Odd Buzz ...

I’m recording with an electro-acoustic piano through an audio jack, and for some reason I get this odd background sound when I hit the spacebar. Any way I could cure this?

You’re going to have to post a sample of the buzz. Use two seconds of WAV format because we’re going to need to take it apart.



Here’s the audio, please let me know what you can do with it.


an electro-acoustic piano through an audio jack

Now you should tell us details about the connection between the piano and the computer. Do you use one of these:

That connection is ripe with possible problems. Older computers came with a selection of different sound connections to suit your needs. Newer ones don’t but people keep using computers as if they did and it can lead to serous sound problems.

A computer isn’t a very good sound recorder. It’s insides are very noisy and it appears that may be what you’re hearing. I had a very old computer that would put a whine or buzz in my sound every time the hard drive changed speeds. I trashed several perfectly good mazurkas that way.

Is this a laptop?


The computer I’m using is a Dell Inspiron530S desktop, and the jack I’m using is thinner than the one pictured, with green connections. Not sure who made it, but it has been around for a while.

Do you have the piano plugged into the same power outlet as the computer? That’s usually desirable to help with noise problems. Many people use a power strip and plug everything into that. See if you can improve the noise if you move the piano power to that strip.

OK, another test. Play a couple of notes at normal volume and then stop playing to get the background noise. You don’t need WAV for this. You can use a very good quality (256) MP3 or a FLAC export.

Turn the speakers off and unplug the sound cable. Clean both ends with alcohol or vodka and a paper towel and dry thoroughly. Plug them back in – twice. Any dirt, grease or skin oil on the ground connection can cause noise problems.