I’m not sure if this is the right place to ask this question so please redirect me if not.
My neice wanted to send me a bit of old rock music, CCR, so she started recording with Audacity on her laptop and turned on the music. Saved a MP3 and emailed it to me.
When I played the clip it was almost inaudible. I opened it in Audacity and had to turn up the volume almost full to actually hear anything.
What I heard surprised me. There was some very distorted CCR music over some kind of white noise which sounded like running water. There was also some low level hum.
I thought maybe the laptop was causing the problem so I asked her to record again on a different machine. Long story short, another PC and a Sony recorder both produced the same result.
We did a final test where she spoke into the laptop up close at varying levels of loudness. I was able to hear her voice normally over the white noise.
Now, this “white noise” is not audible in her home but it is obviously there if it is being recorded. I’m not sure what is going on.
Is it possible that this background white noise is making it impossible to record ?
If anyone has any idea what this might be I would appreciate your input. Please note, this is not some EVP or paranormal thing.
Exported. Audacity will not Save an MP3.
You missed a step. Capture the music. Play it to make sure it’s OK, Export it as an MP3 and email it. Or did they do that and it was OK?
It’s usually a bad idea to include abbreviations in a question. Creedence Clearwater Revival, not a sound format?
It’s not clear from the posting where the music was. Where did it start from?
I’m not sure. I will find out. Whatever the device was the music was loud and audible when she played it in front of the laptop.
If you’re on a Windows machine, Windows Enhanced Services can make it impossible to record music clearly, but voices usually make it through OK. Audacity Manual > … hancements
If you tried recording on two different Windows machines, they would have done the same thing.
I have VNC access to her laptop. I checked the settings.
Windows 7, HP Envy notebook
The recording device is a “IDT Integrated microphone array”
The enhancements tab shows Noise cancellation and Light beam forming checked.
The Level tab shows microphone array at 63, Microphone boost at +10db.
I will get her to record again with the enhancements turned off.
You can only attach files up to 1Mb to posts in this forum , so that’s about ten seconds of WAV at 44100Hz monaural, ( not stereo) , which may be sufficient for us to identify the noise.
That’s going to be lousy quality because of reverberation in the room , if it’s being played on loudspeakers.
[ putting headphones from the record player very close to the computer’s in-built mic would avoid the reverb ]. cf.
What I have is mp3. I am doing some tests that I will export as WAV. Then I’ll create a small clip to upload.
Thanks for that link. Brings back lots of memories. Silent 700 portables, etc.
We weren’t really worried too much about the quality when this started. Now we’re more concerned with identifying the source of the “white noise” and understanding why it appears to be interfering with the recording functionality of the laptop and her Sony recorder.
A common-denominator between two recording devices could be the quality setting of the mp3 your niece is creating, low quality ( low bit rate) mp3s are small size , but have bubbly digital artefacts … Bit rate - Wikipedia
If your niece is minimizing the audio-file size to send the sound to you as an email attachment, by choosing a low bit-rate mp3 , then all the mp3s they send you by email will sound the same , ( potentially horrible ) , no matter how it was recorded.
The standard practice is to upload the audio file to a file sharing site , then email a link to it , rather than email the large audio file, e.g. … SoundCloud - Hear the world’s sounds [ copyright infringement at your own risk ]
She created a file using the default option for MP3 in Audacity which is 128kbps I believe. There is a very high file size limit for the email system we are using.
I have VNC access to the laptop so I am now running the tests and using FTP to transfer the files to my computer.
I have attached a 10 second WAV clip, converted to mono. It was recorded today with the house empty and quiet. This is the “inaudible to the ear” sound of running water. ie. if you were in the house you would not hear the sound of running water.
I will arrange for a file sharing site and upload a sample with the music playing.
I hope you can identify the sound. Thanks for your help.
Yes. It is the built in microphone. As I said in a previous post we were not concerned about the quality of the recording. We were trying to identify the background sound, which sounds like running water. And to hear the music which is distorted.
I read back through the posting. Nobody said the words: “We turned off Windows Enhanced Services.” I’m guessing it’s still running. That’s what Services sound like when they’re trying to cancel background noises on the built-in microphone.
I see all the posts, all your posts are posted, I still didn’t see those words, but I believe you.
Do you have and use Skype? Skype loves to brutally take over sound services on the computer running it. If you like to leave Skype running in the background, you may be using Skype’s Noise Suppression, whether you want it or not.
You may be fighting an up-hill battle. Everybody wants to conference, chat and Skype, but nobody wants to record Stu Cook on the built-in microphone. I have a Tiny Personal Recorder that has Noise Removal I can’t turn off. Yours may not go off, either.
Sorry but I submitted a post that does not appear here. At the end I asked you if you would mind if I sent you a PM because there were things I am not able to discuss in a public forum. Did you see that post? (I suppose it’s possible that I just thought I pressed submit.) In any case that question still holds. Do you mind if I send you a PM?
The laptop is not used for Skype. The microphone was probably never used for anything until I had Audacity installed to try and record these sounds.
The enhanced services has a noise cancellation option and a echo cancellation option. The echo cancellation was not checked, the noise cancellation was checked. When I unchecked noise cancellation and did a test I could still hear the water flowing over the hiss. My niece’s Sony recorder has noise removal permanently turned on and she hears the water sound on recordings, depending on where in the house she places the recorder.
“Noise removal” digital-processing converts old-fashioned analogue-hiss into that bubbly EVP-type noise ,
i.e. the noise reduction/removal digital-processing creates artefacts that intermittently sound like a whispering voice. No ghosts required.
I have spent a lot of time reading about EVP. It’s interesting that in the freesound link, I hear “love-you-to-bits” in both the pink noise and the noise reduced samples while whomever posted that clip heard “subject correct” in the noise reduced sample. That’s pareidolia. I must say that the flowing water sound in my clip sounds more like a babbling brookto me with a minimum of hiss.
I didn’t really hear anything recognizable in your optimized clip, at first. Playing it over and over I began to hear the cough, which is interesting, or curious. I have heard a cough in other recordings she has made. I still don’t hear the words you heard.
It appears to me that the internal integrated microphone array is perhaps optimized for the spoken word. Do you think that using a proper external microphone would improve the results and reduce the waterfall noise if all windows enhancements were turned off?
The pareidolia is a subjective thing : people hear words in their own language and dialect because their brain is biased to interpret sounds in that way.
Turning off all forms of noise-reduction should eliminate the bubbly digital artefacts, ( which occasionally sound like speech) , the noise-floor should then revert to old-fashioned analogue-hiss , which is less like speech than digitally-processed hiss-noise.
I see. So if I turn off all possible noise-reduction parameters I can find and record some more “silence”, rather than hearing the waterfall I should hear just the analogue hiss (assuming for a minute that I have now created a recording of the raw sound). Does that imply that I could turn that analogue-hiss into the waterfall noise if I applied the appropriate filters in Audacity? And, if so, what in your estimation would that/those filter(s) be?