Why Is Your Blue Yeti So Loud? 3 Causes and Fixes


The Blue Yeti is unquestionably one of the most reliable USB microphones on the market today. But like many other similar products, it’s not immune to noise issues and may capture unwanted background and wind sounds depending on your mic settings and recording environment. To fix your mic’s sound quality, you must determine what’s causing the mic issues first.

Your Blue Yeti is so loud because you may be using the wrong recording mode, have set the gain too high, or are recording in windy conditions without a wind muff. You can fix these issues by switching your mic to cardioid mode, lowering the gain, and purchasing a wind muff, respectively.

Read on to learn the different types of loudness issues in a Blue Yeti, what causes them, and how to fix each. 

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Types of Loud Noises in a Blue Yeti

Loudness problems in a Blue Yeti manifest in three ways, and the ideal intervention depends on the type of noise issue. 

Most commonly, Blue Yeti noise problems come in the form of:

  • White noise.
  • Background noise.
  • Wind noise.

Since background noise and wind noise are pretty self-explanatory, let’s talk a bit more about white noise. 

By definition, white noise is sound comprising many frequencies with equal intensity. Examples of white noises include:

  • The sound of a whirring fan.
  • Radio or TV static.
  • Hissing from your radiator.
  • A humming AC.

3 Common Causes of Sound Issues with Blue Yeti Microphones

As mentioned above, there are several reasons for your Blue Yeti to be loud. These include:

  • Your recording mode might be wrong.
  • The mic settings have made it too sensitive to background noises.
  • External influences like the wind affect your Blue Yeti’s recording. 

I’ll explain these three causes in detail below.

You’re Using the Wrong Polar Pattern

Technically, what I’m referring to as “mode” or “pattern” is the mic’s polar pattern. This is the term professional sound engineers use. 

However, many people outside the sound/music production field prefer “pattern” or “mode.” That’s probably why the polar pattern dial knob on your Blue Yeti is marked “pattern.”

A microphone’s polar pattern describes the direction in which it senses sound signals. It’s a critical determinant of how and when you can use a mic, and getting the settings wrong here can cause background noise in your recordings.

Various USB microphones come with different modes, and some have more than the Blue Yeti. 

FYI, the highest number of modes a USB mic can have is seven. They are as follows:

  • Subcardioid
  • Cardioid
  • Omnidirectional
  • Supercardioid
  • Hypercardioid
  • Bi-directional or Figure of 8
  • Lobar

Out of these seven possibilities, Blue Yeti USB microphones have only four:

  • Stereo pattern
  • Cardioid pattern
  • Omnidirectional pattern
  • Bidirectional/figure 8 pattern

Typically, your mic’s sensitivity and the sound rejection direction(s) will vary depending on the pattern you use. 

In simpler terms, the type of mode you use will dictate how much background sound your mic captures. The more the background sound captured, the noisier your recordings.

The stereo, omnidirectional, and bidirectional patterns tend to capture background noise, especially if they aren’t complemented by appropriate settings in other areas such as the gain. So if your Blue Yeti is catching too much background noise, chances are you’re using one of these modes. 

Your Gain Is Set Too High

Sometimes when the gain setting isn’t right, your Blue Yeti will produce a loud white noise. Other times, it’ll cause a more gentle but continuous background hum. 

Neither is ideal.

Your mic’s gain setting is one of the critical determinants of its sensitivity to sound. The higher the gain, the more sensitive the mic, and the more ambient noise it’ll capture. The reverse is also true.

Whether your Blue Yeti produces lots of white noise or has a continuous background hum will depend on the level of gain you’ve set. 

The Mic Is Picking Up the Hum of Your PC

When the gain is too high, your mic may capture sounds that you might not even be aware of. 

The most common culprit is the PC they’re using as part of the recording equipment for many users. While your PC’s humming might not sound like much, an overly sensitive mic can amplify it significantly and create recordings with loud white noise.

The Mic Is Picking Other Radio Frequencies

Similarly, a mic with a high gain can capture noise caused by radio frequency interference

When you experience radio frequency interference, your mic will sometimes pick up random radio stations. Alternatively, it’ll pick up that static noise. 

If this happens with a high gain setting, the static and music/conversations from the interfering radio station will be noticeable in your recordings, distorting the audio quality. 

The Gain Is Too Low To Capture What You Want It To

Gain that’s set too low isn’t ideal either because it can prevent your mic from capturing the sound you want it to capture (e.g., your voice when doing a podcast). 

Instead, the mic may produce a steady humming sound similar to the kind you usually hear when microphones are left idle. 

You’re Recording Outdoors Without a Wind Muff

Wind noise can distort otherwise good audio and remains a significant problem for individuals who record outdoors. 

That goes even for users who record in relatively calm weather, especially with a high gain. Luckily, it’s easy to address wind noise with a single purchase—more on that below.

For more information, check out how to reduce background noise on a Blue Yeti.

How To Fix Your Blue Yeti’s Loudness

Below are my suggestions on how to fix the three mic issues I’ve just mentioned. Luckily, they’re all pretty straightforward. 

Switch to Cardioid Mode

If you aren’t already using it, consider switching to cardioid mode/pattern to reduce background noise for clearer recordings.

Why does this work? Because the cardioid pattern uses your Yeti’s front-facing sound sensors, forcing the microphone to capture only audio signals originating directly in front of it. 

This restricts sound signals from other sides of the mic and is why the cardioid mode filters out more background noise than other patterns.

Lower the Gain

As you might have guessed, the solution to a high gain is to lower it such that the mic doesn’t capture background noise or noise from radio frequency interference. 

However, you don’t want to lower it too much such that it doesn’t capture the sounds you want it to.

The key is to balance filtering out background noise and ensuring that the mic picks up the sounds you want.

Here’s how to do that:

  1. Grab a pair of earbuds or headphones and plug them into your Blue Yeti.
  2. Locate the gain adjustment knob of the back of the mic.
  3. Increase the gain as you listen in for changes in sound quality.
  4. Open your laptop, go to sound settings, choose the Blue Yeti as your input device, and turn its volume down to about 50%.
  5. Go back to the gain adjustment knob, and keep decreasing the gain until you get clear audio.

If you adjust the gain and still hear background humming, consider moving your PC and other appliances further away from the mic. 

Sometimes, the gain will be fine, only for your laptops humming to be captured and recorded as background noise.

Dealing With Radio Frequencies

If radio interference problems persist, check your mic’s cable connection to ensure there aren’t any loopholes. Ideally, the connection should have a closed circuit.

To find out whether your mic’s cable connections have a closed circuit, grab a multimeter and bring its leads to the cable’s housings (i.e., the metal band on the ends of the mic cables). 

The reading should be zero or a few ohms. If your reading is above a single-digit value, the circuit isn’t closed, and your mic will likely capture radio frequency interference.

If the cable connections are fine and you’re still picking up radio frequency interference, the problem may be inadequate shielding on the cables. 

If so, swap out your cables for ones with double reussen layer shielding, and thank me later.

These 2 Foot – Gotham GAC-1 Ultra Pro cables are top of the line and have four shields, making them the best shielded patch cable on the market. They’re extremely affordable and guarantee incredible audio quality.

2 Foot - Gotham GAC-1 Ultra Pro - Low-Cap (21pF/ft) Guitar Bass Effects Instrument, Patch Cable & Gold (6.35mm) Low-Profile R/A Pancake Type Connectors - Custom Made by WORLDS BEST CABLES
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2 Foot - Gotham GAC-1 Ultra Pro - Low-Cap (21pF/ft) Guitar Bass Effects Instrument, Patch Cable & Gold (6.35mm) Low-Profile R/A Pancake Type Connectors - Custom Made by WORLDS BEST CABLES
  • This patch cable made with the Gotham GAC-1 Ultra Pro is the world’s lowest capacitance patch cable (21pF/ft Capacitance). This ultra durable cable has 4 shields making it the best-shielded patch cable in the world (2x100% coverage LCOF Copper shields & 2xConductive PVC layers), yet flexible enough for the most demanding situations. This innovative design allows it to cancel any electrical interference or microphonics that may be present on the stage, the studio or at home. Invest in the best!
  • Gotham AG, headquartered in Dietikon Switzerland, has been supplying their superior range of professional audio cables to the audio-industry since 1958. All Gotham cables are exclusively manufactured in Europe using Linear Crystal Oxygen Free (LCOF) Copper. Widely accepted as the most ‘Silent’ cables in the industry, even used by legendary Neumann microphones. Due to their excellent properties most Audio Engineers choose Gotham cables over other brands.
  • Heavy duty construction using the lowest profile pancake design in the market. High-End Gold plating to ensure increased conductivity and tarnish resistance. Custom Boot included to protect the cable from damage due to handling stresses (no other cable construction of this type comes with a boot). This low-profile patch cable will save much needed space on your peddle board. The Black-Gold connector design will also visually compliment your gear and will look extremely sleek in your rig.

Get a Wind Muff

Buy a wind muff, preferably one designed specifically for the Blue Yeti, so you don’t have to worry about compatibility. 

It also helps if the muff comes with a windscreen. 

This Foam Microphone Windscreen with Furry Windscreen Muff from Amazon.com) is a windscreen and wind muff combo priced less than ten dollars. These have been designed specifically for Blue Yeti mics, so you know they will fit perfectly.

Foam Microphone Windscreen with Furry Windscreen Muff - Mic Wind Cover Pop Filter for Blue Yeti, Blue Yeti Pro USB Microphone (2 Pack)
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Foam Microphone Windscreen with Furry Windscreen Muff - Mic Wind Cover Pop Filter for Blue Yeti, Blue Yeti Pro USB Microphone (2 Pack)
  • Professional Windscreen - Furry windscreen + Foam windscreen 2 pack. Designed for Blue Yeti and Yeti Pro Condenser Microphones.
  • Perfect Improve - Microphone furry cover and foam cover reduces Wind Noise and other unwanted background noise to improve the audio quality.
  • Perfect Protection - Keeps your Blue Yeti Microphone safe from harmful, dust and moisture.

Final Thoughts

That does it for today’s post. But before we wind up, I’d like to point out that sometimes, the noise issue can be due to improper mic positioning that causes the mic to pick up breathing sounds. 

If none of the above fixes work, consider increasing the distance between your mouth and the mic to about two inches (about 5 cm). It might also help to invest in noise reduction software if you record in extremely noisy surroundings.

Check out how to make your Blue Yeti sound better on OBS.

Sources

Last update on 2021-09-24 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Vinnie

I'm Vinnie, and I'm here to support you to create your own studio at home, whether it’s for photography, recording audio, podcasts, or videos!

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