operated—see H4 above) is analog and is subject to all sorts of interference and damage.

What is the microphone?


Hi! Thank you for all your suggestions and questions…I’ll write more later if that’s ok…freaking out about my deadline and I think what I am doing is passable …but I’m not really happy…

I’ll let you know. Love my booth. Same laptop as other chapters! Thanks!

OK. Meanwhile I’ll set up my “photo studio.”


When you come back, confirm you’re on Windows. I don’t think we hit that yet. Then name the microphone. While your forum text page is open, post about ten seconds of the bad sound in WAV format. That’s what the thick bar with the vertical arrow icon does. Post a representative clip with voice and patches of silence between the words or sentences.

If you didn’t change the computer, you may have an odd “unicorn” problem. It’s totally possible for a microphone to pick up noises from a computer, pad, or phone screen. There’s a lot of intense electrical activity needed to get a screen to work. It can radiate.

I’m on the edge of my seat.

If you do figure out what happened, do post back and tell what it was.



My mic is a Blue Snowball Ice…I got a new one just to finish the book, as I was hoping it was just the mic was dying, rather than changing models (which I may upgrade, but this has served me well) so I didn’t have to change my custom EQ, settings etc. (I am not techy at all!)

USB one

But this one is an ICE

And Yes, I’m on Windows.
I’ll sort a clip to upload…

Yes, just connected via old style usb no adapter

So do you record on that and then plug into computer/laptop to edit in audacity?

Thanks for the clip…it’s not that type of sound…it is definitely a reaction to me speaking, or applying the filter curve etc, it only happens when I speak…as if I am too close to mic. But it’s driving me crazy because I have not changed anything, so why on chapter 18?

It is probably something stupid I have done…

The clip seems to be perfect. No obvious noise I can hear and it passes ACX-Check exactly right.

Maybe very slightly “bright” if I was forced to find something wrong.

I would love to be able to announce without mouth noises…[sigh].

Post a similar clip from a portion of the show you think is OK.


This is so weird because it’s driving me crazy.
I sent it to a couple of family members and they can’t hear it either…my husband can if I get him to really really listen and turn it up.
I think I’m focusing on it because it is ‘different’ from before.
Well, that’s good to know, so I will upload to ACX.
I’ll attach another clip…