Stupid Low Hum
November 1, 2007 5:46 PM   Subscribe

Why is there a low hum when I record with Vista?

I'm using audacity and plugging a headset straight into the mic jack. My friend and I have a podcast and every time we have to do the Noise Removal thing which really makes it sound kind of bad.

Does anyone have any ideas as to what might be causing this or how I can get rid of the sound?

(I have a Gateway MT3705 with Vista and a SigmaTel Sound Card.)
posted by superbird to Computers & Internet (5 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Have you checked that you're using the most up-to-date drivers? I had this problem with my Vista at first, but installing new drivers fixed it. If you've got another song card, perhaps try swapping it out.
posted by !Jim at 5:55 PM on November 1, 2007

Best answer: Definitely check the drivers, but I'd imagine it's something else.

It could be a ground loop problem, or possibly the horrible EMI noise problem so so many of us encounter. Both issues are addressed here.

Other things to consider:
room noise. Are you by a road? Do you have the AC on? Ceiling fan? Noise from PC fan?

You also should be able to roll off low frequencies without effecting the sound quality much at all, esp. if you are doing it only on voice, not on music, as most voices will not have many frequencies in the really low ranges. I'd not muck about too much with noise reduction plug-ins. Instead concentrate on isolating what frequencies are troublesome using a spectrograph or EQ with some sort of visualization, and then reducing those frequencies.

I'd imagine, though, that you can fix this without having to revert to too much EQing.
posted by Espoo2 at 6:29 PM on November 1, 2007 [1 favorite]

Tell us -- Is it a 60-cycle hum? You know: the hum one hears with some guitar pick-ups.
posted by cmiller at 6:33 PM on November 1, 2007

Response by poster: Wow. So, I checked out that link and tried unplugging my power cord. It was that simple. I can't believe it. Thanks!
posted by superbird at 7:06 PM on November 1, 2007

You can also use one of those plugs that converts from three prongs in to two prongs out to the wall (if you need to have it plugged in)
posted by imaswinger at 9:51 AM on November 2, 2007

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