Terrible hiss since upgrading to Windows 10

Specs: Audacity 2.4.2, Windows 10 Home, RODE NT-USB (also RODE Podcaster)

I do VO using Audacity for my auditions, and ever since I upgraded to Windows 10 and did a complete wipe of my computer, my audio sounds terrible. My NT-USB and Podcaster both pick up a terrible hiss that they didn’t before. I’ve tried:

  1. Changing USB Ports
  2. Changing Mics
  3. Messing with the “Default Format” in my microphone properties. Currently set at “2 channel, 16 bit, 48k Hz”
  4. Reinstalling the drivers.

My Podcaster also just came back from servicing with RODE so I can be pretty sure that the mic itself is working properly.

I have attached a short mp3 of the background noise from my NT-USB. Any help would be GREATLY appreciated, as my auditions are now on hold until I can get this fixed :cry:
Noise.aup (1.49 KB)

“AUP” files are part of an Audacity project (see: https://manual.audacityteam.org/man/audacity_projects.html)
An AUP file contains no audio and cannot be played.

The “Noise.mp3” file has some noticeable noise but I suspect that is just because the recording level is very high. “Some” noise is always present in recordings. I suspect that if you speak into the mic from around 20 cm, the voice level will be too high and you will need to turn down the recording level. Doing so will reduce the noise level.

Thanks for the clarification regarding the project file.

The recording volume is actually set quite low. Even around 0.3 I still had a loud hiss.

BUT I think I am getting closer the the issue. It turns out Audacity is turning the playback volume up to “100 (emulated)”, which would make the hiss sound extremely loud. Any idea why Audacity would be doing that, or what emulated means in this context?

Check in the Windows Sound control panel and ensure that “boost” is NOT enabled for the RODE Podcaster.

Great advice. I went to check for this but it was not enabled. I think my problem may be fixed now however! For future reference, I had to go to my microphone on my Recording Devices and uninstall it altogether. Once I uninstalled it and restarted, the volume jumping and hissing stopped. I think for some reason my RODE mics aren’t playing well with the default drivers Windows 10 installs for them.