Recorded audio picking up differently all of a sudden?

I’ve been recording some voice lines for a friend’s project recently and all of a sudden when booting it up on my computer one day Audacity decided to all of a sudden stop picking up my microphone the same way, making the audio sound more grainy and like my voice is farther away/more nasally despite the fact that I recorded both lines with the exact same setup/length away from mic

It was working perfectly fine the night before/the multiple days I had been using it leading up till this moment and I cannot for the life of me figure out why it is doing this. I already checked to make sure Audacity was using the right microphone, tried fiddling with my microphone itself, reset all preferences in the program, made sure the Audio Enhancements feature wasn’t messing with anything, and even reinstalled the whole program from scratch and yet still nothing. Yesterday I was able to get it to sound a decent bit better by switching the USB port my microphone was connected to but now after booting up my computer today not even that is working anymore, and when it did it only fixed a part of the problem and not the entire thing

Does anyone have any idea what’s happening? I have a deadline coming up real soon and really need to figure this out ASAP. Or if there’s no known fix, what settings would I have to mess with to get it to sound as close to the original as I can?

Windows? Did Windows do an Update In The Background?

What else do you use the computer for? Communications/Skype/Zoom? Games? Make sure those are shut down and not just resting in the background.

How? Scratch test? Gently scratch each microphone and listen to the result. This depends on you knowing where you laptop microphone is. Mine is just left of the left-hand Shift key.

If this is Windows, do a clean shutdown. Regular Shutdown or Restart can leave stuff hanging around. Shift+Shutdown closes everything.

Which microphone? Did you unplug both ends and plug them in again? If the microphone uses power from the computer, having a dirty connection can cause some very serious problems.

Do you have any other recorders? I have Olympus sound recorders and a Zoom Company H1n recorder.

I’ve done some very good work with Lossless Voice Memo on my iPhone.

Post back if you do locate the problem. Are you using Audacity 3.5, by any chance?

Koz

At the risk of being Suzy Sunshine, microphones do break. Can you try it on a different computer? Audacity install is free.

Koz

Thank you for all the information! I use this computer for a multiple of things including all that you mentioned but made sure nothing else else besides Opera GX was open when I was recording my lines, I have since tried recording with that closed as well with no change

I used the scratch test on my microphone and determined it is definitely using the correct one, thats a neat trick to keep in mind though I’ll have to remember that one! I also forgot to mention in my initial post but I am running it off of a not too old desktop (only 1 and a half years old) so the only microphone that is plugged into it is the one I used to record the audio, ive had 2 other ones plugged in at other points but one belongs to an Oculus Quest 2 and the other one hasnt been used in months so I dont think either of those would be the culprit. Just to check I tried recording audio with the Oculus mic setting and no sound was picked up whatsoever.

Yup, I tried unplugging both ends one at a time as well as tried doing both at the same time, but have not noticed any changes with either way. I sadly dont have another on me currently but thankfully have a friend wiling to one of his to test out so next step will most likely be trying that out

Yeah that was one of my first concerns with it but at the very least it gives me a good excuse to replace my current one lol, id just rather see what I can get working first before then as even with a new mic the issue may persist. I’ll try using this one with a sibling’s computer and see if it has similar results or not. Once again thank you for all the help!

Which Audacity? All three numbers.

You didn’t use the magic words, “I did a clean shutdown.” Did you? Hold Shift while you shut down.

Zoom, as one example, completely takes over the sound services of your computer while it’s running and you can’t stop it. Sometimes those controls and services don’t give up when you close Zoom. That Clean Shutdown is is really important.

Thank you for the sound clip. I just played it multiple times. It sounds exactly like you’re announcing into the back of a highly directional microphone. You are, in effect, perfectly recording your room.

We didn’t get the make and model of the microphone. There is the case of a very popular microphone with broken instructions. Yes, it did say where the front of the microphone was—In tiny type near the back of the manual. I had trouble finding it and I knew it was there. New versions of the manual had super clear graphics where to put your lips.

Koz

There are other production problems. On really careful inspection of your clip, it has dead quiet, switches to room and computer fan noises, and then “Hey, Hugo…”

There’s ways around that when we find out what the microphone is.

Koz

I keep forgetting to say this. I like your voice. I can listen to a story in that voice.

Koz

I just checked am I am on Audacity 3.5.1 and the version is for Windows 10

ohhh I wasn’t aware that holding shift while closing those programs does that, I used to always manually do it form task manager after the fact. That’s useful to know thank you! I tried fully shutting down of anything else that might be using a microphone like discord and tried recording audio again and it sounds a little better but it still sounds far away

  1. oh my bad I forgot to mention it in the initial post, the make and model of the current microphone is a Maono AU-AO4, not a fantastic mic but it did its job well for the last year and a half for the price I paid for it, I could definitely see it being its time to be replaced it the thing that throws me for a loop so is how night and day it was between putting it to sleep and booting it up the next day

the one I am currently waiting on to get here to possibly replace it is a HyperX Quadcast, hopefully once that arrives I can find out for sure if this is a microphone related issue and a computer driven one. Once I get the new one set up I will provide a video comparing the 2’s quality

ah yes that’s one thing I was planning to have to go in and modify myself, is there is a way to partially automate that it would make my job a whole lot easier

Ay thank you! As someone who has always felt somewhat wishy washy with my voice I appreciate the compliment haha

It doesn’t. Hold Shift while you Shut Down the computer. That works around Windows Fast Shutdown and insures a complete closing of programs.

Windows has about a thousand different methods of booting and shutting down. This is the one I remember being a Mac person.

Koz

Are you announcing into the side grill close to the company name?

The pop filter illustration in the manual actually shows you announcing into the back.

Koz