static and AIR-Whumps

when i record my live music on audacity, guitar and vocals, i noticed a low static sound in the background… and an occasional “whumppp” sound, which i assumed was my breath hitting the mic. so i decided to just record the sound in my room. i stood far from the mic, remaining absolutely still. all i can hear is my computer fan doing its low hum.
when i listen back tothe track, i hear the low static and, every 7 seconds or so… that “whoommmppp” sound. low in volume, but very detectable. like if you had people in the apartment above you and you could jsut barely of hear them sitting or falling on their floor.
im using windows 7. internal sound card. its a dell dimension 3000 computer. 8 years old.
ive read all the recording tips in the audacity help section. and followed the advice as best i could. my mic is 4 feet from my main frame. it is a $90.00 u.s. mic. i upgraded from a $25.00 mic, but the static remains.
i have updated my sound driver, relevant to my computer. i have tried recording in stereo and mono with similar results. my mic input level is set at the half way point. the sound for my computer is set at just below the 70% mark. recording while logged off of the internet has made no improvement. i live in the country, its very quiet.
i dont beleive the mic is capturing the hum of my computer fan, because it only catches sounds within 2-3 feet… i imagine this is a simple problem, and you’ll probably recommend an external sound card. any suggestions? thanks in advance, jeff.

Perhaps picking up vibration? Is the microphone on a stand? Can you do something with the microphone to check that it isn’t picking up vibrations from somewhere?
Do you have ghosts?
What sort of microphone is it?
If it is a conventional (not USB) microphone, try recording with the microphone disconnected. Do you still get the Whump?
How regular is the sound - you say “about 7 seconds” - can you be more precise?
Could you upload a short recording to the internet (in WAV or FLAC format - not MP3) - (if you’ve not got a website, is pretty good - and free).

i dont have any way to record the mic unconnected… when i recorded an hour ago, with my superior mic, that ‘whummpp’…‘whummmpp’ sound was heard about every 6-7 seconds. when i recorded the sound in my room 5 minutes ago,with my inferior mic, .inexplicably enough, there was just the low static sound. the superior mic is a samson Q7 super cardioid dynamic microphone. i can send an mp3 file, or wav file, but to which e-mail address?

in addition…i also get occasional crackle’s and pop’s during my recordings, especially when adding a second and third track. this, despite the fact that i am very careful about mic-distortion and what not.

Sound files can be attached to posts in this forum (less than 1Mb).

okay, here goes…
40 second sound sample.aup (1.63 KB)

I don’t want you to record “sound”, I want you to record “silence”.

  1. Make a normal recording with your microphone (“hello, testing, 1, 2, 3 …”) and check that it has recorded, then
  2. Unplug the microphone from the computer and repeat the recording.

You should get “silence”.
I expect that you will hear “a low static sound in the background” - if you do, then that is probably noise from the sound card.
I don’t know if you will get the “whump” or not - but I’d be interested to know.

That’s got a big round 3 pin XLR connection?
How do you fit that into the tiny little round mini-jack connection on the Dell?

If you use “” you don’t need to send it to an e-mail address - just upload it and it will give you a web link. Copy the web link and paste it here.
Make it a short WAV file and not MP3 (MP3 messes up the detail a bit and can obscure the problem).

.AUP files are Audacity Project definitions - they are the smaller part of an Audacity Project (the larger part is the data folder that is created when you Save a project).
Audacity projects are not audio files. To get an audio file you must “Export” (File menu > Export)

Interestingly, one of our regular forum posters has just made this suggestion for an addition to Audacity:

yes, my mic has the three pin xlr connection. i just plug it into an adapter, and that plugs into the mainframe. and you’re right, i unplugged the mic, and just recorded silence, and yes, you can hear that low static hiss…so i geuss it is the soundcard that is the problem, so what is the solution…an external soundcard?

There are various options including internal sound cards, external (USB/Firewire) sound cards, USB microphones, USB Mixing desk, and others.
Probably the best option for you as you already have a reasonable microphone is to get a USB sound card that has a microphone input - these are sometimes described as a “USB Microphone Pre-amp”. I’d definitely recommend getting one that has a 3 pin XLR connector. Although you currently do not need “phantom power”, you would be as well to get one that offers the option of phantom power in case you want to upgrade your microphone to a “studio condenser microphone” at any point in the future. There are many different makes/models, but the ones by “ART” have a good reputation and would certainly be worth considering.

okay thanks very much. sounds good.