unwanted noise while trying to record

Using Windows 7. Just got Audacity version 2.0.0 in a package deal that came with a small USB tape player. Intent was to copy from tapes to MP3s. Having nothing but issues with a high pitch background noise that I cannot make go away. Once I start to record there is a constant whine noise. This noise is present even when there is no tape in the tape player. I have tried everything, settings in the Audacity software, setting in Control Panel → Sound, different USB ports, all to no avail. That noise is there regardless. Tried the same scenarios but with my IPod and the noise is not present. I have also attached a screen shot showing what I see and hear. The pic is tape player attached, no tape in the player and record feature selected


Audacity 2.0.0 is obsolete. The current version is 2.1.2 which is available here: http://www.audacityteam.org/download/windows/

Get the new version (the “recommended exe installer” and uninstall your current version.
Install the new version and look for the option to “Reset Preferences” during the installation. Select that option when it appears.
On first start of Audacity, confirm that you wish to reset preferences.

See here for instructions for recording from your USB tape player: http://manual.audacityteam.org/o/man/recording_with_usb_turntables.html

Good idea but did not solve the problem. Downloaded the app and installed it as you recommended. Loaded fine but now the problem is actually different. Now it does the same thing “without” anything connected. No tape player, no USB cable! It does it with nothing connected. With the prior version (2.0) when I tried no cable and no tape player it presented a message telling me that nothing is connected?

This is nuts?

Audacity does not have a message saying “nothing is connected”.

We can’t see what you are doing and we can’t guess what error messages you see. You need to describe in accurate detail what you are doing and what is happening otherwise we are not likely to be able to help.

Whine when the USB cable is connected is almost always due to a loose or faulty USB cable. So change the cable and make sure it is tight both ends.

If you are hearing noise in the computer speakers without the player connected presumably you have an input on the Recording tab of Windows Sound that is set to “Listen to this Device” so that it plays through the computer speakers even when it is not recording. Right-click each recording device, choose Properties then look at the “Listen” tab to check that.

You may do better choosing MME host in Device Toolbar, and set the playback device explicitly to your computer speakers (not Primary Sound Driver or Sound Mapper).


Sorry if my message was confusing when I stated I received a message saying “nothing is connected”. I was paraphrasing as I do not recall the exact message. But the intent of the message was “NOTHING WAS CONNECTED”

See the instructions here: http://manual.audacityteam.org/o/man/recording_with_usb_turntables.html
It tells you the correct order to do things (and that is important)

Once I start to record there is a constant whine noise. This noise is present even when there is no tape in the tape player.

Aside form the noise problem, is it working? Are you recording sound from the tape, or only noise?

Assuming it is recording form the tape and new/different USB cable doesn’t help, there may be no easy solution… :frowning:

Noise is an analog problem. That means it’s being generated from the “cheap” analog electronics in the USB player (before the audio is digitized). Or, the noise is getting into the cassette player’s “cheap” analog electronics through it’s power supply, or from the computer through the computer’s USB port.

If the noise is coming from the computer, a different computer may give better results. (Although the noise may be originating in the computer’s digital electronics, the real problem is that it’s “leaking” into the cassette player’s analog electronics.)

You can try [u]Noise Reduction[/u] after recording, but if the noise is bad (i.e. worse than cassette tape hiss) you can get artifacts (side effects) from the noise reduction.

…but with my IPod and the noise is not present.

I don’t think you can “record” from an iPod via USB, so I would expect silence (if it works at all).

I believe the noise of from the ‘cheap’ tape player. I have tried everything, noting that using an IPod provides a clean sound with no whine noise (and yes recording from an IPod works) , different cables, dozens of different settings and combinations of settings has led me to believe the tape player is junk. Perhaps a different player product would help so I gotta look for that

thanks all

Most cheap USB tape players are junk, not to put too fine a point on it.

If you have a proper tape deck but no stereo line-in (blue) on the computer, spend your money on a
USB interface with a stereo line in and connect the proper tape deck to that.

For example: http://wiki.audacityteam.org/wiki/Recommended_sound_devices#USB_Interfaces.


Had this problem. Solved by attaching a ground wire between the offending device and the computer. Noise gone! Make sure the connection is physically tight. Good luck!

I don’t think you can “record” from an iPod via USB, so I would expect silence (if it works at all).

You can talk the iPod into playing to an external speaker system via USB, so external devices do work. I don’t think you can get both sides of a chat session, however.