Help with better audio in videos
April 25, 2016 12:44 PM   Subscribe

My computer records videos with terrible sound even with a microphone hooked up, what are some options to fix it?

My last computer had great sound. I was having a lot of fun recording with it making family videos or karaoke, but the new one has TERRIBLE sound, there is a weird muffled sound and I don't know if there is a way to fix it (maybe there isn't). I got a headset with microphone and that didn't change anything. I have looked in sound setting and essentially it just seems to offer volume control, nothing to edit the sound that I have found. Is there something in my computer settings I'm missing that would help fix a muffled background staticky noise? It isn't present during the silence but any sound has this additional sound coming through that's like a an echoey hum that goes along with it. It's very unpleasant. I'm not picky, but is there some sort of online recording software I could download (that is legit) that is ideally free? If I were to buy something what are some ideas that would be cheap and easy and work? I am not looking to do fancy sound editing, I just want something that sounds better than awful.

I have tried both the computers video recorder and another downloadable videorecorder and no change. Finally if there is nothing I can do about this, what kind of computers have decent audio for recording? This computer is an hp, are they known to be bad about this? The sound on OTHER people's videos is fine, watching movies or youtube sounds great. It's just the ones I record and it really has ruined the fun of it a bit.
posted by xarnop to Computers & Internet (9 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
If you're okay with editing your videos and adding the sound in later, you can actually record really nice sound quality sound on an iPhone and add that to your videos.
posted by xingcat at 12:49 PM on April 25, 2016 [1 favorite]

It might help if you said what kind of microphone you have now. As in specifics. Brand and interface.

It would also be helpful if you gave a budget.

You can get professional sounding audio with an audio interface and a decent XLR microphone.

Or you can always go the external recorder route and get a field recorder.

Most these things are around $100, but the more you pay the more you can step up in quality.

My very best guess is you have a crappy microphone that has some kind of sound levels setting and it's got noise that you only hear when things are quiet.
posted by cjorgensen at 1:09 PM on April 25, 2016 [1 favorite]

Get a USB-based headset like one of these. Make sure you change your audio input/source to the headset and not the computer's built-in microphone, assuming it has one.

Obviously, this doesn't apply if you're recording video of yourself talking. If you're doing that, use an actual camera, not a computer webcam. (And for family videos and karaoke, use a camera).
posted by cnc at 1:11 PM on April 25, 2016 [1 favorite]

Or if you want desktop something like a Snowball.
posted by cjorgensen at 1:14 PM on April 25, 2016 [1 favorite]

The headset is a cyber acoustics with a USB, I think it might be a little better but the sound is still present. I was hoping in the short term for something, well free lol, but in the long term I'd like to know the options under a hundred mostly. Thank you so much for your feedback! I mainly was wondering if there was some easy audio fix in my computer settings I didn't know about but it doesn't sound like it. :) Thank you all!
posted by xarnop at 1:42 PM on April 25, 2016

So both a regular analog mic and a USB mic have this problem? Sounds like maybe a dirty power problem, or local interference. If you had some weird sound setting that was causing this, or lousy sound hardware, it ought to go away when using the USB one.
posted by neckro23 at 3:20 PM on April 25, 2016 [2 favorites]

Are you using. Windows computer? If so, are you sure that you've set it to use your USB headset mic instead of the computer's built in mic?
posted by reddot at 3:53 PM on April 25, 2016 [3 favorites]

Every time I ask these it's an exercise in humility making apparent to the world my incompetence at the most basic uses of technology, and yet worth it because there is indeed an easy free solution to be had...

When you put it that way reddot, yes my um... headset does seem to work a bit better when.. turned on... head desk.
posted by xarnop at 5:59 AM on April 26, 2016

I think the bigger issue is actually the volume I have it at when recording, if the volume is set too high it's picking up all the background noise. I don't know if others have problems with simple things like this but um... lol...
posted by xarnop at 8:51 AM on April 26, 2016

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