Background noise problems

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Silver
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Post by Silver » January 13th, 2007, 10:48 am

I just bought a new headset, a Plantronics DPS 400. It's great, but when I tried to record on it, I got a very loud background hum - so loud that when I speak at a normal volume, the soundwaves visible in Audacity are just a solid block, so I can't even see where there's voice and where there's (supposed to be) silence.

I'm pretty disappointed, because when I used my old crappy headset, I didn't have any problems at all.

Is there an easy solution/well known thing I could have been doing wrong? It's the first time I use a USB headset.

Cloud Mountain
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Post by Cloud Mountain » January 13th, 2007, 11:07 am

Silver wrote:I just bought a new headset, a Plantronics DPS 400. It's great, but when I tried to record on it, I got a very loud background hum - so loud that when I speak at a normal volume, the soundwaves visible in Audacity are just a solid block, so I can't even see where there's voice and where there's (supposed to be) silence.

I'm pretty disappointed, because when I used my old crappy headset, I didn't have any problems at all.

Is there an easy solution/well known thing I could have been doing wrong? It's the first time I use a USB headset.
Are you using Windows? or Mac?
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Silver
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Joined: November 18th, 2006, 3:44 pm
Location: Sweden, in the snow, banging my headset against the wall.

Post by Silver » January 13th, 2007, 11:16 am

Windows.

Starlite
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Post by Starlite » January 13th, 2007, 12:02 pm

Is it a USB mic?
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people attempt to adapt the world to themselves. All progress,
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Silver
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Joined: November 18th, 2006, 3:44 pm
Location: Sweden, in the snow, banging my headset against the wall.

Post by Silver » January 13th, 2007, 12:26 pm

Yes, it's a USB headset with its own soundcard, I think.

kayray
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Post by kayray » January 13th, 2007, 12:36 pm

Check to make sure your software AND your computer are set to use your new mic as the audio input device.
Kara
http://kayray.org/
--------
"Mary wished to say something very sensible into her Zoom H2 Handy Recorder, but knew not how." -- Jane Austen (& Kara)

Silver
Posts: 68
Joined: November 18th, 2006, 3:44 pm
Location: Sweden, in the snow, banging my headset against the wall.

Post by Silver » January 13th, 2007, 1:53 pm

My settings are -

Standard for playing sound - Conexant AMC Audio
for recording sound - Plantronics headset
for playing voice sounds - Plantronics headset
for recording voice sounds - Plantronics headset


Audacity : Playback - headset, Recording - headset, otherwise settings are as they are in the FAQ.

I have the same background noise over skype, so it's not an audacity problem.

Cloud Mountain
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Post by Cloud Mountain » January 13th, 2007, 2:31 pm

Is there anything plugged into the line input?
Has your sound card generated sound like this before?
Can you hear sound through an internal or external speaker?
Can you hear it when you plug a "plug-in" set of headphones?
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Stephan
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Post by Stephan » January 13th, 2007, 2:45 pm

the soundwaves visible in Audacity are just a solid block, so I can't even see where there's voice and where there's (supposed to be) silence.
I know this solid like look of the waveform. It might be the constant 50 hz humming of your houses power circuitry.

If you have a TV card it might be strayed in via the badly shielded antenna cable. Unplug the antenna cable while recording.
Else, a cheap power-unit in combination with a cheap soundcard (say the mainboards onboard sound) might pick this up too simply from the surrounding elctric field.

Run a high-pass filter on your soundfiles to cut out the unwanted <60 hz frequencies.

Try to plug all power-plugs of your hardware into one multiway connector and/or, as voodoo as it sounds, try turning the plugs about 180 degrees and put them back in. This way you can change the way all your hardware gets grounded.

Do you have a halogene lamp that has a build in transformer or worse a dimmer, running next to your computer? These humm badly!
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Silver
Posts: 68
Joined: November 18th, 2006, 3:44 pm
Location: Sweden, in the snow, banging my headset against the wall.

Post by Silver » January 13th, 2007, 4:57 pm

Cloud Mountain wrote:Is there anything plugged into the line input?
Has your sound card generated sound like this before?
Can you hear sound through an internal or external speaker?
Can you hear it when you plug a "plug-in" set of headphones?
No, there's nothing plugged into the line input.

I've never had a problem like this before, my old headset - non-USB - works fine.

Yep. The internal ones, don't have externals, and only when the headset is plugged in.

No, they work fine.

Silver
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Joined: November 18th, 2006, 3:44 pm
Location: Sweden, in the snow, banging my headset against the wall.

Post by Silver » January 13th, 2007, 4:59 pm

Stephan wrote:
the soundwaves visible in Audacity are just a solid block, so I can't even see where there's voice and where there's (supposed to be) silence.
I know this solid like look of the waveform. It might be the constant 50 hz humming of your houses power circuitry.

If you have a TV card it might be strayed in via the badly shielded antenna cable. Unplug the antenna cable while recording.
Else, a cheap power-unit in combination with a cheap soundcard (say the mainboards onboard sound) might pick this up too simply from the surrounding elctric field.

Run a high-pass filter on your soundfiles to cut out the unwanted <60 hz frequencies.

Try to plug all power-plugs of your hardware into one multiway connector and/or, as voodoo as it sounds, try turning the plugs about 180 degrees and put them back in. This way you can change the way all your hardware gets grounded.

Do you have a halogene lamp that has a build in transformer or worse a dimmer, running next to your computer? These humm badly!
That's interesting, Stephan. I will try tomorrow to unplug various lamps and stuff. I do have a lamp here that has a dimmer.

If I can't solve this, I think I will have to use the old headset - seems stupid to use the new one plus a filter when the old one gives okay quality without problems.

I just like the new ones better - don't make my ears hurt :lol: - and I don't like the idea of having paid about 40 bucks for nothing.

Starlite
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Post by Starlite » January 13th, 2007, 5:00 pm

Ok is there any other USB device plugged in next to your mic? I had some awfull interferance when I had my cam plugged it.
"Reasonable people adapt themselves to the world. Unreasonable
people attempt to adapt the world to themselves. All progress,
therefore, depends on unreasonable people." George Bernard Shaw

Silver
Posts: 68
Joined: November 18th, 2006, 3:44 pm
Location: Sweden, in the snow, banging my headset against the wall.

Post by Silver » January 13th, 2007, 5:04 pm

Starlite wrote:Ok is there any other USB device plugged in next to your mic? I had some awfull interferance when I had my cam plugged it.
Only my mouse, really, and I kinda need that :lol: Though I'll try without it, am desperate by now.

kayray
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Post by kayray » January 13th, 2007, 5:07 pm

I wonder if your mic is faulty. Can you try it on a friend's computer, perhaps?
Kara
http://kayray.org/
--------
"Mary wished to say something very sensible into her Zoom H2 Handy Recorder, but knew not how." -- Jane Austen (& Kara)

Starlite
Posts: 16600
Joined: April 30th, 2006, 2:17 pm
Location: Thunder Bay Ontario, Canada

Post by Starlite » January 13th, 2007, 5:08 pm

Let me know if it works. If it does, you could try plugging the mouse at the back and the mic at the front of the PC. Thats the only way I can record.
"Reasonable people adapt themselves to the world. Unreasonable
people attempt to adapt the world to themselves. All progress,
therefore, depends on unreasonable people." George Bernard Shaw

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