Strange Squealing Sound

I’ve encountered an interesting and annoying sound today when attempting to record. In the background I can hear a strange, squealing sound both when silent and speaking…after I have edited.

I select noise profile in the noise reduction tool box after selecting the first few seconds of no voices and then employ the profile upon the rest of the recording. I then I go to equalization and select bass boost and treble boost. Finally I select compressor. The high pitched noise appears audible after I use the noise reduction tool and becomes more evident after compressing.

Settings I am currently using under noise reduction are the following:

  • Noise Reduction (db) = 50
  • Sensitivity = 5
  • Frequency smoothing bands = 0

What’s strange is this the first day this issue has appeared. I’m using the same computer and all connections appear good.

Any help is welcome to figure out what is causing this issue and how to solve it.

(I have attached two copies of the recording. One with no editing whatsoever, and another with all the edits mentioned above).

I select noise profile

Doesn’t matter. The skittering noise is moving in pitch and Noise Reduction doesn’t work on constantly changing sounds. That’s why it doesn’t work on restaurant conversations or TV in the next room. Normal Noise Reduction isn’t 50. It’s 6 or 12.

Also, if that’s your natural speaking voice, you’re volume is way too low.

This is what the blue waves and bouncing sound meters are supposed to look like at least every so often during a recording.

All microphones make some noises. Your job is to announce louder than the noise so nobody notices. USB microphone?

Describe the microphone, how it’s connected and the computer. What’s the three-number Audacity version?


You’ve been using this setup for months and this is the first time it’s happened? Laptop computer? Do you take it apart and put it together when you want to use it?


I appreciate the reply back.

I’m using a Blue Yeti Mic and using Audacity 2.1.0. And yes it is a USB mic.

Any recommendations for recording volume and noise reduction settings?

This is the first time this has happened. I am using a laptop computer.

When I use the mic I plug the USB cable into the laptop and detach when finished.

I don’t know what causes this noise. It’s not regular Yeti data noise that some people have.

But I know you can get into trouble by constantly plugging and unplugging a USB connection. The gold plating on the little contacts eventually wears and the connection isn’t as good.

A Yeti works from the five volt power that comes from the computer. That’s what turns the lights on and amplifies the voice. When the cable or the contacts wear, the power gets sloppy and errors go straight to the sound.

Is this the same cable you have been using? Any way to try a different cable? How close to the screen are you? Try moving the Yeti a bit. It’s also possible it’s picking up noises by being too close to the screen or other computer equipment.

As above, your voice is very, very quiet and that’s making this problem much worse. I would probably be using this microphone at normal volume for weeks before I noticed the squeal was there.

I don’t have a Yeti, but this is a normal volume test clip I shot.


If the attached file was truly raw data, you’ve got a serious problem. Your base level noise is sitting at about -36dBFS. It should be at least -60dBFS, preferably lower. Even without the squealing sound, the noise level is way too high.

Koz’s suggestions are the best place to start.