Whenever I record anything with audacity, or a variety of other free recording programs, there is a quiet whistling noise in the background, and funny electronic noises as well. The whistling is kind of like a tea kettle in the distance, and the funny electronic noises sound kind of like dial-up if you amplify them. The same noises occur when I use an internal microphone, or a microphone plugged into the 1/8th inch microphone jack in my laptop. It also seems like on top of these noises, the sound quality of the recordings has been somehow degraded. I have fully updated the driver software for the realtek hd sound that came with my laptop.
Any ideas on what could be causing this very annoying interference?
thanks so much!!!
That’s almost certainly trash generated by the electronics inside your computer. Nobody is going to award Windows laptops any prizes for sound quality and this is one of the problems they have. There is an enormous amount of high power electrical activity inside a laptop and it all makes noise. That’s why we almost always recommend you get away from the computer when you convert sound signals to digital.
Right… The microphone input on a regular soundcard or laptop is useless for quality recording. (The line-input is often acceptable, but most laptops don’t have it, and it doesn’t help if you need to plug-in a mic.)
What kind of external mic do you have? Is it a stage/studio mic, or a “computer mic”?
Probably, the most economical solution for “studio quality” recording is a good “studio style” USB mic, such as the [u]AT2020USB[/u]. The downside to these things is that you can only record one track/source at a time (although they do make stereo usb mics), and you can’t plug them into a PA or mixer.
The other option is to get a good performance/studio mic (low impedance balanced with an XLR connector) and an “audio interface” ([u]example[/u]) with XLR mic inputs. Or, you can get a little mixer with XLR inputs and a USB connection.
Another option would be to get a portable digital recorder ([u]example[/u]). These things start at about $100 USD, and they can have excellent quality.
Whenever I record anything with audacity, or a variety of other free recording programs,
It’s the acoustics & analog side that affects quality. The software is basically just setting-up the driver and sending the digital data your hard drive. And, for a couple-hundred dollars (spent on hardware) you can get very-close to pro-studio sound (assuming you don’t need to do multitrack recording or anything like that). But of course, most of us don’t have soundproof studios with good acoustics.
assuming you don’t need to do multitrack recording or anything like that
Even then. If you’re careful with your hardware you can do a very respectable job overdubbing.
But of course, most of us don’t have soundproof studios with good acoustics.
No, but a lot of us can get furniture moving blankets or move into a closet hung with quilts. There are ways to get around this room noise thing.