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Post Posted:: September 11th, 2017, 11:50 am 

Joined: August 30th, 2017, 8:51 am
Posts: 2
Hi there everyone,

I'm excited to get started recording some small projects, but I'm hitting some basic snags.

When I play back my test recordings in audacity, there's a continuous clicking sound in the background. I'm not sure where it's coming from, but it would really undercut anything I might produce. There's no such sound in the room I'm using, so it must be something with the mic or the program or my computer.

The mic is a Blue Yeti, and I just got it about a week ago. The computer is a decent Alienware PC bought 3-ish years ago.

Also, if anyone knows any tricks to create an effective sound barrier around the mic for cheap, I would love to hear suggestions. I lack the cash or space for a sound-proof room, and I live in an NYC apartment where unwanted sounds are just part of the ambiance. So figuring out an answer to this issue is key for me.

Thank you for your time.

Jeremy


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Post Posted:: September 11th, 2017, 4:22 pm 

Joined: November 10th, 2016, 3:54 am
Posts: 396
Location: LONDON UK
I'm not sure about the clicking sound, but a possible cause could be electronic or electrical interference picked up by the mic, the mic lead, or something else. Try moving the mic further away from the computer, or try another room to see if the same thing happens. Are there any electronic devices you can switch off such as air conditioners, fans etc? These may broadcast electrical clicks. Are the clicks fast or slow, and are they regular or irregular?

The ambient noise from outside your apartment is difficult to get rid of without expensive soundproofing. What I would suggest is that you record very close miked, at about 3-4 inches from the mic, and not into it but across it. Is it an omni mic or a directional (cardioid) mic? Using a pop filter might help or a foam cover on the end. Close miking will also enable you to reduce the gain which will also minimise any outside sounds as the ratio of your voice to the other sounds will be much higher.

Others may come along with advice as well. If I think of anything else i will also post new advice.

EDIT: Do you know if the mic lead is balanced or unbalanced? A balanced lead will have one pin (the shield) connected at each end to stop interference. Most XLR leads have this on professional equipment, but a USB mic may not have this. Does your mic plug straight into the computer via USB?

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Post Posted:: September 11th, 2017, 4:43 pm 

Joined: February 24th, 2013, 7:14 am
Posts: 1593
Location: New Hampshire, USA
Jarmeat,

Plug your mic in, start Audacity, make sure the mic is selected, put the mic in mute (button on the front side, it should blink), start recording, give it a few seconds, stop recording. While mic is muted, listen to the recorded sound. Is it clicking? Select the entire track and do Effect -> Amplify, 20 dB. Do you see the clicks?

There is a pattern knob at the back, switch to different patterns, try recording silence (just don't say anything), in each pattern. There is also gain knob. Try different positions of the gain.

In other words, experiment.

You will find the source of that noise, I am sure of it. Just make sure to exclude obvious things (like your voice and your mouth), and try various combinations.

Good luck!

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Post Posted:: September 11th, 2017, 5:02 pm 
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Joined: June 15th, 2008, 10:30 pm
Posts: 36914
Location: Toronto, ON (but Minnesotan to age 32)
Some people have built little sound rooms using PVC pipe and blankets. It's not soundproof, but it's a fairly cheap (and easily collapsible) method. :)

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Post Posted:: September 28th, 2017, 1:05 pm 

Joined: August 30th, 2017, 8:51 am
Posts: 2
Sorry it's been a while since I've responded to everyone's thoughts. You're help is very much appreciated. I've just been busy and distracted by many other things recently.

The Mic is a Blue Yeti and it has a cardiod setting which I've been using. Bassed on how my room's set up (I'm in NYC, so it's small-ish), there's only so far I can move myself around in order to create distance from my computer and a few other appliances. But I've turned off what I can.

I like the idea of recording close to the mic at a lowered volume, and the idea of a portable muffler screen made from pvc. Once I get a handle on this clicking issue, I'll make a combination of those two ideas my next order of business.

I experimented with amplification, but heard no clicks. I tried each kind of pattern setting, but no clicks. Same when I tried it with the mic muted. And I tried recording my voice... no clicks.

I'm baffled as to where this came from, but it seems to have magically gone away on its own. I don't get it, but I'm happy to not have it happening anymore.

Thanks to all of you for your help. :)


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Post Posted:: September 29th, 2017, 1:02 am 

Joined: November 10th, 2016, 3:54 am
Posts: 396
Location: LONDON UK
Jarmeat wrote:
Sorry it's been a while since I've responded to everyone's thoughts. You're help is very much appreciated. I've just been busy and distracted by many other things recently.

The Mic is a Blue Yeti and it has a cardiod setting which I've been using. Bassed on how my room's set up (I'm in NYC, so it's small-ish), there's only so far I can move myself around in order to create distance from my computer and a few other appliances. But I've turned off what I can.

I like the idea of recording close to the mic at a lowered volume, and the idea of a portable muffler screen made from pvc. Once I get a handle on this clicking issue, I'll make a combination of those two ideas my next order of business.

I experimented with amplification, but heard no clicks. I tried each kind of pattern setting, but no clicks. Same when I tried it with the mic muted. And I tried recording my voice... no clicks.

I'm baffled as to where this came from, but it seems to have magically gone away on its own. I don't get it, but I'm happy to not have it happening anymore.

Thanks to all of you for your help. :)


Using the mic very close with a small amount of sound dampening using duvets, blankets etc., is the way to go. It's the inverse square law - with photography, bring a light from 6 feet from a subject down to three feet and instead of double the illumination, it will be four times. It's the same with sound, bring the mic from say 2 feet from the source, and make it 12 inches (half) and the mic will increase the gain by four times. At the same time the reflections (reverb) from the reflective surfaces in the room will be recorded at a much lower ratio than the voice. (Because you will need to bring the gain down so you will not over-record - or go into the red, and cause distortion). So the result will be a clear strong voice recording with very little room sound. Recording also at the top end of the Librivox requirement (Db) will mean that people listening in noisy environments will still hear clearly. The rest is down to your voice quality and delivery technique.

Hope this helps.

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