(sorry for my bad english, i am not from english speaking country)
for a few months i am fighting a very strange and very serious problem for me while using audacity to record audio (voice) with my microphone. When i am recording, apart from the expected and normal background noise, there is very strange and very loud buzzing noise. You can “repair” it a little bit with noise removal function, but it ruins the quality and you cannot rid of it completely. I attached short audio clip of it in the post (its unedited, without background noise removal. You can clearly hear the classic background noise which can be removed without problems, but also you can here very loud buzzing / squeeking sound (i dont know how to describe it properly in english).
Main problem is, that i have no idea why is it happening. Weird thing is, that it happens like 19 of 20 times. I can start the recording, stop it quickly to listen to it, there is buzzing, i can start new recording right after that, buzzing is still there, then again new recording and suddenly its not there. So i start new recordind in hopes it will be ok and i can finally start recording for real but its there again.
Thank you for any helps and responses, its killing me.
It is only a standard computer mic that will pick up all noises close to the motherboard. Professionals would be inclined to use a mic with an XLR connector in a USB interface or with a USB mic pre-amplifier, unless their computer has a proper stereo line-in in which case they might connect the mic to a non-USB mixer and connect the mixer to line-in.
If this mic did not make that noise before, consider what changed on your computer just before the noise started. If the noise started after you upgraded to Windows 10, go to the web site of your computer or motherboard manufacturer and install the latest Windows 10 audio drivers intended for your specific computer or motherboard.
If that does not help, you “might” get better results by turning off boost for the mic in Windows Sound.
That’s the problem, because it startet happening even before upgrading to WIN 10 on WIN7, drivers are newest, i tried reinstalling them. Nothing in my PC changed, no matter how hard i try to think what might be causing this, i don’t know. And can you be more specific with the boost disabling? I didn’t find anything about boost in the link you provided. What is the boost, how can i disable it and what will it cause? thank you.
If you have installed new software that runs all the time and makes the computer work harder, that could be enough to cause the noise.
Conversely on some machines when the CPU is working at full speed, it is silent, but when the workload is lower, the CPU goes into power-saving mode and that mode creates the noise. This is quite likely on a laptop or netbook. In that case you may have to look at Power settings or BIOS/UEFI settings. Search online for similar problems for whatever make and model of computer you have.
You may actually need to spend money on a new microphone.
If you want to check for the mic boost, right-click over the speaker icon by the system clock, then choose “Recording Devices”. Right-click over the the external mic (or however it is described) and choose “Properties”.
Look at all the tabs. The mic boost may be called “Gain” or “Boost” and it may be on the “Levels” tab or the “Advanced” tab. If it is in the Levels tab it might be behind an “Advanced” button.
On the Advanced tab, disable all the effects and enhancements.
I’ve got quite powerful PC and i’ve tried recording while PC was “idle” with very low or almost none usage of CPU or GPU and it was buzzing, i tried recording with very demanding game running, but it was still buzzing.
I have been thinking on getting more expensive mic, but the thing is that this mic used to run perfectly and i have no guarantee that the new expensive mic won’t have the same problem i have now so i cannot risk it.
As for the boost, that is another very weird thing - i have nothing like that in properties of the mic. On the levels tab, there is only volume and nothing else. There is not even the advanced tab. There “specifics” tab, where i can set in what bits and Hz the recording will happen but nothing about boost.
One other thing that i forgot to mention. When i was buying the mic few years back, it was recommended to me, to buy usb dongle external sound card, that its supposed to work better with it. And to my surprise it did. The mic is not usb by itself, it has jack, but you put the jack to the usb dongle and then the usb dongle to usb port on the back of the PC. I tried connecting the mic to the PC directly to try if the usb dongle sound card is not causing this somehow, but then the mic is not working at all. Its there, PC see it, but it doesnt record anything. (i tripple checked to see if its selected as primary device, if drivers are newest etc)
Perhaps something there is weird? But how would anything like that cause buzzing sounds?
Sorry for bothering you so much, i know i ask a lot of questions, but if i am recording a lot of voice with the microphone (youtube purposes), what mic would you recommend? Something that has very clear and quality sound and is not causing any buzzing or weird noises. (BTW what is better? usb mics? or mics with jack? or the mics that are somehow connected to the PC with the XLR connector through some amplifier? Is it difficult to set up?
I would expect that to be less noisy in theory, because you are using a USB sound device rather than a sound device inside the computer which is close to sources of mechanical and electronic noise.
Have you tried restarting Audacity and explicitly selecting the external mic as recording device, not Primary Sound Capture Driver or Sound Mapper - Input?
And if you are choosing Windows DirectSound host in Audacity (to left of where you choose Recording Device) you could try MME or WASAPI instead. MME should be the most compatible.
And you could try another USB port. Connect to an empty USB port. Do not use a computer USB hub.
Assuming your computer only has a mic port and no proper stereo line-in, an XLR mic would have to connect to a USB interface, USB mixer or USB mic pre-amplifier. You would have to buy the mic and the interface. It may not help if your USB ports have become noisy for some reason. I was assuming your posted noise sample was from connecting the mic to the computer using the mic’s 1/8 inch plug.
I don’t hear a loud buzzing, squeaking sound in your sample. I hear normal microphone rain-in-the-trees pink noise shshshshshsh and maybe a very, very tiny crickets at night sound that I might miss if I wasn’t listening for it.
Do you get the noise if you play the sample on a different computer or music player?
I assume the mic port is one of these “compatible” stereo inputs. Setting Audacity to record in mono might help. Setting the mic to mono on that “Specifics” tab which has Hz settings might help too.
Is there a “Listen” tab when you right-click over the mic or the USB dongle in Windows Sound and choose Properties? On that tab you can enable “Listen” and make the device play through the computer speakers. Make sure Listen is turned off for both mic and dongle, as well as disabling other recording devices as Trebor suggested.
Was that sample from the mic when it was connected to the USB dongle?
Kozikowski: i don’t want to be rude, and i do aprreciate all help and comment, but i’ve played the buzzing sound to a number of people and they hear it very clearly and they confirm its a quite loud buzzing noise so if you say you don’t hear anything or just some “tiny” sound, perhaps something could be wrong with your speakers or headphones.
Anyway, i have read all the tips and suggestions - a disabled every other recording device that i found and left only the specific mic enabled and set as main. It didnt help. I tried changing the audio host in audacity to wasapi (i had it set to MME) and it also didnt help. I tried to lower the rate to 44100 Hz - didn’t help. I checked the “listen” tab and it is correctly ticked off.
However, i tried playing with all of this, and when i set the rate of the mic in windows to 48000 Hz and then also in audacity - it looks like the buzzing stopped. The backround noise is quite stronger (i cannot describe it better without knowing proper english) but after i clean it with noise removal, the resulting recording sounds pretty ok because the noise removal seems to handle the background noise well enough when the buzz is not present (even though the backgound noise now is weirdly strong and loud)
a number of people and they hear it very clearly and they confirm its a quite loud buzzing noise
Then we’re even. Forum elves agree with me that there is a very, very thin background sound other than the gentle rushing (ocean surf, rain) sound probably made by the microphone. No buzz.
the backgound noise now is weirdly strong and loud
Then there’s still something wrong. A change from 44100 to 48000 (Audio CD quality to Video quality) should not make the background hiss or noise level change. If the microphone is not OK with the two numbers, one of them usually just stops working.
I still wouldn’t mind hearing an actual voice test posted. We can only do limited diagnostics when the posted sound sample has only noise.
This is the process for a forum posting. It’s the same as an audiobook test.
I was testing everything again the whole morning and results are chaos. For a while, best results were with both audacity and windows set to 48000 Hz 16bit, no buzz at all, just background noise that was easily removed and then it was very clear. But then the buzzing was there again even with that settings and no changes to anything inside or outside my pc, i don’t know anymore.
You can hear the squeeking/buzzing better with headphones of course when the sound gets directly to your ear.
I did the test recording as you said and it is in the attachement.
I think that when you record silence, there should be silence after you remove the normal background noise. And some time ago, i was getting that result. Now the buzzing is there, i can hear it, i can reduce it with heavier noise removal, but this will destroy the voice quality overall, or i can do just normal noise removal and the buzzing will still be there.
I guess we all hear little bit differently because when i asked my father, he didnt here any buzzing or squeeking, but then i asked my fiancee and she could hear it very clearly, same as my friend. Some may not hear it at all, some may not hear it well, but some will hear it and it bothers me because i want good quality.
One final question - my video recording is in stereo and after testing it seems that when i record my voice in mono, its little bit better and the buzzing is less of a problem. So if video recording is in stereo and i add audio (my voice recorded with audacity) in mono, can it cause some problems? some quality problems, syncing problems etc?
Once again thanks to everyone.
Yes, there is some very low volume 50Hz power hum in there (and 100 as well), and I can hear some very low volume data noises, but all of those sounds are lower volume than the normal microphone hiss ffffffffffff. Your voice is not permanently damaged because of loud noises in the performance. It takes a bit of work, but I think I can create a good quality, ACX AudioBook compliant reading out of your clip. So no, we’re not hearing the same things you are.
Between the odd, moving symptoms, shifting listening reports and conflicting opinions, you’re close to the end of what we can do from multiple time zones away…
I’m pretty sure you have more than one problem.
Post another clip very similar to the first one (which was perfect) that you think has no buzz damage. Let’s try it that way.
There is a medical joke called a doorknob moment. The patient makes it through an entire consultation and with his hand on the door knob to go turns and as an afterthought says something that completely changes everything that happened in the meeting.
You have a technical distortion in the sound clip. This happened twice now and it’s not normal. Attached, I amplified the clip as much as possible without distortion. That’s the first half-second. That elevated blue wave at the far left is not normal. It’s a tiny pop at the beginning of the clip.
That’s not supposed to be there. There’s also a little blue blob of something at .073 and that’s not supposed to be there, either. That area of the clip is supposed to be pure, simple room noise. They might be symptoms of an unstable microphone system.