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Preamble

I recently bought a new AT2020 USB condenser microphone. Tossed up going with the XLR and getting a dedicated interface, but I'm not a sound engineer - I'm a computer programmer - and this is just a hobby, so I went with the easy and cheaper route (the microphone was heavily discounted).

The Problem

The device at first seems fine. It can be used for a variety of purposes without issues arising. However, after about 5 minutes (rough estimate) of "using" the device - constant use in voice chat or recording software - it introduces a peculiar buzzing noise which seemingly cannot be fixed with software, but immediately disappears if I unplug the device and plug it in again.

Debugging

  • It seems that the problem may only arise on the USB3 ports on my motherboard's IO plate. I'm yet to do any proper testing, but to my memory, I've had no complaints of horrible static/buzzing over voice chat when it's been plugged into the case ports.
  • I thought at first it may be a software issue with Hangouts, but last night I witnessed it while spending a protracted period listening to the device in Reason to tune a filter
  • I'm yet to investigate the issue on devices other than my desktop, but I'll look into that and note my findings

Cheers :)

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2 Answers 2

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Had the same problem for years, until I read this thread and decided to try some diagnostics testing before buying a new mic. Whaddya know? Problem basically solved.

Mic AT2020 USB

DAW: Reaper

Same thing, every 5 minutes, crackling for about a minute.

I tried different USB ports but that didn't help.

The problem, for me, turned out to be the ASIO driver. Didn't matter what settings, same problem. I tried installing a new ASIO, didn't help.

I switched to WASAPI driver (in Reaper) and the problem disappeared! I tried it with DirectSound and there was also no problem, other than the latency. But on WASAPI, the latency was barely audible.

Please respond if this helps!

Post edit: I found that going through a USB splitter also causes problems.

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  • I think this might have been my issue. I ended up just getting a new mic, but I also was using ASIO and had other occasional issues with it too. I'll have to look at WASAPI!
    – mirichan
    Feb 7 at 17:35
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It could be some process that is particular noisy in your computer, which would explain the periodic nature of the noise.

You might get lucky with a USB Noise filter, e.g. like this one: enter image description here http://www.ebay.com/itm/Elfidelity-USB-Boosters-USB-audio-interface-Hi-Fi-Power-Filter-for-PC-DAC-AMP-/261827131893

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