Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Troubleshooting my own user idiocy

Random dumb tech story: For months my computer microphone has had a lot of loud static on it. Every time I say something in a game like Left 4 Dead 2, people complain and tell me not to talk again.

I finally got around to investigating the issue, which involved unplugging things, looking at the sound controls, etc.  I was bewildered to find that the computer was recording noise even when the mic was unplugged.  Then I realize: I have a USB webcam that I rarely use.  It's plugged into the back, it has its own built in mic... and it's hanging behind my desk RIGHT NEXT TO THE FAN.

Everything's crystal clear now.


  1. So both microphone inputs were active at the same time?

  2. Yep, they're both USB and they both activate automatically when plugged in.

  3. I once had a similar facepalm situation with an integrated laptop microphone. People kept yelling at me to turn my volume down. I had the microphone volume so low it was basically off. Eventually, I went into the control panel and found out that there was a separate microphone boost. It was cranked all the way up. It seems that everything I said was being amplified by about 20 decibels.

  4. Bravo. :D

    Now to find that misplaced semicolon that's been totally changing the behaviour of your program.... somewhere... lurking....