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Weird Interference in my Microphone Recordings

I've been confounded by this for a very long time now. Whenever I use my table-top microphone to record audio, I keep getting this weird interference in the background sooner or later. Sometimes, it doesn't even stay in the background, it becomes that loud. I don't even know how to describe it. The best I can come up with is that it sounds very . . . "digital". Electronic.

Here, you'll get what I mean when you listen to this sample recording (ignore the pulsing thump, pay attention to the background) > http://yourlisten.com/channel/content/16972503/Weird_Interference_1

Here, it's much louder, and pretty much the only thing you can hear > http://yourlisten.com/channel/content/16972506/Weird_Interference_2

I, at first, thought it was some sort of electromagnetic interference, and so I tried keeping the mic away from the speakers (which have electromagnets in them), but it didn't help.

Can someone please tell me how to fix this?

- Nick

P.S.: Oh, something else that's noteworthy is that this is not the first time I'm experiencing this problem. I've had the same thing happen when recording audio on my Android Phone too. At the time, I'd assumed it was because I'd chosen the "wav" file format, but, on my PC, I've set my software to record in "mp3" format, so I guess the file format has nothing to do with it.

S.P.S.: I just listened to that second sample again, and, for some inexplicable reason that I cannot fathom, I suddenly had this thought pop into my head that, if one could hear what fax machines sound like when they transmit data, this is exactly what it'd be like. Now, I don't know how true this is; as far as I know, I've never heard fax machines talk to each other, soooo . . . . yeah . . . .
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More about weird interference microphone recordings
  1. record the sound without any music in the background with mic at max volume and post the link .
  2. I believe that GSM cell phones, cellular routers, and other devices that regularly handshake using a radio can cause interference that sounds like that. Do you have a device like that anywhere near your setup?
  3. scout_03 said:
    record the sound without any music in the background with mic at max volume and post the link .

    I won't be able to get the room quiet enough for a while, but when I do, I'll make that recording.


    diabase said:
    I believe that GSM cell phones, cellular routers, and other devices that regularly handshake using a radio can cause interference that sounds like that. Do you have a device like that anywhere near your setup?

    Do I have a phone nearby? Yes.
    Is it GSM? Yes.
    I'm not aware of any cellular routers near me. If you mean 'cellular tower', I think there's one a few buildings away from my apartment.
    Since you use the word "radio", maybe you should know that there's this wireless headphones that I have, that pairs with a small transmitter tower. But I don't see how this could be causing the problem as the tower doesn't have any batteries in it :/
  4. Best answer
    t4akawolf said:

    Do I have a phone nearby? Yes.
    Is it GSM? Yes.
    I'm not aware of any cellular routers near me. If you mean 'cellular tower', I think there's one a few buildings away from my apartment.
    Since you use the word "radio", maybe you should know that there's this wireless headphones that I have, that pairs with a small transmitter tower. But I don't see how this could be causing the problem as the tower doesn't have any batteries in it :/


    Sorry I should have said cellular modem. It would transmit and receive similarly to your cell phone. I've never had one of those, but I do have a GSM phone that often gets picked up by my unshielded speakers.

    I would try moving your cell phone away from the mic (or put it in airplane mode) to see if the noise goes away. You could also switch your mic to a shielded cable and see if that helps. I've heard that you can reduce that kind of RF interference with a ferrite choke, but I don't know what effect that could have on your recordings.
  5. if you use Wireless on that system use this to find a network that could interfer with you mic http://www.metageek.net/products/inssider/
  6. diabase said:
    I would try moving your cell phone away from the mic (or put it in airplane mode) to see if the noise goes away.

    My dear man, you're the man! It was my phone! The moment I turned off Data Receiving/Sending, I heard the disturbance stop!
    Thank you so much for helping me solve this peculiar problem.

    On a sidenote, I must say it was a very magical moment when I realized I was actually, literally, listening to my phone communicating with other devices.
    I know that's a very . . . geeky thing to say, but IT'S THE TRUTH, GODDAMNIT, AND I DON'T WANT TO HIDE IT! XD

    - Nick
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