USB condenser mic noise/interference driving me nuts

Hey guys!

I’ll try to make it short. this is the mic we are talking about, at least looks the same as mine, just different branding (mine is from germany)

Uploaded sample found below.

What I tried to solve it is
-Change USB Ports
-Seperated PC Plug
-Changed Rooms with mic
-Used aluminium wrap for cable
-Ground the PC by touching it
-Different Settings on PC
-Using a different PC (in a different home)

Only thing that got rid of the problem was using it on a different PC. So I guess some hardware might be the issue? Im 100% clueless and would appreciate any input on this!

Thanks :slight_smile:

I guess some hardware might be the issue?

Yes. That’s USB whine. And yes, it’s an interaction between the microphone and the computer.

We tried many different easy ways to get rid of it in hardware and there aren’t any. However, we did design a post production plugin filter specifically for this.

The filter actually removes musical tones from the show. It’s not harmless or magic. So if you have a computer that doesn’t have this problem, use that computer and not the Audacity filter.

There’s data and battery voltage running around inside the USB cable. The computer sends 5 volts up to the microphone to run the electronics and the microphone sends sound data back down to the computer. Lots of microphones work this way. Some news-gathering microphones actually have a little battery inside the microphone to run things since they don’t have a computer available.

The problem comes when the computer 5 volts isn’t “clean.” The computer is going, “It’s too expensive to clean and regulate the 5 volts, so we’ll leave it up to the Microphone.” The Microphone is going, “It’s too expensive to clean and regulate the 5 volts, so we’ll leave it up to the Computer.”

We were able to change the problem (new USB cable, add in-line filters), but never get rid of it. You have to change the computer.


Some much more expensive “pro” models of microphones don’t have this problem and almost no USB sound mixers. They all have internal filtering and regulation. Some sound mixers give up the whole USB Power idea and use wall power.

That can create its own problems. I have a sound mixer with a wall power adapter that projects hum into the microphone.

If this was easy, anybody could do it.