screech or whine or squeal thing

As soon as I hit the record button a screechy sound is produced. Can anyone tell me what that is? PLEASE!

with only that for a clue
i would have to guess but
it is usually feedback

speakers are active
the microphone is active

the mike output
feeds the amplifier
that feeds the speaker output
with sound out
that feeds the mike input
which repeats the cycle
until the system saturates
and oscillates at a natural resonant frequency
producing the squeal

turn the speakers off
while you are recording

I get the same thing. It happened once before and I reinstalled Audacity and that didn’t help so I quit using it. I tried again a few days ago, after about 6 month of not using it, and it worked fine. I tried today and got the squeal again. I’m going from the cassette to a usb port and I can’t blame the computer as everything else I hook into it works fine.

Try changing the USB cable or disconnecting any other USB devices that use a lot of bandwidth (like a USB modem). Please read this .


I can bring up the Audacity software with nothing plugged in and hit record and still get the squeal. It has to be in the software somewhere.

Then as an experiment, try recording with some other software, like GarageBand on Mac or Windows Sound Recorder on Windows. Exactly what version of Windows or Mac are you on?

Did you actually try ?


I’m running Windows 7. I’ll have to download the other program and will then let you know what happens.

Ok, I just tried Windows recorder and it worked fine, no squeal at all. I used the same cassette player, cable and hook up as I use on Audacity. Only hting changed was the software.

What are you trying to record?
Is this on a laptop computer?
How do you hear the screech, through headphones or through speakers?

Look in the Transport menu and check that “Software Playthrough” is not enabled (not selected).

I checked the in the transport and the it was checked so I unchecked it and tried the record again and the noise has seemingly stopped. Will try recording tonight when I get a chance and let you know for sure but I believe that has taken care of it. Thanks.

If you uncheck software playthrough the only disadvantage is that (as well as hearing no whine) you also won’t be able to hear the recording through the computer speakers while you are making it.

The whine should not get recorded assuming you have the Audacity recording device correctly set to the USB Audio Codec.

You may also be able to listen to what the cassette player is sending to the computer (not necessarily exactly what gets recorded) by plugging headphones into the cassette deck.