Weird sounds on playback

Only had Audacity for a couple of days and I’ve never done any recording before, so it’s all completely new to me. Managed to record my guitar, but on playback, i could hardly hear it and it as all echo and weird like a phazer, none of the effects were on.

Please tell us your version of Audacity (see the pink panel at the top of the page) and tell us exactly how your guitar is connected to the computer. If you are connecting it to the computer mic port, please see Why do my recordings fade out or sound as if they were made in a tunnel?.

If you are recording the guitar with a mic, also make sure you have Transport > Software Playthrough turned off and see

In both cases, choose the correct device to record from in Device Toolbar.


Thank you for the reply, its Audacity-win-2.1, guitar is connected through an old analog mixer though the computer mic port.

We don’t make a “2.1” version. Please give us all three numbers from Help > About Audacity… . What is the make and model number of the mixer?

Mixer output will be strong line-level, so you are risking distortion by connecting that to the computer mic port. Use the blue line-in port if you have one. Have you checked over Why do my recordings fade out or sound as if they were made in a tunnel? ?


Audacity -win-2.1 is what it says on the C.D. The mixer is a JVC MI-5000, been reading the trouble shooting, will try turning the echo off when i find it, thanks again for your help.

Sorry its a 2.1.1.

Thank you for the reply, its Audacity-win-2.1, guitar is connected through an old analog mixer though the computer mic port.

As Gale said, the mixer should be too “hot” for the mic input, so the recording should be too loud, not too quiet. :confused:

If you’ve got a desktop/tower computer, connect to line-in on your soundcard. That’s perfect for line-out from a mixer.

If you’ve got a laptop, it could be a couple of things…

  • Make sure you’ve selected the external mic, not the laptop’s built-in mic.

  • If you have a newer laptop with a combination mic/headphone connector, you need a special 4-conductor (TRRS) plug/adapter to make the microphone connection. A regular 3-conductor (TRS) plug will only make the left & right headphone connections (and ground).

Are you sure you’re getting a good signal into and out-of the mixer? I assume it has a headphone socket, have you tried headphones? Or try plugging it into your stereo.

Or, you can test the computer hardware & software-setup by plugging-in “something else”… i.e. Try recording the audio output from your CD/DVD player, or your TV, etc.

Are you using a microphone into the mixer, or is it an electric guitar directly plugged-in?

If this an electric guitar, you can try the guitar directly into the computer’s mic input (with an appropriate adapter). It’s an impedance mismatch, but it may work. And, I’m assuming your mixer doesn’t have a proper guitar input either.

You can buy a USB interface with a guitar input. [u]Behringer[/u] makes in inexpensive one.

Thanks a lot, still no luck though, like i said this is all new to me, so i’ll have a mess about for a bit. By the way my mixer has 6 1/4 inputs for guitars and mics, I’ve got some good quality speakers (Creative) with sub-woofer and the sound is great, just weird on the playback, although it’s a couple of seconds in before it starts.

Also I use a laptop computer, there is only 2 inputs, mic in and headphone sockets, i’ve got the mixer to the mic input and the speakers to the headphone socket.

Are you sure these are guitar inputs too? Is there a switch with a mic/inst setting?

Mics are lo-Z, low impedance. Guitars are usually hi-Z, high impedance. A guitar connected to a lo-Z mic input could have a too low level.

I think so pal, it says Mic 1,2,3 and there’s 3 more inputs at the side, like i said the sound from the guitar through the mixer is fine, just on playback when it go’s wrong.

We’re still waiting for you to confirm that you are choosing the external mic as recording device in Audacity.

What output of the mixer are you connecting the computer to?

Are the recorded blue waves also very small? If the waves are tall then it is presumably not a recording problem but a playback problem. Exactly what playback device have you chosen in Audacity?


The output from the mixer is 2 RAC Phono jacks in record out, to a 3.5mm stereo jack in the mic input of the computer.
The blue lines on the recording are quite big.


Sorry for being a bit thick, but how could i find that out?

Look in the device toolbar.

Thank you, Realtec high definition

Just had another try, still the same, then tried recording my voice with the mic and that was OK, the guitar I’m using is a Taylor acoustic with a Taylor fitted pick-up.

Can you post about 10 seconds of a guitar recording that sounds bad to you? Please see How to post an audio sample.

What type of connection is at the end of the pickup? TS or TRS? XLR? Can you connect the pickup to the computer mic port, if so what happens then?


Sorry, I’ve tried for nearly a hour to post a section and i can’t do it, i’m not very good with computers to start with and this is all new to me, i’ll ask my daughter if she can help, thanks for trying to help.