poor recording quality

I record live sound from our church PA system via USB from a Mackie 22 channel mixer. My playback quality is poor: due, i think, to the fact that I cannot prevent it from recording from both the USB and the internal microphone on the laptop. I have gone in and disabled the internal microphone, but it still picks up…with no signal at all from the USB, I have about a third of a meter of audio when monitoring the input. I can tap on the laptop and the meter spikes. The laptop I use is an HP with WIN 10, and I also have a DELL with WIN 8.1, both having the same results. How can I resolve this?

Both laptops have version 2.2.2. I mix two guitars, a bass, a keyboard, and four vocals, running through a crossover, a QSC amp for mid-high and a Crown amp for Sub on the output side, and the other output through the USB output to the laptop input. I then export as WAV to my CD burner and burn off a few copies. These CD’s are the end result, and the sound quality is not impressive. When I play directly back to the sound system via USB, I have the same low quality recording. Once a month I run a second system from Karaoke software on another computer with its own amps and speakers; running a line level input to my Mackie and recording it as well. When we record the Karaoke music and vocals on the Karaoke software, it sounds great…but when I run the same signal through my board and onto the Audacity, its still poor quality. In both cases, the laptop internal mike is adding its signal, even though it is disabled.

to the fact that I cannot prevent it from recording from both the USB and the internal microphone on the laptop.

Make sure to select the USB device as your [u]Recording Device[/u]. (It may not say Mackie… It might say “USB CODEC” or “USB…Something”.

Mackie 22 channel mixer.

By model number?

Do you use Skype or other chat, conference or communications software? Skype in particular is vicious about taking control of your sound services from you. That’s the first thing that sprang to mind when you said you couldn’t turn the microphone off.

Disconnect the USB and all other external sound connections. Can you still record from the built-in microphone? You turned it off in Windows > Sound-Something in the lower right? (Can you tell I’m not a Windows person?) Did it go off? Did the little bouncing sound meter stop working?

Just to be obsessive, gently scratch the laptop and see if the loudest scratching happens over the microphone. Check the instructions. My microphone is just left of the CAPS LOCK key.

Wild Guess: I think you have two problems. Your conference software is preventing your microphone from going off and the mixer USB return pathway is mixing the microphone sound into your show. There’s usually a mixer button to accept sound from the computer (return path). Does anything change when you turn that off?


I only use this laptop for Audacity, I don’t even go on line with it. I have selected the USB recording option in the software, instead of the realtec built in mic. When the board/usb is unhooked, I still record room level noise, voices, music through the computer internal mic…should get dead air. I’ve even thought about taking the laptop apart and physically disabling the input mic. Got a mind of its own!

“Help menu > Diagnostics > Audio device info”.
Save the info and attach it to your reply.

I’ll have to take the laptop to the church and hook it into the system, as the USB isn’t available unless it is plugged in. In stand alone mode, the audio device default is high definition microphone…which I opt out of once the USB feed is plugged in. I’ll have it setup Sat night, and will then post snapshot after that.