recording level too high or low, There's no gradation.

Complete Noise-Free Recording Volume is greater than 0.5 and less than 1.00

I suspect it’s a lot worse than that or the poster wouldn’t be complaining about it. Also see:

…the audio quality, is nowhere near as good as it was…

Can you make a screen grab of the Devices and Recording preferences panels like this?



Are you listening to your own performance voice and where are the headphones plugged in?

Koz

I have managed to make an improvement

How? Any clue you can give us is more clues than we have. Report any change you make that changes the damage.

From the ten thousand foot view:

There’s something about the sound pathways in the newer Audacity licenses that causes circular sound routing (feedback) in your system. I think it’s a pathway that involves getting into and out of Audacity and that delay gives a pumping, thumping sound instead of a scream or howl of the club microphone.

That’s why I wanted to see where the Recording panel settings were. As far as I know, those are the only ways to get sound to leave Audacity during recording. The fact that enough live sound is leaving Audacity to make the system unstable might be the clue that the Windows elves or developers need to jump in here and ask some questions.

It’s possible and in fact likely that this process is helped along with your bouquet of other sound apps, but just being able to solve it by using an early Audacity version is highly suspicious.

Koz

might be the clue that the Windows elves or developers need to jump in here and ask some questions.

Or might not. Your Desperation Method is use the older Audacity and freeze the machine there. No more upgrades. I have several machines like that. They’re not upgradable because of version support problems.

Koz

This is why we strongly encourage limiting topics to one question only.

Almost certainly NOT due to the microphone.

Voicemeeter + Skype + discord. That’s a very complicated sound system with lots and lots of things that could cause problems.

If I were to attempt trouble shooting this problem, I’d start by ensuring that a minimum number of programs and processes start automatically (disable Skype, discord, Voicemeeter and all other non-essential programs from starting automatically).
I would then set Audacity 2.3.2 back to default settings (delete the contents of Users<username>\AppData\Roaming\audacity), and then reboot the machine.
After the computer has fully rebooted, I would attempt to record directly from the USB microphone, with no other applications running.

Steve

"If I were to attempt trouble shooting this problem, I’d start by ensuring that a minimum number of programs and processes start automatically (disable >Skype, discord, Voicemeeter and all other non-essential programs from starting automatically).
I would then set Audacity 2.3.2 back to default settings (delete the contents of Users<username>\AppData\Roaming\audacity), and then reboot the >machine.

After the computer has fully rebooted, I would attempt to record directly from the USB microphone, with no other applications running."

I have been using this setup now for 2 years without problems. As I said, skype and discord are rarely used. When I record, it’s
Audacity to record the Mic, Voicemeeter Banana to handle the devices, which allows me to organise the audio into separate tracks,
also separating game from communication audio when I use that. It’s worked perfectly for 2 years, and the setup is exactly the same.

I have managed to get it to record without breaking up, but the volume is very low. Messing with it screws it up. However now the levels
slider has zero effect, either in Audacity or in Windows Properties/levels. Perplexing problem.

Voicemeeter + Skype + discord. That’s a very complicated sound system with lots and lots of things that could cause problems.

If I were to attempt trouble shooting this problem, I’d start by ensuring that a minimum number of programs and processes start automatically (disable Skype, discord, Voicemeeter and all other non-essential programs from starting automatically).
I would then set Audacity 2.3.2 back to default settings (delete the contents of Users<username>\AppData\Roaming\audacity), and then reboot the machine.
After the computer has fully rebooted, I would attempt to record directly from the USB microphone, with no other applications running.

That’s my recommendation, too. If you can’t do those steps then the elves can’t help you. The next option is wait for someone who had the exact same problem you do and knows how to fix it. This isn’t a help desk, it’s a forum with regular users helping each other. The resident elves can’t always pull you out of trouble.

Post back when you find which configuration is causing the problems. We try to keep records of unusual failures and what caused them.

Koz

Hey,

I still have the same problem with recording level too high and low, with no gradtion regardless of level setting. Here’s a video I made
of the problem along with some links to images of the Recording and Devices preference settings. If I record with OBS, and use it to record
the mic, then it generally comes out ok, though the quality isn’t as good as Audacity; and it has none of this broken level problem. Yet in Audacity
it’s there all the time, and the same problem occurs in Audacity 2.2.1. I’ve not tested previous versions as they don’t have the features I need.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=phjx59HdJfg&feature=youtu.be

I’m really hoping someone can come up with a solution. I spoke with Rode Microphones and they don’t think it’s the microphone, they think it’s something to do with Audacity.

Thanks

Neon

I didn’t notice this check being done in the previous lists of things you’ve done.

Open up your sound settings in windows. Go to the recording tab. Locate your microphone. Right click, properties. Advanced. Make sure exclusive mode settings are disabled. I’m far from a sound expert, but to me it sounds like you only have two volumes no matter what you set your slider to, which makes me think some other program is taking control of the audio as well.

Alternatively, if they are off, you can try enabling them and restarting Audacity to see if it’ll take control properly.

But I reread one of the posts and you may have actually already done this, just using different words. But either way, now the actual words that Microsoft uses are put down as things to check.

to me it sounds like you only have two volumes no matter what you set your slider to, which makes me think some other program is taking control of the audio as well.

The machine is oscillating. The poster’s description of the problem is slightly misleading. The sound doesn’t stay at one volume or another for a long period. It’s constantly slapping back and forth between two different volumes at a fractional second interval and the only control is which two.

If the poster changes the volume settings too low to sustain oscillation, it stops, usually at a very low volume setting. As presented in this thread, the poster is using several different apps famous for causing instability.

Koz

as illustrated in this screenshot of NeonsStyle’s audio sample:

I did as Alkaline suggested, by disabling the tick boxes in mic properties/advanced where other apps are allowed
to control this device. With it ticked or not ticked, it made no difference. The problem remains. It’s purely an
audacity problem, ie showing up only in that. I am still at a loss as to the cause.

The other commenters are correct; it is recording only two volumes. All this started after I lost all my
settings after my C drives boot sector was damaged when a power suppy died. I was forced to reformat
it and reinstall Windows 7 Pro 64 bit. I’ve had this problem ever since.

To be honest, I’m getting to my wits end.

I agree that it is unlikely to be due to the microphone, but to be sure, you can easily test that by recording with the microphone in another app. Even Windows Voice Recorder is sufficient to test the mic.

What’s wrong with the quality when you record the microphone with OBS?
Please post a short audio sample of the Rode microphone recording made with OBS.


What are Audacity’s settings in “Edit > Preferences > Devices”?

The biggest problem with Audacity as I have said repeatedly is the levels are broken. This is what I need fixed,

Here are two samples of audio. One recorded about a month ago in Audacity before it shat itself, and the other recorded last week in OBS using a set of
standard filters, noise reduction, gate and limiter. Both have been processed. It doesn’t matter that OBS is not as good as Audacity at recording the audio, I usually do the commentary after I’ve recorded the video, and with Audacity not working, I can’t do that. So I have to do it live. You guys are the Audacity guru’s so I’m really hoping you can come up with a fix that doesn’t mean I have to buy audio software, as Audacity has always been perfect for my needs.

Audacity Recording from month agio
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1tmLnfYwjX2-NEf5MuuzAfRS7ombS4ePg/view?usp=sharing

OBS Recording from last week
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1UDP5FeNZ2CNiXopYbJCca_rzvRrC27_j/view?usp=sharing

A Sample of the Levels problem as I’ve shown before:
https://drive.google.com/file/d/136f_LJKyYOmmG0YvSU5nUyafDwFfe9sV/view?usp=sharing

Still hoping for a reply that can help. Please? :question:

Try making a recording using the same hardware as you use with Audacity, but record with Windows Voice Recorder instead of Audacity.

IMPORTANT: For this to be a meaningful test, everything must be set up exactly the same as when you get the problem with Audacity, except for using Windows Voice Recorder instead of Audacity.

Then close Windows Voice Recorder, and without changing anything else, launch Audacity and make a test recording with the exact same setup.

Do not apply any processing, just make the recordings.
What happens?

Thanks for the reply.

Here are those recordings:

The results:

Sound Recorder and Audacity show the broken audio, while
OBS no filters while also sliding levels, is not broken, but volume is very low, even though the levels in OBS
was from about 30% to 90%.

First Windows Sound Recorder while sliding the levels up and down in Microphone Properties/Levels.

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1oE9AuJMjXBMNo5IIEsUyPIEBWKVXOwrd/view?usp=sharing

Next with Audacity while sliding the levels up and down.

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1vYN57qK_P6Zqc90XFgEKO_p-X4RjDKEh/view?usp=sharing

Next is OBS. A long note while sliding the levels in OBS mixer. Note sound cut out. No filters.

https://drive.google.com/file/d/11-FkMrqjHQbF8ifTipHREne8jd0SOsO3/view?usp=sharing

This may be a long shot, but as an OBS user myself I was able to get OBS settings to alter my recordings in audacity in a SIMILAR (though not as dramatic fashion). In OBS, File → Settings → Advance → Make sure Disable Windows Audio Ducking is checked in OBS → Apply.

While recording in OBS after, with overdubbing on, if I held a single note (as best as I could at least) and changed the recording volume slider in Audacity, I would have sudden snaps where my volume would jump instead of a smooth progression of sound. Just like yours, just a lot less frequently.

That was a very good suggestion Alkaline, as it was on but sadly it does not solve the problem. I disabled
it, and again recorded a long note in Audacity while sliding the levels slider, and again it was just as broken
and only had two volume levels. Either too quite, or mid.

I’m just about at my wits end with this. :cry:

Perhaps you’re ready to try the suggestion that I posted here: recording level too high or low, There's no gradation. - #24 by steve
Computer sound systems are complex (and yours is very complex). Debugging complex systems require a methodical approach: strip the system down to a state where it works, then build it back up again one step at a time to locate the problem.

I went through that the first time you mentioned it Steve.

Just to be sure, I went through it once again. Removed skype, removed discord from startup, uninstalled
Voicemeeter Pro just in case it was messing things up. I also disabled microphone
in OBS settings. I also deleted the users/appdata/roaming/audacity contents as well and rebooted the computer.

Now the system is back to default audio with just the direct mic, and speakers and no other programs are
accessing the microphone. So I tested it in Audacity which is now in it’s default state and again
I have the same problem. Broken levels with only two volume levels. :frowning:

I’m ready to start pulling my hair out.