Static/hum is ruining my inspiration to record!

markymarkgoesmetal!

Registered
Joined
Feb 12, 2021
Location
WI
One month back, I'm recording. Life's a dream. Now despite no change (that I can think of) in my recording process, a white noise or otherwise a static crunch plagues my every new recording.

When I hit record, I hear nothing but silence in my headphones. As soon as I play back what I've just recorded although, suddenly there's either a static crunch or else a humming/whistle. I've bought a new mic, new mic cable, and even a new audio recording box interface deal thing, still no change. I moved the mic from ground level to up in my face, to even ten feet away from my computer setup. Still not the slightest change. I've tweaked every knob I can find on my audio box while recording. Mic gain, master volume, input versus playback - still the exact same pitch and sound of a hum that makes me want throw hands.

If anyone can offer some expertise, I'd love you without shame. Just be warned I'm a computer idiot, and will probably need your guidance broken down into very easy to follow baby steps.

For what's it worth, I have Presonus Studio one recording software, SM 57 mic, 10 ft mic cable, and both a Audiobox USB as well Onyx Producer 2.2 for my audio interfaces.

Thanks!
 

Boswell

Moderator
Joined
Apr 19, 2006
Location
UK
Hi, and Welcome!

What you don't say is anything about your computer. Is it a PC/Windows desktop or laptop, or is it a Mac of some sort? It's also not clear whether you hear any trace in the replayed track of what the microphone was supposed to be recording,

When I was last called in to investigate a problem like this, the culprit turned out to be the computer power supply. Is it possible you could borrow another computer and try it with either or both of your audio interfaces?
 

paulears

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 7, 2014
Location
Lowestoft - UK
Steady process, bit by bit too eliminate the problem.
When you are ready to record, do the meters on screen indicate a signal is present - then when recording, do you see waveforms, if this is how your DAW normally works? Is the routing set correctly - is the mic being sent to the right destination, or are you perhaps recording a different input with nothing connected? If you hit record and then pull the mic plug out at say, 10 secs, does something happen to the hiss at that time? If so, the preamp input is at least connected. If nothing changes, then it's not even recording that input. If you have another track with audio on it, does that come out of your headphones. Do old recordings play back OK, or not?

You sort of need a route map to follow, with the results written on it. Only then will you get somewhere.
 

markymarkgoesmetal!

Registered
Joined
Feb 12, 2021
Location
WI
Hi, and Welcome!

What you don't say is anything about your computer. Is it a PC/Windows desktop or laptop, or is it a Mac of some sort? It's also not clear whether you hear any trace in the replayed track of what the microphone was supposed to be recording,

When I was last called in to investigate a problem like this, the culprit turned out to be the computer power supply. Is it possible you could borrow another computer and try it with either or both of your audio interfaces?
My bad, it's a windows desktop. I unfortunately can't really transfer to another computer, as the only other one I have is a laptop with not much space to download a recording software. I could try a skype call or something from my laptop using the audiobox and mic? But my concern with that is I never hear the static through the headphones while recording, just after playing back what I just recorded.
 

markymarkgoesmetal!

Registered
Joined
Feb 12, 2021
Location
WI
Steady process, bit by bit too eliminate the problem.
When you are ready to record, do the meters on screen indicate a signal is present - then when recording, do you see waveforms, if this is how your DAW normally works? Is the routing set correctly - is the mic being sent to the right destination, or are you perhaps recording a different input with nothing connected? If you hit record and then pull the mic plug out at say, 10 secs, does something happen to the hiss at that time? If so, the preamp input is at least connected. If nothing changes, then it's not even recording that input. If you have another track with audio on it, does that come out of your headphones. Do old recordings play back OK, or not?

You sort of need a route map to follow, with the results written on it. Only then will you get somewhere
Update: So I have a friend who suggested I adjust my audio setup where I found "dropout protection" was on minimum, and he suggested I up it to medium. Just incase this has any impact.

So I double checked to make sure I answer these accurately. At first when I hit record, I noticed there was no signal being picked up. I had the mic gain on low so I cranked it up to midway, and this has made a slight change, which is weird because whenever I tried that before, nothing changed. Now the static only remains when the mic is kept at ground level although. Wondering if this is because of that dropout protection alteration? Now if I hold the mic up as if I intend to sing into it, there's beautiful silence in the playback at last. But as soon as the mic is ground level again, that crunch is back as strong as ever.

Otherwise, all my old recordings before this noise started play back just fine. I can listen to anything on my computer without trouble, all the way until I record something new. Then this mythical static develops.
 

Boswell

Moderator
Joined
Apr 19, 2006
Location
UK
I think you are making some progress. Can we clear up exactly what you mean by the mic being at "ground level"? Are you talking about physical position, e.g. lying on the floor, or the position of the gain trim knob on the interface?

When you lift the mic up as if to sing into it, is there any crackling or spitting noise when you flex the cable, particularly at the two ends next to the connectors? If the screen connection were coming adrift in one of the connectors you could get an effect like this with a dynamic mic like the SM57. I'm assuming you have a standard XLR male - XLR female microphone cable.
 
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