What's the reason for BACKGROUND NOISE in my audio?

Hello friends

I am using Windows 8.1 on my HP laptop and my laptop has only one input port for Headphone/Mic.

My problem is not with Audacity software but I would like to know the reason for the background noise (hiss or hum I don’t know what to call it exactly!) in my audio? I have uploaded the raw audio here: https://www.dropbox.com/s/ehhdx0dqsdo6cjz/noisy%20audio.mp3

Is it:

  • My mic? When I use the same Mic with my mobile there is almost NO noise at all! I don’t know why this is happening with my computer only?
  • My soundcard? some hardware issue? or some setting I need to tweak!
  • My software? I am using Camtasia 8

Inputs will be greatly appreciated


Is that a totally unprocessed recording straight off your microphone? It appears to have some sort on noise gate like effect on it.

Make sure any [u]Windows “enhancements”[/u] are turned-off.

Noise Reduction (after recording) can sometimes help, but it works best when you have a constant low-level background noise… It works best when you don’t really need it.

The preamp built into a regular soundcard/soundchip is often noisy. You’ll usually get better quality with a “studio style” USB microphone (AKA [u]“podcast mic”[/u]) which will bypass your soundcard/soundchip, or with a studio/stage mic and an [u]USB audio interface[/u] with a standard XLR microphone connection.

It also helps to have a quiet “studio”.

Quiet room. “Studio” scares everybody off.

No. Sorry. That one was from Camtasia. I made a screencast and then extracted MP3 from it using Camtasia 8. I think there was some processing.

This one is from Windows Sound Recorder: https://www.dropbox.com/s/quh7xy7r6hdp8pq/raw.wma - You can hear the NOISES

Thanks for your suggestions. I don’t see any improvements after turning off Windows Enhancement!

Following USB mics are available in India. Rather say I can afford following as of now:

  • Samson Go Mic Portable USB Condenser Microphone
  • Blue Microphones Snowball iCE Condenser Microphone
  • Zoom H1 Handy Portable Digital Recorder

Do you think any of the above are going to help me with that weird background noise?

I can’t afford to build a studio or quite room.

India is full of honking, shouting, vehicle and construction work noises. I make videos for Indians so our brains skip such noises … lol… we are used to it… :laughing:

I only want to get rid of that weird background noise that’s walking with me whenever I connect my mic to my laptop and start speaking :cry: Same mic don’t give any problem when connected to smartphone :cry:

There are many “drop outs” (short gaps where the audio is missing). This can be caused by many things, but one of the most common is that the computer is being asked to do too much and can’t keep up, so it skips bits of the audio. Try rebooting your computer and shut down any non-essential applications and services, then try making another recording. Avoid having multiple audio applications open at the same time.

I’d go with the Zoom H1, and use it as a stand-alone recorder, not a USB microphone. Leave the computer turned off while you’re recording.

Many small recorders have noise cancellation and other odd tricks, but this one seems to only have a rumble filter (reduces low pitch noises). All your computer recording problems—holes in the sound, odd noises—should vanish when you stop using the computer. I don’t have an H1, I have an older H2 and it works just fine. The larger Zoom recorders let you plug professional microphones into the bottom. The H1 has provision for plugging in a “home style” microphone and you can try that if you want, but I’d stick with the two microphones on the top.


Thanks for your suggestions. :mrgreen:

Thanks for your suggestions. :mrgreen:

Just wanted to update everyone that I purchased “Blue Microphones Snowball iCE Condenser USB Microphone” and that weird background noise is gone :mrgreen:

Here’s the sample: https://www.dropbox.com/s/1jou64qff6l4u8q/snowball%20ice.wma :mrgreen:

Thanks everyone. Audacity rocks :mrgreen: