A lot of professional podcasters will tell you to never record into a PC (Windows or OS X). They’ll cite reasons like:
- software crashes,
- easier to corrupt the recording, and
- unavoidable electronic interference noise.
But for my first couple years as a podcaster, I recorded straight into my PC with Audacity just fine. The one and only time I had a corrupted recording was because I was running a CPU-hogging app while podcasting. In other words, I did something dumb.
Line noise usually happens when your analog audio is fed straight into a PC, where it can be susceptible to interference from internal fans, electricity, hard drive scanning, or other internal components.
The best way to avoid this is by converting your analog audio into digital before it reaches your computer. I do this quite simply with a Behringer U-Control device (about $35) that came with my mixer. You can get similar results with other USB sound devices for as little as $10.
I use two of these U-Control devices: one connects my Skype/telephone PC to my mixer, and the other connects my Zoom H4n‘s output to my primary PC and my primary PC’s output to the mixer (for sounds).