Trying to find cause of ringing bell-like sound around 2627K


I am getting strange ringing bell sounds in my recording and I’m trying to figure out the cause and a solution to the problem. I haven’t run the recording through any effects or noise cancellation filters, etc.

I’ve done hundreds of recordings with this same setup and I’ve never had this trouble before.

Here’s my setup:
Dell Vostro 1500 laptop running Windows XP Professional
Alsesis io14 FireWire (with 48 V phantom power)
Behringer C-3 condenser microphone
Cubase Elements 6

I’m recording an acoustic 6 steel string guitar and it’s producing no such ringing tones on its own.

You can see where the “bells” are in the spectogram. I’m also attaching an audio file–there are three “bells” in the beginning and then no bells (even though the input material is similar.)

I can minimize it by applying a narrow notch filter at about 2627k, but obviously I’d rather solve the problem at the recording stage.

Thank you in advance for any explanations or tips you can offer!

It’s almost impossible for non-performers to hear problems like that. Can you get it to happen by itself without the music? Alternately, can you do it with something percussive, like smacking two pencils together?

If it only happens with music, then I think you have have a sneak feedback pathway. In the same sense that the band at the club gets feedback at predominantly one pitch howl, If you have some sound leaking past your headphones, that could do it. If you’re playing to live speakers, that would certainly do it.

You can get electronic feedback, too. Are you recording Stereo-Mix or What-U-Hear instead of the actual sound device? That records everything on the computer and if you have multiple pathways open, that’s where the feedback can come from. Do you like recording internet music and performances? Many people forget to turn those settings off when they record live.

Do you hear this problem at the Alesis headphone connection?

You can run Audacity in monitor mode, right click on the recording meters and Start Monitoring. Then you can hear the performance live without making a recording. Then you can change settings and experiment for as long as you want.


Are you recording in Cubase?

Thanks for your responses!

It happens while recording in Cubase and Audacity (version 2.0.1) both.

Paul-L’s de-esser will do a better job than a notch filter : it only attenuates when the volume is above threshold , whereas a notch filter totally removes everything at that frequency throughout the entire duration of the track.
3-bells , before-after Paul-L's de-esser.png

IMO the bell-sounds are a peculiarity of the steel-guitar, acoustic-resonance, rather than an electronic glitch.
You’re just not noticing the bells when you’re concentrating on playing , only hearing it on the playback.

Wow, the de-esser works great. Thanks for the advice. I’m still going to do some testing to figure out where the ringing is coming from, but I’m happy to know there is a way around it!

It’s not going to be a loose component. Everything has resonant frequencies which they preferentially vibrate at, determined by it’s dimensions and the material it is made of.

Securely attaching weights, (e.g. a coin), at anti-nodes can damp-down certain resonant frequencies. The lines on these diagrams are nodes …