macOS Catalina recording static on Blue Yeti USB Microphone – FIXED

I’ve been troubleshooting this issue for sometime and even contacted Blue support to ask for their help. Sadly they wrote me off pretty quickly and I assumed my mic was destined for the dust bin. I kept it around though in hopes I could solve the issue or I would have more time to test. I’ve been working in my lab this week and went through a few things to test this Mic before I tossed it…

A perfectly good USB microphone.

Windows 10 on Dell OptiPlex 745 ✅

Windows 10 on HPE MicroServer Gen10 ✅

iPad Pro 11″ with USB C to USB A adapter ✅

2011 MacBook Pro 15″ Mojave USB A Directly ✅

2018 MacBook Pro 15″ Catalina (MacOS 10.15) USB C to USB A adapter ❌

2018 MacBook Pro 15″ Catalina (MacOS 10.15) USB A to ThunderBolt 3 dock ❌

2018 MacBook Pro 15″ Catalina (MacOS 10.15) USB A to ThunderBolt 1 dock ❌

2018 MacBook Pro 15″ Big Sur (MacOS 11) All connections above. ❌

So after swapping out the USB cable with a few different brands and lengths, I was fairly certain my mic is healthy but something changed with Catalina and I couldn’t narrow it down and it didn’t seem to be much help out there on YouTube or Reddit. So I just started methodically trying various things while recording and stumbled on the solution.

Step By Step Instructions

  1. Connect your Blue Yeti mic to any USB 2.0 or faster port on your computer or in a powered hub.
  2. On your Mac, navigate to: Applications -> Utilities
  3. Launch the Audio MIDI Setup app
  4. Select the first entry for the Yeti Stereo Microphone and change the Format from 48,000 Hz to 44,100 Hz (On Big Sur, Mac OS 11, the Yeti is now known as “USB Advanced Audio Device“)
  5. Select the second entry for the Yeti Stereo Microphone and make the same changes
  6. Close the window – the settings take effect immediately.

The great thing is I can now use a hub and long USB cord without worrying about interference now. In fact, I just have my mic connected to the hub built into my monitor and sound quality is perfect.

One caveat to this, when I unplug the Blue Yeti mic, it will revert back to 48Khz sampling and require the changes above again. I’m not quite sure why it doesn’t automatically switch or how I could automate it – but if I do, I’ll update this post.