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Could Captivate be using a different microphone, like perhaps the built in mic on a laptop? I notice that Captivate V2 has the ability to select microphone or line in and wonder how Captivate knows which mic if there is more than one.
Can you duplicate the noise problem with a simple setup, like a cheap mike that plugs in to the onboard sound card or into line in -- assuming your hardware permits?
You've probably already eliminated these possibilities, but they came to mind under the ANY ideas category.
Just my best guess, GCSHEPH, but I think your problem is your Carnegie Hall audio set up. Have you tried getting rid of the preamps, external cards, and expensive microphones, and just using the audio recording hardware that came with the original PC (or that you can pick up at Best Buy for $29.95)?
Here is what I think might be happening: You equipment is so sensitive that you are picking up highway sounds from passing cars in neighboring states, or perhaps the buzz from fluorescent lighting in the building next door, and that is what you perceive as "white noise". I'm being funny, of course, but though my examples are in fun, my advice is dead serious. Try "dumbing down" your production computer to just the basics (which Captivate was designed for), and see if you have better luck then.
Best of luck to you!!
It may actually be something quite trivial. Open your sound properties in the Control Panel, select the microphone properties and try the Microphone Boost and Alternate Microphone settings. Particularly Alternate Microphone will often eliminate static problems. Unfortunately, Windows' integrated support for audio can still only be described as primitive and these are pretty much the only options you have unless you purchase a quality internal or external sound card with its own configuration software.
I have had the same problem with Captivate 1 and 2. I have 2 pretty workable solutions:
1. I use a cheap Logitech microphone but have perfected exactly how far away my mouth should be (quite close) and if possible the microphone should be higher than the mouth. I do all the recording in a carpeted basement - room noise is amazingly loud. I do have an expensive Sennheiser mic but it is just too sensitive.
2. I now record with my Mac built-in microphone which has an ambient-noice reducer. I record the entire presentation's audio, then import it into Captivate using the option (I think option 2) that says record it all onto one slide and then use the audio advanced editing to assign it to each slide. I know you said you really didn't want to do this but the up side is that the quality is better and smoother since the recording was done in the same file. In the past when I have done each audio file separately for each slide, there are obvious differences in the tonation, etc.