Problem recording with an XLR mic

I’m using Audacity 3.1.3. It’s been a few years since I’ve done this. I can get my voice to record but not a guitar. I used to record an acoustic guitar all the time (using the same XLR mic by the way) and never had problems like this. Now I’m trying to record my Fender Telecaster using a 15 watt Peavey practice amp with the mic on a stand right in front of the amp; and the mic a few inches in front of the speaker. No matter what I try I’m getting nothing. Any help would be appreciated.


What’s the microphone plugged into? Something with an XLR input or are you using some kind of adapter into a laptop or soundcard?

If you’re using a laptop, is it different from what you used before and does it have separate mic & headphone connections, or a single combo-connector? The combo-connector will work with a regular headphone plug but the microphone requires a special plug with an extra contact.

A simple adapter can “work” into a laptop/soundcard if it’s wired right but it’s still not correct. Computer mics are not interchangeable with stage/studio mics. Studio mics use a balanced (3-wire) connection and computer mics are unbalanced (2-wire). Studio condenser mics also require 48V phantom power (dynamic mics like your Shure don’t need power.)

I’m betting it’s a little more magic than that. Automatic Voice Processing is used by many if not all chat and conference systems (Skype, Zoom, etc.). It seeks to find “noise,” background sounds, and echoes in order to suppress them and make the voice as clean and clear as possible. It absolutely hates music.

Do you like Skype or any of the other community software packages? Gracefully close everything and Clean Shutdown Windows. Shift+Shutdown > Wait > Start. Do not let anything start. See if that helps. It counts if the problem changes, not just gets better.

You can also dig in the Windows Sound Control panels > Recording and find out if it is applying any “Enhancements” or other software. I once got a new computer from the Systems People and they accidentally left “Cathedral Effects” running. It sounded wonderful, but maybe not for a simple voice recording.


DVDDoug: The mic is an Audio Technica that’s plugged directly into the computer with an XLR to USB cable. This is the exact same setup that I used a few years ago with an earlier version of Audacity. The only difference is that before I was using Windows 7 and now I’m using Windows 10

Kozlowski: I’ll also check the Windows Sound Control settings.