Clicking noises - why and how to remove?

Hi there,
After recording one finished hour of my audio-book I’m desperate to find a solution to the clicking noises that seem to be so frequent in my clips. For a long time I thought I was just bumping my headphone cables or something to make the noise myself, but I’ve been making an effort to hold still and was seeing on some forums here that the clicking could be something else like a loose cable.

Two things:
How can I prevent the clicking, and how can I edit it out easier? I’m wasting an incredible amount of time editing clicks out. They’re both during silent parts between words and sometimes while I’m speaking. I have a blue yeti (not the pro), a new one as of a week or two ago, and i had the same problem with the old one. It’s just the yeti, the USB plug and the headphones, so I can’t imagine it’s a loose cable since they’re all new.
I can try and shut down any other programs I running on my computer and move my phone anyway, but are there any other ideas? I do use an ipad in the mic booth to read from. Not sure what else to do.

I just tried click removal and it didn’t do much.
My only option right now is to rerecord (or leave be) sections where the clicks come up when I talk and continue painstakingly editing out the clicks between speaking.

Help is appreciated.

Attached a sample of a click (and a pic of what they look like in my wave form), obviously you can only hear it when the volume is all the way up, but I don’t want to submit an audiobook with hundreds of little clicks in it… doesnt seem professional. I also don’t want to waste hours and hours and hours editing them out as I have been.

Thanks for the help!
Screen Shot 2021-01-19 at 9.37.11 PM.png

Does this help?

– Bill

I will absolutely try this next week when I’m recording again and see if any of those suggestions help! Thanks so much!

Hmm, just tried all of the suggestions listed there, but still getting the clicking every few words. Though it may be just a hint quieter?
Any other suggestions. It’s really frequent and I’m wondering what I’m doing wrong here. Makes for heavy editing.

Thanks for the help.

I’ve listened to your clip and I’m not sure where the click is. Is it between the “a” and the “ck”?

The FAQ I linked to is about periodic, tiny dropouts or silences that sound like clicks. That’s not what you have.

– Bill

The clicks aree just before and after “jack” though I think it’s too quick to hear. Here’s another clip, and you can hear the click just before “Ch 7” and also before “to my relief”. I attached of picture of that waveform so you can see the little click before each phrase. I also added “click 3” which has a click after I say “the edge”, and that’s a really common click I get all the time at the very end of a word or something at the beginning. It’s definitely not my mouth so I’m not sure what that’s about.
I will say after recording all night last night the audio sounds much much better, so maybe I spoke too soon and your suggestions did work. However, obviously there are still a fair amount of clicks like the attached, just not every other word like before, so ideally there’s a solution for eliminating as many as possible.

Also - weird new thing - whenever I play a file in audacity through my macbook speakers the entire file plays with crackling, wildly. It never used to. And it doesn’t do it through my headphones. The only thing is, now sometimes I’ll hear a random click or crackle noise as I’m listening back, here and there, on my headphones - but it’s clearly not part of the actual recording since I go back and it’s gone. These two issues started around the same time. Any idea what that’s about?

Lets do a test. Start a recording and leave the room for about 20 or 30 minutes. Come back and stop it. File > Export a WAV (Microsoft) 16-bit > OK.

While it’s open, cut out any large blue waves like any noise you may have made when you moved your chair.That should give you a field of super tiny clicks. Now select the whole track (button on the left) and Effect > Amplify > OK. That will tell you the repetition of the noise.

While that’s on the timeline take a picture of it and post it here. Then File > Export a WAV (Microsoft) 16-bit. We’ll want to keep that around a while for analysis.

How are you editing out the existing clicks?


You can use Punch Copy/Paste.

This was designed to quickly and easily cover up “simple” noises such as yours. It’s still manual one-by-one, so we still have to find where they’re coming from, but the action is a lot simpler (we assume).

I’ve never used it, so I can’t give you the Quickie/get-out-of-jail/CliffsNotes description.


I don’t want to submit an audiobook with hundreds of little clicks in it… doesnt seem professional.

Don’t worry, it probably won’t make it past Human Quality Control.

I can think of a worse problem. One of the forum posters sold multiple books and couldn’t submit the last one. No matter what he did, they found something wrong. All his right-on-the-edge errors lined up for this one book.


You may be the one and only good application for Noise Gate. Noise Gate suppresses any sounds lower volume than a setting. It’s a common mistake to reduce background noises to zero, but I wouldn’t do that. Just reduce everything 15dB or 20dB. Just quiet enough so nobody will ever find the clicks—even after mastering.

You should still find what’s causing the clicking. The goal is to produce a quality audiobook by the quickest and simplest method possible.


Hi Koz,
I’m using “effect” - “click removal” on the highest settings which seems to do nothing, then manually deleting each click as I run through it. It’s super tedious and takes forever, but seems to work (aside from any clicks that show up when I’m speaking, I can’t remove those).

Thanks for the help.

Got it. Are these the correct settings? These are the settings that come up (see picture).

You said reduce everything -15db or 20db, looks like it’s set to 15, is everything else correct?

Thanks for the help!

Oh, and should I be doing the noise gate before or after mastering?

I’m using “effect” - “click removal” on the highest settings which seems to do nothing

I believe Click Removal depends on the click or pop being higher volume than the voice. Someone will correct me. I haven’t used either that or Noise Gate.

I know Noise Gate’s job is to suppress background sounds quieter than a set value. Noise Gate can produce odd voice problems such as clipped leading and trailing sounds on words, and it can really create damage if you like to be expressive in your reading. It can also be a red flag to ACX who is looking for distracting processing damage. That’s why it’s not the Magic Wand of sound correction. Also, as you found, it won’t take out ticks during words.

ACX hates processing and most obvious corrections. That’s why it took so long to develop Audacity Mastering. Nobody can hear it working.

The only thing is, now sometimes I’ll hear a random click or crackle noise as I’m listening back, here and there, on my headphones - but it’s clearly not part of the actual recording since I go back and it’s gone. These two issues started around the same time. Any idea what that’s about?

Are you using wireless headphones?

That’s about a trip to the Apple Genius Bar or other Mac servicing. Is the machine under Support or Apple Care?

We go into these jobs with the idea that you have a good, working Mac and it can do this job in addition to all he other things you need it to do. If it’s not feeling well, then it need to be repaired. If you don’t, then this may turn into a constant cycle of sound damage, work-arounds, patching, and no actual finished jobs.


Hi Koz,
No I’m not using wireless headphones, I’m using a nice pair of audio-techna headphones (wired) and using a fairly decent macbook (2018), no big issues I’ve come across since I bought it a year ago. I haven’t chanced any equipment since this problem started either. I suppose it’s possible there’s an issue with the laptop or headphones all the sudden but it doesn’t quite seem like it, I suspect it’s more like I changed some setting that did it.
I did change the settings suggested in this article, which have helped actually - … ac_crackle
But that’s the only difference I can think of…

As for the noise gate, if you have recommend settings please let me know, I ran a pass with whatever was already plugged in last night and it didn’t seem to change much from a quick listen.

It’s frustrating that I’ve run into so many problems on this journey, but I also have been able to solve so many of them because of this forum, so thanks to everyone who has been helping making my recording and quality better!

What’s the microphone? I don’t think you posted a Make/Model anywhere.

Re: Click Removal, Noise Gate, Punch/Copy. I’m sure they’re all terrific tools, but I have no more experience with them than you do. This is where one of the other forum elves dives in and tells you what to do.

I do know that “cleaning up” a reading later is super undesirable and making a reasonable reading at the beginning is, effectively, the only way to go.

I can usually listen to noises and whip up a possible cause. I can’t do that this time. I have no idea what that is.

I will have further recommendations when you tell us what your microphone is.


There is this.

iPad Noise Test.

iPhone noise test.


Hi Koz,
I have a Blue Yeti (not the pro).

Hmm, I listened to your sample and, though my noise doesn’t sound like that, I DO have my ipad sitting right next to my mic in my mic box while reading. Perhaps that could cause some of the issues… If I set it outside the box though I have to turn my head and it’s too far, so I’ll have to think of a solution or do a test with the ipad outside the box instead to see if you’re onto something here.

Definitely a thought…

Definitely a thought…

No, I don’t really think it’s that, either. These iThings have too many of the characteristics of listening to a computer change processing and shifting gears depending on how it’s feeling. That swooshing sound from the iPhone is me swiping. Yours is much more like a motor clicking on and off.

think of a solution or do a test

Read a test from [gasp] paper. Leave the iPad in the kitchen. What makes me crazy about this is your studio seems to be completely well-behaved except for this one little thing… That’s most unusual.

I have a Blue Yeti

Are you using the super long cable that comes with it? The ideal length for that job is about 6 feet/2M. The one that comes is much longer, right?

Just to cover it, you have it set for cardioid (heart-shaped), number 3, I think, and you’re speaking into the side grill just up from the company name.

And while you’re thinking about that, shoot and process that 20 minute silence test from up the message. Don’t change anything from normal. Just start a recording, go make coffee and have a cruller.


Yes, I was using the cable it came with. I actually just bought a usb cable to USB C to plug directly into my mac laptop, instead of using an adapter (I’ve tried to different adapters to see if that was the issue and no difference. Not sure yet if switching to the new cable has worked.
As for question 2 re: settings, yes I am using those!

As for the silence test, I did it and here is the wavform, attached pic.
The spikes you see are actually noises from my sisters, cars or planes going by. I didnt listen to the entire thing straight though, but I couldn’t pick up on any clicks at all, only annoying background noises like cars and things.
If there are no clicks in the recording, it makes me think something I’m doing is making those noises.
Also - I was listening to some samples from before I moved, and I will have to go back and double check the raw files but I don’t think clicking was an issue. Let me double check and report back, but if that’s the case I’m unsure why that would be as my equipment and setup is the same.

Thanks for the help!

Have you ever video’d yourself while making a recording ?