squeal while recording

I have been using audacity 2.0.5 on my iMac 10.9.4 and recording using a snowball mic.

everything fine until sunday when the mac wouldn’t recognise the snowball. I shut down, changed the ports etc and then realised that the snowball cord to the snowball mic had been damaged by me twisting the mic ball round and not making sure the cord was clear.

I could see that was the problem as when I jiggled the snowball cord, the red light on the mic went out.
Fine. Iw net and ordered a new snowball mic - takes a while to get to NZ. realised then that I could buy new USB cord and that would solve the problem.
today- when I went for record with new usb cord to snowball mic, I have a high squeal noise on the recording. This has never happened before. When I sue the in-built mic on the computer- no squeal.
I have moved the mic etc- no difference.
I am still waiting for a new snowball mic to come from amazon and really hoping that the squeal id specific to the old mic.

Can anyone help with suggestions?
Thank you.

realised then that I could buy new USB cord and that would solve the problem.

Yes, the snowball does not have a captive cord. Any A/B USB cable will do it.

Macs are pretty resistant to that feedback thing unless you like running speakers rather than headphones. That’s usually a bad idea any time you have a live microphone. Does the squealing go away if you turn off the speakers or “playback” temporarily and make a live recording?

You can also get into trouble if you use SoundFlower or have other recording software on your machine.

Can you find the SnowBall in your Audacity device listing? Audacity checks for devices when it starts.


Oh. One more. Audacity > Preferences > Recording.

De-select everything — unless you’re overdubbing. You didn’t say what the show was.


I am recording live voice.
I had everything deselected in the preferences.

I am not using headphones. Just playing the live voice recording back through the iMac.

There is no squeal when I record using the inbuilt mic. I can’t use the inbuilt mic as it isn’t good enough sound quality.
It’s really odd. I am doing nothing different than usual.

The audacity re-scan audio devices still won’t show the snowball mic specifically. it shows a USB advanced audio device instead.

I can see on the audacity recording, little tiny spikes where the background “noise” has been recorded.

I don’t have any other recording software on the iMac apart from garageband.

Thank you for being thorough. I need to read through that…


There’s no telling what the microphone is going to appear like when you plug it in.

Apple (upper left) > System Preferences > Sound > Input. Does that show something that could be your microphone and does it vanish when you unplug the microphone? Ignore Audacity for the moment.

Let’s go right for step two. When you record in a strong, clear voice, do you get bouncing red sound meters and good blue waves?


More importantly, do you get a nice thin blue waveform when you stop talking?

Try a different USB connection on your computer. It’s possible you fried the USB connection when you were using that badly damaged USB cable. It is required that you use a Home Run USB connection on the computer for sound. No USB Hubs.


yes, the mic shows there when plugged in and disappears when unplugged.

I get the bouncing red meters and good blue waves as usual.
the blue input level in sound preferences goes to 4-5 while speak into the mic,a nd output on that same indicator goes up to 8 or so.

I have a tun blue waveform when I stop talking.
I have changed the keyboard and mouse to different usb ports- no problem. I don’t have a usb hub.
I don’t have a different usb connection to try on the computer- apart from the new usb cord I bought on Tuesday.

thank you for your help. I am so appreciative .

How are you doing that? Or do you mean merely that you record, stop then play the recording without trying to hear what you are recording?