Cleaning up vinyl rip with weird distortion

A friend of mine picked up a vinyl recently, and is sending me rips of the vinyl. But, it has a weird distortion in it, and I have no clue what the name of it would be. 1 song is already on Tumblr, which I downloaded, but it’s slightly over 2mb, so I’ll just link the mp3 from Tumblr below. The distortion seems to appear a little more in the left speaker then the right, although the vinyl is a mono recording. I know I could just mix the tracks to mono, but I wanted to see if I could make it sound better, which I couldn’t do. Equalizing it with the RIAA preset, but inversed, like one of the Audacity tutorials says to do, just made the distortion way more noticable. Could someone better then me give this a shot? I’m not anywhere near new to Audacity, but cleaning up vinyls with distortion like this is beyond the skills I know. Any help is greatly appreciated! :smiley:

Here’s a link to the 1 song I have right now:

That’s Academy Award-winning wow and flutter. That’s a regular turntable with a bad drive system, worn out rubber or dragging support, or a cheap USB turntable.

It’s burned in, you can’t fix that in post production. We recommend almost always to get the old turntable down out of the attic and fix that up instead of buying a USB turntable. Some of the higher end ones work OK, but the cheap ones your mum is likely to buy are terrible.


Have you already the 2.1.1 version of Audacity?
If so, you can use the effect “Vocal Reduction and Isolation” instead of the stereo to mono mix down alone.
It has the advantage that the common audio of both channels is kept, suppressing all clicks at the sides, whereas a normal mix down attenuates the sides by only 6 dB.
Here is how it sounds afterwards:


  1. open “Vocal Reduction and Isolation” with all audio selected.
  2. Choose the Action “Analyze”, OK.
  3. Copy the number after “Pan Position”, OK.
  4. Open the Pan Dialog (Shift+p), paste the copied number and change its sign (negative becomes positive and vice-versa), OK.
  5. Mix and render the track (Tracks menu)
  6. Open the VRaI Effect agin.
  7. Choose the Action “Isolate Center”
  8. I’ve set a “Strength” of 7, OK.
  9. Normalize
  10. Stereo to mono (Tracks menu).

You can omit the first 5 steps, it is only to ensure that the audio is really in the middle.