records background noise

I am a relatively new user to audacity. I have recorded a dozen or so cassette tapes with no problem. Yesterday, I opened Audacity and prepared to record another cassette. As I have always done, I hit the pause button and then hit the record before I started the cassette. As soon as I hit the record button it started spewing this noise out of my computer that doesn’t stop. It does not record anything from the cassette. No matter what I do, I can’t get rid of the horrible noise. I hope someone out there understands my problem as it is a little difficult to explain. I really hope there is a fix for this. By the way, the noise happens whether I have the cassette player connected to the computer or not.

Please read the pink panel at the top of the page and give us the necessary information.

Make sure you are choosing the correct recording source in Audacity’s Device Toolbar.

Is it a USB cassette recorder? If so, remove the USB cable, put it back and make sure it is tight at both ends, then restart the Mac.

Change the USB cable for another one if the problem persists.


I am using a Mac Pro with Yosemite. I have Audacity 2.0.5. I will attempt to use a new cable, but the problem happens even when the USB cassette isn’t hooked up to the computer. I’ve never had the sound come spewing out of the computer when I have it on pause/record. If I hit record, it will only record that sound.

Have you checked the Device Toolbar to see which recording device you have selected?

What you describe sounds like feedback, so we need to know what your input and output are. Also, what are the settings in Recording Preferences?

One of these?

– Bill

You may need to open Audio/Midi setup in Applications/Utilities and confirm your settings there even if the look to be OK. Quit Audio/Midi setup to save settings.

Quit Audacity first and relaunch after.