"White Noise"

Because I always get intelligent answers from this group I’m posting a question about a problem that seems to have solved itself, however I’m always interested in knowing why something happened.

This morning when I loaded Audacity with my mic and Presonus audiobox inline, I noticed that the noise floor on the display seemed rather loud. When I test recorded the result in playback sounded exactly like white noise. Ok, lets eliminate some things, reconfigure the mic with a new cable, no change, reconnect all audio connections, no change…playback prerecorded music with Audacity through the PreSonus…result…white noise. The same prerecorded music played back using my computer’s sound card…perfect. I was about to fire up another computer that has a version of Audacity when I decided just to reboot. Problem solved.

Now the question is…what caused this in the first place any ideas?

You didn’t tell us anything about the computer in any of that and you appear to have conflicting symptoms. You said you have “hash” or white noise on the timeline that you got during recording. Then you said you got more white noise during playback of a previously quiet music piece.

Newer Windows machine can have convoluted sound pathways and you could have been listening to feedback rather than a noisy connection or bad routing. Feedback doesn’t have to howl like a rock band microphone. It can show up as a very high noise floor.

If you had a non-standard setup or unusual settings, they might have been reset when the computer restarted and had to build them all again fresh. Do you use Skype? Do you leave it running in the background so it can answer incoming calls? That can cause problems.


Computer is an HP Pavilion 20 running Windows 8.1
The ‘white noise’ I originally heard was from a recording of room tone with an open mic. I eliminated all cabling problems and my PreSonus unit. I imported a clean music file to Audacity and it was almost pure ‘white noise’ or maybe it was feedback. Rebooting solved the problem as it seems to do with most Audacity problems.

Bob H