very loud noise recording with usb microphone

Hello. I’m having major problems with recording using my ProSound usb microphone. I’ve attached an example - it sounds like there is running water in the background. I have a Dell laptop and am using Windows 7. Come back Windows XP and old computer - I had no problems then!! The internal microphone is working perfectly with no hiss or noise. I have tried adjusting the sound settings as set out in Audacity’s troubleshooting. I’ve also uninstalled Skype, turned off noise reduction and echo cancellation in my audio control panel. I have tried the different recording inputs on the sound window but none of them cure the problem. I don’t know what else to do! Can you help?

Oh dear, that’s not good is it.
I’m not sure where that noise is coming from - it’s not “typical” microphone noise.
Is this the mic?

Do you have the microphone plugged directly into the laptop (not using a USB hub).
Try running the laptop on battery power (not plugged into the power adaptor). Does that make any difference?
Are you able to test the mic on a different computer?
Does it make any difference if you adjust the level control on the microphone?

Hi Steve. Thanks for your reply. The microphone is an older model and has no volume control switch - just on and off. It’s plugged directly into the laptop and not through a hub. I’ve tried running on battery power as suggested - some difference but it’s still not a clean input. I’ve had to switch the input down to 0 and the voice is still recording very loudly - not sure how to get it down to manageable levels.
I haven’t got another computer but can try to find a friend with one!!

Could you post a short sample, similar to your first audio sample, with the laptop running on batteries (power supply completely disconnected). Just a few seconds is fine, but preferably in WAV format. I’d like to take a close look at the remaining noise.

That would be helpful if you can.

It does sound to me like dirty USB power.

USB microphones need to have power from somewhere. We have several that have batteries, but it’s possible to get power from the computer itself – down the USB connection. If there is any problem at all with the computer’s USB power, printers, keyboards, and mice may not care, but that will drive a microphone crazy.

By all means try a friend’s computer.

It is possible to divorce a USB microphone from computer power. In difficult installations, we have installed a wall-powered USB hub, and then put the microphone in by itself. The microphone sees the clean, stable power from the wall adapter and not the ratty power from the computer.


Thank you both for your help. I’ll look into the usb hub idea - this microphone has no batteries. I’ll also try the mic out on a friend’s computer. If I’m still having the same problem, I’ll get back to you.

Best wishes