I have a CAD U37 condenser USB microphone directly plugged in to my i3 processor HP laptop in Fl Studio 12, but while recording vocals it creates white noise that affects my song quality. The same thing happens when this is done in Audacity, Cubase, or Sonar. Should I buy an interface or mac or dynamic mic or software like Pro Tools or other DAW software?

4 Answers 4


If your characterization of "white noise" is somewhat accurate, you are out of luck. You can get various bits of noise from unstable power supply and inverters for step-up DC/DC converters and ground loops. But those will be whining or humming. Broadband noise, in contrast, is almost sure to originate from the analog circuitry of your microphone, and it cannot be "weak power" either since USB runs on fixed voltage.

Now USB mics are usually electret-condenser capsules. Those cannot offer the same S/N ratio as true condenser microphones, particularly not large-diaphragm condensers. They still can be reasonable quality (and most hand-held recorders use them).

However, USB microphones are not intended for professional use and are predominantly useless for that, too (how are you going to synchronize several microphones when they all have their own A/D conversion without clock-in/out?).

I've taken a look at the "User manual" of the CAD 37 and they don't even bother supplying fantasy values of frequency range, sensitivity, equivalent noise levels or polar diagrams, instead just talking about "studio quality" and "professional".

The microphone has a dedicated side for recording (where the logo is) which you should be singing in (don't just hold it like you feel a microphone should be held: from the description you need to sing into its marked side rather than its top like you'd usually do with a singer's microphone). And it has a 10dB pad switch which you likely want off if you are hearing noise over your voice, at least as long as you don't experience distortion.

If that's not enough for getting good results, sell the microphone and get something better. No DAW can fix that.


Maybe the "white noise" is fan noise from your computer? If so, putting some distance between computer and microphone and letting the microphone face away from the computer (a cardioid microphone usually has a marked sensitive side, with the least sensitivity being just opposite) might help.


The fact this happens in various different software packages shows you it isn't caused by them, so no, don't bother buying a new DAW package. I'd lay odds on it being because you have a USB mic plugged directly into a laptop - this is rarely a good idea if you want even semi-decent sound quality. So get yourself an audio interface.

If you do want to diagnose exactly where the problem is without buying an interface, the standard way to do this is swap each part for a known good one:

  • Find a friend with a mic and try it on your system (and your mic on theirs) to see if it is a faulty mic.
  • Then see if you can borrow an audio interface and try running your mic through that.
  • Continue on through your sound chain until you identify the component that is introducing the sound.
  • 1
    If the noise level is not impacted by mic volume, it may be ground loop. If can be impacted by adjusting the volume, it is "signal to noise ratio". Cheap mics tend to be kind of quiet and so noise is a bigger component int he audio. It may be the mic housing affecting its ability to capture audio. Mic inputs tend to have a software gain control, this will raise the noise as well as the signal, try disabling gain and then make volume adjustments in the DAW instead.
    – Yorik
    Commented Dec 13, 2016 at 16:33

The white noise in the background is most likely due to one or more issues. Start by checking the Microphones levels within system settings. If the Mic you are using also has a gain adjustment knob, make sure you lower the gain on the microphone as well. Check within your DAWS preferences and make sure the Mic input is also not adjusted too high. As for USB microphones; If you are using a USB condenser Mic, it has a Phantom Power supply built in. Disregard anyone who tells you different as they are misinformed. The Blue YETI, Audio Technica AT2020 USB condenser Mics produce an excellent and accurate sound with very low self-noise and are absolutely suitable for home recording. This information is relevant as you may have a defective device if everything else checks out. Also make sure you place the Mic away from any magnetic fields especially Modems/Routers. I usually keep my microphone 6 ft. From any other electronics. Hope this helps.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.