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Why is sound recorded on my laptop of a much higher quality?


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#1 LanceA

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Posted 02 July 2015 - 05:10 PM

That is to say, compared to both desktop computers I've tried. My laptop is a Dell studio 1558. Under the category of "Sound, video, and game controllers" in the device manager, I find "ATI High Definition Audio Device" listed alongside "IDT High Definition Audio CODEC". For one particular desktop, the sound card I have seems to be a Realtek Digital Output card, which came onboard.

 

I use Audacity to record sound from a small microphone on both computers, but the sound is much louder and cleaner when I record on my laptop. On my desktop, the sound comes out terribly muffled and a bit static-y. I don't think there's a connection issue, as the sound is recorded the same way on both of my desktops, one brand new and one which is around a decade old.

 

Is it that the realtek onboard sound card is terrible? Did my laptop just happen to come with a fantastic audio card? I'd like to know before spending money on a new sound card.

 

Thanks for any help.

 

P.S. Recording the audio on my laptop is not ideal as the hard drive is failing, causing frequent shut-downs, and it has an overheating problem to boot. I've not been able to successfully record and transfer any audio so far.



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#2 Mike.Tech

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Posted 02 July 2015 - 05:54 PM

You've just discovered the differences in computer sound. There are many that will tell you it's placebo. Obviously it isn't.

 

Realtek chip onboard is a mass market sound device, and there are several versions of device in use. It seems to do for many people who just 'want a noise', but when push comes to shove, for all it's specs, it falls short, and is ultimately at the mercy of the board manufacturers implementation.

 

The only desktop option is a slot in audio card. Be aware, there are differences in those too. after trying the Asus Xonar, I wasn't impressed. I'll stick to Creative.



#3 hamluis

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Posted 02 July 2015 - 06:13 PM

My guess wouid be...speakers...if all audio on your desktop has this issue.

 

Louis



#4 technonymous

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Posted 02 July 2015 - 06:42 PM

Are you using the front panel on the desktop? That would explain the static because of interference. Mostly because the cable is unshielded and ran along side power cables to the header on the motherboard. You want to use the mic input on the back of the machine for a more clean signal.



#5 mjd420nova

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Posted 02 July 2015 - 08:51 PM

There are many things that affect playback media.  You can test each system with a single recording, preferably one from the laptop and played back on the desktops.  That would help to nail down whether it's the recorded content or the playback.  Headphone and microphone input jacks are often connected with just ribbon cable, subject to induce noises.



#6 LanceA

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Posted 03 July 2015 - 01:37 AM

I've used both the front and back audio jacks without change. I've also tested audio recorded from the laptop played back on my desktop and the quality is just as good.

I guess the issue really does lie in the sound card, then? I guess I should start researching cards.

 

Thanks to everyone who posted.



#7 Rocky Bennett

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Posted 04 July 2015 - 04:37 AM

I have to agree with Louis above. What CODEC are you using on the laptop and what CODEC are you using on your desktops? You have to compare apples to apple and make sure that your Audacity is set to the same EXACT CODEC and the same exact bitrate. For just speech MP3 at 320 kbps should be fine, if you want high quality sound, try PCM at 1411 kbps.


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#8 LanceA

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Posted 05 July 2015 - 12:31 AM

I actually solved this issue by opening the Realtek audio manager and boosting the gain to 100 and disabling the noise suppression and acoustic echo cancellation. Now the quality is leagues above what it was on my laptop.






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