Opinion, please?

I’m creating a new desktop setup, and trying to get the quality as high as I can. But after I listen to audioclips for a little while, I get confused and can’t remember well, can’t hear it “fresh” any more.

I am using Windows 10 on a Dell desktop PC that’s 6 months old. I am using Audacity 3.0.2. I have a Zoom H2 mic, connected to the PC tower through a Plextone GS3. I have a soft voice and struggle to get volume high without too much ambient noise.

The Mic Gain on the H2 is High. The Mic Gain on Audacity is 75%. The Audio Host is Windows Direct Sound.

I have been using Audacity for 10 or 15 years, and have 8 home-recorded books for sale on Audible. But when I listen to some of the old book files I made, they now sound awful to me.

I’m attaching a 24 sec mp3 clip titled “Adam”. When I listen to this on earbuds it sounds terribly echo-y. When I listen through my soundbar, it sounds pretty good.

I haven’t processed this clip at all. Would you have any advice about how to improve it (apart from the clicking)?

Frequency analysis graphs are the answer: they are not affected by playback hardware (or wetware) …

green is good, yours is red 8¬(.gif

Closer to the green equalization, & the desibilator

I don’t hear echo on your Adam recording, (just muffled equalization).

Windows can add echo-y effects (a/k/a “enhancements”) to playback,
here’s a YouTube showing how to switch them off …https://youtu.be/sxnUjiGgBaI

[ You should disable any audio “enhancements” in the playback & recording tabs of Windows sound control panel ]

H2 or H2n? H2s are legendary for terrific sound and you can still buy a used one for new prices.

I hear recording in a closet with little or no soundproofing. Did I hit it? I can’t listen to that cedar-closet mid-tone boost. You’re right. That’s pretty annoying.

Describe your studio. As an experiment, move the H2 into the kitchen, lay it on the table face up, throw a blanket over your head and the H2 and read a test. Doesn’t mater what else is going on.


I bet that honky tonal distortion goes away.


Thank you! I disabled the Enhancements.
And I’ve never used Frequency Analysis Graphs; I didn’t know about them. I am an old newbie!

Thank you for the before-and-after. There’s a huge difference; the after is so much clearer.
How did you do that?

I guess the Frequency analysis graph tells what’s wrong, but it’s not the tool that actually makes it better?
I expect there are some steps I need to go through, to change it to green.

Also, do you think my setup is adequate, as long as I clean it up afterward? Or is there anything I should change to make it better?

I’m also trying to get a good setup for live audio like Zoom meetings etc. Not recording in that case, but just talking in meetings.

Thank you!

I’m also trying to get a good setup for live audio like Zoom meetings

That means you can’t fix your voice later. There is no later.

Describe your recording environment. It’s a closet, right? That’s what it sounds like. Those can work OK as long as you leave all the clothing in there.

No question the best simple thing you can do to sound good to other Zoom users is wear headphones. Over half of the odd-sounding Zoom sound processing distortion goes away when you do that.

If you work hands-free, no headphones, Zoom has to work to keep the far side voice out of your voice. If you have a bare room, that can be pretty serious processing and distortion to your voice. Even earbuds or earphones would work. Anything to keep the far-side voice out of your room.

Even better if your Zoom Room doesn’t have echoes, bare walls or plain, wooden floor. If you do both of those fixes, quiet room and earphones, you can sound like you’re in their room with them.

And your voiceover voice will be much better. Audacity can’t apply filters, effects or corrections in real time. You have to fix the room.


Mainly***** via an AutoEQ plugin, that flattens the peaks & troughs in the spectrum automatically.

The cheapest AutoEQ plugin I know of is hornet-thirtyone. (The price varies: $15-$30)
You can try the demo version before you buy: the demo version inserts spoiler silence every ~30 seconds.

I have the Mk1 version of hornet-thirtyone working in Audacity on Windows.
(Audcaity on Windows can only use 32-bit versions of plugins, even if you computer is 64-bit).

But as Koz was saying, the results are better if you apply acoustic treatment to your recording space, (e.g. heavy blankets, cushions), than trying to filter-out the peaks & troughs in the frequency-analysis afterwards.

[Other Auto Eq plugins are available, not all compatible with Audacity though].

[ ***** I also used a free manual real-time 7-band equalizer plugin to (overly ?) boost the high frequencies ].

Thank you, Trebor! I can see that’s going to be a steep learning curve for me.

And thank you, Koz. Yes, I’ve got to make the audio setup as good as possible for live events, because "there is no “later.”
What needs improvement, in my current set up?

I am in a spare bedroom with a wall of books behind me (my home office).
The mic (H2) is in front of me on my wooden desk. I have the mic set to “Front.”

I’m hoping that because it’s set to “Front,” what’s behind it doesn’t matter. About 15" behind the mic is the computer monitor with a Logi webcam on top. Beyond that, more books, a sofa, and filing cabinet. There’s a rug on the wooden floor but it’s not high-pile.

I haven’t been doing this, but I can certainly wear an earbud, so the voice is not coming out of the sound bar during interviews. I guess that is not a problem when recording.

Now, what sounds wrong to you, in my audio clip? What recommendations do you have?

We could be a lot more help if we knew which H2 you had. There’s the original H2 and the newer H2n.


The H2n is labeled on the bottom.

Screen Shot 2021-06-11 at 11.45.48 AM.png
The sound bar shouldn’t be doing anything during recording or Zooming.

There’s something serious wrong with your voice. As I posted, it sounds like you’re recording in a small closet. Totally off from your desctiption of the room. I’d make detailed suggestions, but we’re still not sure which H2 you have.


So grateful for your help, Koz.

Ta da! It is the original H2. I remember you told me awhile back that this one is the best.

Yes, nothing is happening with the sound bar when I’m recording. But till now, when I was doing Zoom interviews, I was just using the sound bar for audio. I’ll use an ear bud from now on.

But for live audio, I’m sorry it sounds so muffled. Would it help if I sent you a photo of my desk?
H2 crop.jpg

You could try gently tapping the different sides of the mic, (&* the computer/monitor),
whilst doing a test-recording to check you are recording from the correct side of the external microphone.
When reviewing the recording the loudest tapping noise will reveal what you are recording from

[ * it’s possible to accidentally record from the mic built-in to the computer/monitor ]

It is the original H2. I remember you told me awhile back that this one is the best.

If it’s in good shape, yes. We should also remember it could be as much as 14 years old. I see the memory chip cover is missing. Historical searches tell me the brief, original issue of this recorder had microphone problems.

That’s Josh’s H2.


Do you have the instructions? I do have them, but they’re too large to post on the forum.

Google zoom h2 recorder manual

Are you the original owner? Is the Time and Date correct? If it’s not, can you set it?


If it’s not, can you set it?

Date and Time is page 78 of the manual.

I’m not just making that up. If the time values are all 00 00 00 and you can’t set the internal clock, that may be the end of the H2. The internal systems may be too old to hold adjustments and settings. So wherever you set the microphones may not be where they’re actually running, which could explain the odd sound.


Pardon my intrusion, but can’t you connect the H2 directly to the PC. Why are you using the Plextone?

Why are you using the Plextone?

Too Much Technology.

Basic troubleshooting. Reduce the problem to simple steps and see if you can find the steps that aren’t working right. So far we have computer capture that may be applying filters and effects, a cable and interface system that may be causing problems, and an H2 that may be too old for the job.

Identify and get the instruction manual. Disconnect all the cables and interfaces. Put fresh AA Batteries in. See if you can set the Date and Time and that it sticks.


I wonder if we lost fredericamg.

Posters expect snappy forum response, but the poster has been missing for days.


I am so sorry. I wondered why I wasn’t hearing back from youall. I did not notice that it had flipped over into a page two–I thought it would just go on unrolling down a single page.

Let me reread what you said and see if there are things I can try out–I just wanted to reply to this really quick! I didn’t notice “page 2” (and now “page 3!”) till two minutes ago.

Trebor, I did try tapping the front and back of the H2 and it does generate bigger waves when tapped on the front.

Jademan, when I connect my H2 to the computer using a USB cable, Audacity doesn’t recognize it. I went to the Plextone as a work-around. BTW the H2 has a mini, not micro, port.

Let me look at a few more and answer them.

Good news! I was able to set the H2 date/time.
Bad news! When the date first came up, the year indicated was 2007.

Looking at more of the messages I neglected–
(I was thinking ‘I guess they take the weekend off’)

I will record something short on the H2, and the same passage on my desk mic, a Behringer C-1U.

Yes, I’m the original owner of the H2, and I still have the print manual because I never throw anything away.

Turns out I got the H2 in June 2009, much longer ago than I thought.

I got the C-1U desk mic in December 2010.

Yeah, I could probably spring for some newer equipment…or is the H2 worth hanging on to, if it works?