Recording level hiss

Hi, after a few emails with Allen & Heath regarding gain, fader and AUX levels to try and prevent hissing on recording, I discovered that if my recording level on Audacity is set too high, the hissing (even prerecording) is awful! If I set it to around 80% it seems fine. My question is: Is this normal, given that my mixing desk is analogue and that maybe I shouldn’t be recording at too high a level anyway? Or, is this a potential issue? It doesn’t matter how low I set gains, etc on the Allen & Heath, I can see the noise flickering away on the green bar, even before I start to record. Am I being a little too demanding with the anti hiss thing or is there something I can do about it? Windows 10, using 2.3.3 Many thanks!

Unless you stopped it, Windows will try to make everything you do into a conference call. This is the likely cause of unexplained odd noises, distortion, and behavior.

Right-click the speaker icon in the lower right and drill down into the sound enhancements and turn them off. Also I think you can get there via the sound control panels.

What’s supposed to happen is you record naturally with the volume indicators on your sound mixer and then with blue wave peaks at about half-way in Audacity.

If you have a pure analog mixer you’ll need a way to get into the computer other than the little Audio-In or Mic-In connection on the side. Those are almost always a mismatch to your mixer. I like the Behringer UCA-202 for simple stereo USB adapter. That’s my Peavey mixer on the right.

Which Allen & Heath mixer do you have?


If you use the USB-feature of your mixer, the signal is not longer “analog”, you can handle it as a “digital” signal. Can you send us a screenshot of the signal in audacity? Or a piece of some seconds of your recording?

What happens, if you also use a recording level of 60% or 40%. I still believe, that you try to get a “100% full sample window”, but you should try to reach the studio-level of -20dB (and max-peaks -10dB) in digital recordings!

Hi, thanks for your reply. I really wouldn’t know how to post a short video on here. If there’s a way, please let me know.

Koz, the desk is an Allen & Heath Zed 16 FX.

I have now completely disconnected the desk from my PC and the noise flickering is still there on the record monitoring bar!

So, its not the desk or the USB cable connecting the two as I had first thought.

It has to be something giving noise from within the Audacity program or from the PC itself.

I disconnected the ethernet cable into the PC to rule that noise out, but it didn’t alter anything.

Would you know of any audio settings on the PC (Windows 10) that might reduce noise filtering its way on to the DAW?

It can only be that.

Many thanks