Best way

Whats the best way to remove the scratches pops crackles etc from a vinyl (78) recording?


Personally I have never had much joy with the click removal effect in Audacity - so what I have done is to remove them manually. Version 1.3 of Audacity is much better for this as the developers have added a new “Repair” effect - this will mend a broken portion of waveform, up to 128 samples, by interpolating from the neighbouring waveforms.

To use it you really need to zoom in (use the magnifying glass icon) to the level where you can see the individual samples (little dots will shoe on the waveform). Then select up to 128 samples 1.3.x has a counter display at the bottom to help with this - then click Effect/Repair (if you are doing a lot of repairs then so long as you don’t use any other effect meanwhile then Repair will remain the current effect and you can use the Ctrl-R shortcut. In 1.2.x of Audacity you will have to instead use the pencil tool to redraw the waveform manually. It’s probably worth testing the repair before moving to the next one.

BTW: a useful tip for finding the clicks is to use the “Spectrum” view of the project rather that “Waveform” - click on the little downward pointing triangle in the control box of the track to get a dropdown to do this. Clicks/pops will show up as strong bold vertical lines. But I recommend switching back to the Waveform view for the actual Repair.

If you get a really big click/pop that’s bigger than 128 samples then you can try selecting the whole lot and deleting the offending noise. This however may leave you with a disjoint waveform (which would sound like a click itself). To solve this, simply zoom in as soon as you have done the delete without moving the cursor. Then select some samples either side and apply the “Repair”. This does not always work - so certainly test this and use the Undo function to go back to where you were before (i.e. undo the Repair and the Delete).

This manual process is very time consuming, but produces excellent results - well worth doing if you have treasured recordings that can no longer be purchased on modern media.

BTW: I also use Audacity mainly for transcribing/repairing vinyl & tapes - and 1.3 has proved well stable enough for these relatively modest needs (you will also get better label handling in 1.3 as an added bonus).


BTW - if it’s a 78, it’s far more likely to be shellac rather than vinyl - much more fragile and less flexible.

This was interesting. I plan to do some vinyl conversion in the near future. Your suggestions will undoubtedly come in handy.