Another Puzzle For You Sound People

Another Puzzle For You Sound People

13th January 2014      by:
Tom Woods     

It’s really, really hard to find an audio engineer who also knows computers, and for him also to live within driving distance of Topeka. (If you meet that description, by the way, I will pay you top dollar to come to my office to fix this problem.) So I turn to you, my dear readers.

To refresh your memory: my problem comes when I record an interview via Skype. I can record via phone just fine. I use my microphone to make Ron Paul Curriculum videos and the sound is great. But as soon as Skype is involved, disaster. I am getting a whooshing hiss sound when I speak. As soon as the guest speaks, it’s gone. Post-production noise removal is very, very tricky with this particular sound. For a sample, listen to the audio file at this link.

I have a microphone plugged into an Alesis MultiMix 4 USB mixer. The mixer, in turn, is plugged into the computer to capture the Skype, and my voice is being recorded with the microphone.

Now here’s an interesting clue I got today. Some people were saying it must be caused by the person on the other end of the Skype interview. But I think I can rule that out definitively. Today I tried speaking to someone via Skype. At first I couldn’t hear him when we connected, because I had my computer speakers, rather than the headphones I was wearing (which are plugged into the mixer), as the default device. I eventually figured out the problem. But here’s what’s interesting: AS SOON AS the Skype connection was established I could hear the hiss sound even though I could not hear the other person and the headphones weren’t even set as the default device!

Any further theories as to what could be happening here? I would vastly prefer to interview over Skype when possible.

Also, I really, really want to avoid labor-intensive solutions, like recording two separate tracks.

Unlearn the Propaganda!