Playback sound.

Hi Everyone :smiley:
I am new on here so please excuse me if I am asking a question that has been on before,in fact I know I am.
I was using an older version of audacity for a while and always had a problem with playing back recordings from a mike of me playing acoustic guitar.
I saw today that version 2 was available so I deleted the old one and downloaded version 2 thinking that this will solve my problem. But it hasn’t :cry:
I set up the mike about 6" from the guitar,press the record button,play some guitar,press stop,then press play, The result has noise in the background,is not very clear,and has a kind of vibration to it.
I know its a free program and I wasn’t expecting abbey road studio quality,but there must be a way to improve the playback quality.
I looked through FAQ and updated my audio driver but its still the same :confused:
Any help or advice will be greatfully received.
Many Thanks.

ps.My pc has xp profesional and IE8.

While the built-in microphones on PCs rarely win awards for high quality, they’re usually not blatantly awful. Even the bad ones have to pass muster as communications and conferencing microphones. I’ve done simple theatrical scratch tracks with the one in my Mac.

So something is wrong. What is your microphone? You’re not using the built-in microphone, are you? What is the computer and who made the microphone and how do you have it connected? You can’t give us too much information.

If you feel adventurous, you can send us a sample clip of the damaged music. Sometimes we can take one quick listen and tell you that the frammistat on your flux capacitor is set wrong or something like that.


That’s not to say that home recording is a snap. One of the longest thread postings on the forum was between us and bgravato (now a forum elf) on how to record his acoustic guitar.

Hi Kosikowski :slight_smile:
Many thanks for your reply. My pc is hewlett packard with windows xp professional and IE8.
My microphone is RS 249-946 dynamic microphone and is plugged into the front mic socket. (there isn’t one on the back)
I tried to make a sample to send you but even a 3 second snip was more than the 1mb limit.
Is there any other way to send a sample for you to hear???
Kind Regards.


A 3 second stereo recording at 44.1 kHz sample rate in WAV (Microsoft) 16bit PCM format (CD quality) will be 516.8 KB (529244 bytes).
What are you doing to get a file that is over 1 MB?

Are you exporting as “WAV (Microsoft) 16bit PCM”?
Are you recording at a very high sample rate, if so, that could be the problem.

By the way, Audacity is capable of much higher quality (dependent on hardware) than the recording gear that The Beatles used in Abbey Road. :wink:

Hi Steve :slight_smile:
Thanks for your reply.
I dont think that I was doing anything wrong because I have not played around with the settings. My motto in life is “If it aint broke,dont fix it” or “if you dont know what your doing,Dont do it”
The sample rate in the bottom left corner is on 44.1 or 444111 and I exported it as WAV (microsoft) 16bit PCM.
Anyway, ive just done another one at 4 seconds and is 99kb and just named it test.

Hope you can hear it and help me get rid of the noise.
Many Thanks.

ps.If Audacity is better than abbey road, I better start practicing!!!

Subject to hardware.

I think the problem with your recording is:

  1. A very poor sound card. Are you using the built-in sound card of your computer?
  2. Electrical interference, possibly from the power supply. Are you using a laptop computer? If so, try running on the batteries while you record and that may avoid some of the noise.

RS 249-946 dynamic microphone

I can’t find any information on that microphone – even through four pages of Google. Everybody admits it exists, but nobody has any information or even a picture. Please point us to an instruction book or some product information.

I bet significant money that the wiring on the microphone is wrong for the sound card connection. Let’s leave it there until we can find out more. Bad connection wiring will leave the system open to all the computer noise and static.

If it’s an XLR type microphone, then the adapter to your sound card is special and we’ve only found a tiny company in Europe that sells the proper adapter. Many people sell the wrong adapter which is what it sounds like you have.

This is the one I built and that’s the wiring formula.


Hi Kosikowski/Steve.
Many thanks for your reply. My pc is a desktop not a laptop. And I have looked in device manager and my sound card is Realtek High Definition Audio Driver.
I have done a couple of experiments. First I clicked the record button without the mic lead plugged in and when I played it, it was totally silent,as I expected.
Second, I imported an mp3 music track which played perfectly with no noise,as I expected.
Lastly, I plugged the mike cable reducer (from 3/8 to 3/16) in the mic input, without the lead connected,hit record for a few seconds,and on playback,there was the noise!!
If you have any ideas or solutions I would be greatfull.
Kind Regards.


My suggestion would be to upgrade the sound card.

There’s an article here that may be of interest. (non)USB mic for classical guitar rec.(findings/conclusions)
The microphone that he ended up using may be a bit more than your budget (I don’t know what your budget is) but the USB pre-amp (sound card) is fairly inexpensive and very good value for money.

Hi Steve.
Many thanks for your reply.
I guess your probably right about updating my sound card. Do you have any suggestions what to buy??
I am on a limited budget.
One thing I did notice though, when I recorded a section of only the reducer in the mic socket, on the playback within the noise there was a constant ticking, about twice a second. Any ideas on that??
Kind regards.


Possibly interference from the hard drive.
Internal/on board sound cards are prone to picking up interferences from other electrical components within the computer.

Hi Steve :smiley:
I just went round my nephew’s house and borrowed his sound card from his pc.
Its a PCI sound blaster,anyway,installed it into my pc and the recording is SUPERB!!
no noise at all, so I know its the sound card!!
Many Thanks for all your help,and I will get back to you if I have any more problems.
Kind Regards.