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By Steve Swettenham in the group MCAST October 14, 2011 - 9:41am Comments (3)

When you are capturing a deep humming noise distortion in the microphone, there are some things that you will want to look at to avoid the aforementioned issue.

  1. keep your headset away from magnets (i.e., speakers), electrical wiring, and kitchen appliances (i.e., microwaves).
  2. Use a USB headset.  (I use is a Plantronics Audio 655 DSP with built-in noise reduction)
  3. HUM can be cleaned up slightly with audio restoration plugins (i.e., Audacity noise removal).
  4. Ground looping
  5. Having the microphone volume too high will cause feedback and distortion.

Rule 1: the best output depends on the best input


Audacity Help:


Google Search Terms:

  • audio ground looping


  • Heather Clitheroe October 14, 2011 - 9:50am

    Very helpful! I wasn't sure how to eliminate the hum in Audacity - I'll get that worked out for episode three!

  • Steve Swettenham October 14, 2011 - 2:47pm

    The solution that worked for me is a USB headset.  I have tried many different USB headsets but I tend to gravitate back to Plantronics, not because they make a fabulous product, but their headsets seem to produce the most reliable audio recording over time.  Pricing varies wildly on headsets.  I often see sales of 50% or more on items that are already extremely expensive.  My price range in Canada is around $40CDN for a high end USB headset with a life expectancy of about 5 years.  I have seen the same item cheaper at times, and also way more expensive....that's consumerism!

    Although I have found out through experience and paying for many types of headsets, there are many other people in the podcast biz ( who advocate the same thing.

    Given that a headset can be dropped and kicked around, it is noteworthy that faulty wiring in a USB headset can also contribute to noise capture problems.  The solution is to always run a test audio clip to evaluate the expected quality...hence why its good to make a Skype test call (to hear the quality of your recorded voice online).

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