Clicks Appearing When Pasting Ambient Room Sound

Dear Forum Members,

I’m Using Audacity 2.3.1 in a Windows 8.1 platform

I am sending this help request as I did not encounter a solution to this issue upon searching the forum site (and hope my request is not redundant).

I use Audacity to do “dry” voice overs and lately have been experiencing clicks being added during editing when I paste some ambient room sound over a gap that has an unwanted noise (such as a mouth noise, cough, etc.) that I want to remove.

The clicks are located at the beginning and end point of the ambient room sound I am pasting in. And if I paste some ambient room sound over that, in an attempt to eliminate these new clicks, I end up with four clicks.

When I transferred the Audacity file for the voice over to another laptop (in which I have never used Audacity), this phenomenon did not occur (indeed, it has not occurred during the years that I have used Audacity on this main laptop and only began happening a few days ago).

These clicks appeared when using either a simple copy-paste (Ctrl C / Ctrl V) of ambient room sound from the beginning of the track or when using the “Punch Copy/Paste” option.

Is there a simple adjustment I can make to the Audacity settings/parameters in order to avoid this clickathon?

BTW, I upgraded from Audacity 2.2.2 to 2.3.1 yesterday to see if that would resolve this issue, but it has not.

Thanks for your help. I await your feedback with baited (click) breath (click)!


It’s probably [u]DC offset[/u]. You can’t hear DC (zero-Hz) but it makes a noise when it suddenly kicks-in or kicks-out. (DC offset is almost caused by a “defect” in the hardware.)

You can also get a click if you don’t cut on a [u]Zero Crossing[/u].

If you can’t otherwise get rid of the click a short (a few millisecond) fade-in and fade-out (or crossfades) will almost always take care of it.

Dear DVDdoug,

Thank you so much for your feedback! As the Audacity team and forum members find it useful to receive detailed results/info, I thought I would mention that, pursuant to your input, I tested running the remove DC offset effect on (a copy of ) an existing recording, but still had some problems.

However, with new recordings I have taken to running the remove DC offset effect prior to running any other effects, such as noise reduction, and everything is working fine now - and will continue to do so from now on. I can use both a simple copy-paste (Ctrl C / Ctrl V) of ambient room sound from the beginning of the track or the “Punch Copy/Paste” option without problems. What a relief!

That having been said, it might be worth noting that I also stopped using my wireless mouse, which had a short circuit. Since the remove DC offset effect did not make any difference on an existing recording, perhaps the problem could have been the mouse? Perhaps I’ll never know, but the mouse is gone for good (now using one with a proper tail), just for safety’s sake.

As well, I had been taking the laptop offline when recording in order to hedge my bet, but I accidentally left it on during one recent recording and it didn’t seem to make a difference (didn’t cause any noise artefacts).

I have not ventured into the arenas of Zero Crossing or a short (a few millisecond) fade-in and fade-out (or crossfades) that you mentioned. And apparently no need to do so.

Also, I had been having problems with random clicks and squawks appearing in recordings and having to rerecord snippets of various voice overs and patch them in. This has also stopped. But that said, I have noted forum comments about phantom noises and sudden volume changes appearing in recordings due to the computer’s sound card being defective or unable to cope with the load. Now, I still get that - but only during playback: if noises or volume changes ‘appear’ when listening back to a recording, I immediately listen to that passage again to verify and, lo and behold, it no longer appears! So these transient anomalies seem not to be inserted in the recordings. Whew!

In summary, all is well now.

Thank you so much for your time and patience on this matter!

Best regards,

I have taken to running the remove DC offset effect prior to running any other effects, such as noise reduction, and everything is working fine now

Correct. That is recommended. The other solutions are handy if you find problems in the middle of production. You can’t easily remove DC from a paste in the middle of a note or word, or heaven forbid, in the middle of several hundred edits. That’s when crossfades and the other patches are handy.

Graphically, this is the error.

If it’s bad enough, you can see it like that. Having a zero blue wave that doesn’t settle at timeline zero is a serious problem. It is highly recommended you find the hardware, device or adapter which is producing this error and fix it.

It doesn’t have to be rocket surgery, either. Record some silence with your microphone system, Stop, select the end of the recording and then Generate Silence on the same timeline. Select the whole recording by clicking just right of the up arrow. Effect > Amplify, 20dB, Allow Clipping > OK, and see how far off the live recording is. If you have more than one device or microphone, check them all.

They should all settle in as straight horizontal lines. If you find one that doesn’t line up, that one is probably broken.


Thank you Koz,

I always find your input extremely elucidating.

May not be rocket science to you, but it takes me a while to digest.


Hello, all. To resurrect an old thread, I’m enountering this issue too. Like the OP, I have only noticed it happening recently as in the last few weeks. Earlier punch/pastes gave ne no issues but now I’m geting very distinvt clicks on my audio, sometimes on punch paste, sometimes on deletion of audio.

The thing is I’m using two computers, one laptop, one desktop with different versions of Audacity (2.3.3 and 2.4.1) and - even though this is in the windows forum, this is happening on Macs (I realise that this maybe should be in the Mac help section because of that, but this thread is the only place on the forum I can see it mentioned.) Both are runnng OSX 11.11.6 and have had no issues in the past.

I have removed DC offset through normalise in the effect menu, and am making deletions or punch pastes at zero crossings but I am still seeing these clicks and the waveform was sitting on 0 initially, so it doesn’t look like a DC offset issue.

I’ve attached images of what happens when deleting audio at zero crossings, look at 8:34 and you can see what I mean.
Screen Shot 2020-06-14 at 17.12.44.PNG
Screen Shot 2020-06-14 at 17.12.28.PNG
Like the OP, if I punch paste Iand then PP again to cover the hits, I can end up with multiple hits. Any ideas?

Again apologies for posting in the Windows forum about this. but it look like it’s cross platform. If this post needs moving, of course please do.

edits: images vs. gif

if I punch paste I occasionally get two hits at start and end of the pasted section.

Actually, that’s not what he said. He said he got two clicks at either end of a correction when he tried to cover up a click with another tiny paste.

Next time you post an animation, make it go slower. What’s almost impossible to follow. Or better yet, post before and after stills with the time track visible.

I have removed DC offset through normalise in the effect menu, and am making deltions or punch pastes at zero crossings but I am still seeing these clicks and the waveform was sitting on 0 initially

Right. So you don’t have the same problem as the original poster.

Drag-select a portion of the damage including a couple of seconds on each side, Export as WAV (Microsoft) and post it on the forum.

Scroll down from a forum text window > Attachments > Add Files.


Let me try again, I’m clearly jumping ahead in my head as I’m typing but the title of this thread is a description of what I am experiencing.

I have this problem. I punch paste, I more often than not see and hear a click at the start and end of the pasted section. The level of the click may vary, it can be visible on the spectrogram and be low-level or can be loud enough to be heard. Another PP to cover that can than produce further clicks as the OP said. Perhaps we are saying it differently, but the OP’s issue seems very similar to mine. I choose not to try and repaste, just de-clicking over the clicks. That works for me. The OP seems to have solved his issue with removing DC offset, it makes no difference on my end, but the issue detailed in the OP seems very similar. The OP never went as far as zero crossing because he had no need to do so. I am finding that even on zero crossings I can still get a click.

I was just wondering if anyone else had enountered this.

Apologies, images replace .gif.

When I have an example I will post a .wav

Apologies, images replace .gif.

Please also avoid going backwards up the thread and apply corrections to existing posts. Those are impossible to follow and it makes responses and suggestions appear out of time or orphaned. It’s bad enough when we get two real-time people posting one message off from each other. Dueling posts.

This is compared to normal forums where a response may appear days later. We tend to not have that problem.


I’m not doing very well at all here.

here’s my selected area. I’m going to delete the selected area from the arrow.

I have deleted the audio and now at the cut point I have a click (ringed)

this also happens when punch pasting, but I have a click at the beginning and end of the pasted area. I’ll post a pic of that when it happens

I’m not doing very well at all here.

That’s OK. Deep breaths. You do not want to become a “hostile poster.” That can get you erased and banned.

If you have an example of that noise, drag-select it with a couple of seconds on both sides, File > Export a WAV (Microsoft) 16-bit sound file and post it on the forum. Scroll down from a forum text window > Attachments > Add Files.


Sometimes we can think of additional odd tests and in rare instances, it turns out your file may not be broken at all.


definitely what I wouldn’t like to happen. When I get an example I will. The clicks themselves sound more like low-level bumps, but when files have been ACXed they are more prominent and bumps inbetween words don’t sound very professional.

Okay then, I’m doing my edit, I have a breath I want to remove, I punch paste over the breath between the words ‘patience’ and ‘discipline’. I have two clicks at the start and end of the paste.

Here’s the spectrogram:

Screen Shot 2020-06-14 at 20.09.06.PNG.jpg
Here’s the extracted .wav

Of course, after ACX treatment the hits are much more conspicuous. And that’s happening with maybe eight out of ten punch pastes. If I just delete audio, I get just one click of about the same level.

when files have been ACXed they are more prominent

Even more important to get a sample. The first step in Mastering is Low Rolloff that typically suppresses low pitch tones—thunder and trucks going by, but the next step typically increases overall volume. That’s the point where everything gets louder and you notice quiet tones more. It’s an oddity of the ear.

We’re on the edges of our seats.


I was fidding the post with the sample in it. There for your delectation.

The punch-paste tool has a cross-fade setting,
IMO it shouldn’t be less than 10ms, otherwise there may be a conspicuous click at the join.

Thank you, Trebor! Punch Paste was set to the default of 0ms and I was clearly getting a conspicuous click at the join! I changed that and haven’t had an issue since. Thank you so much, I’ve not been having the best few days trying to figure out what I was doing wrong. Even though it’s a simple thing, sometime you need another head when you’re in the middle of a panic.

Thanks again for your help Trebor.

Just a note we didn’t solve the problem. We just covered it up.

I’m curious how you found the damage. Even after mastering and processing, the pops are, by my measure some -66dB. which is quieter than the audiobook standards for background noise. If you hadn’t told me they were there, I would never have found them. And it’s a good chance that ACX isn’t going to find them, either.

It doesn’t count if you have to crank up the headphone or speaker volume to hear the damage. The rough idea is to settle on a normal listening volume for the show and then listen for the damage without touching anything.

The other thing you can try is produce a new background noise sample. If you have one bad noise track it will create odd, random problems forever. One goal is to produce good work with as few tools and corrections as possible. That’s the business side.

Glad you’re up and running.


I think I got it.

Your pasted noise sample isn’t clean.

The second click in your posted example starts out “grass” or pure noise (blue line) but then rises into a real sound (red line). At that exact instant you cut back to the performance which gives you a click or pop (green line).

This effect will change depending on how long the pasted noise is. That gives you the magic of sometimes it pops and sometimes it doesn’t.

The extra sound could be anything. You moved a little in your seat or started to take a breath while you recorded your noise sample.

I think if you re-recorded your background noise and are more careful about extra noises, all these problems will vanish without special tools or masking.

If you can hold your breath and freeze for 6 seconds, that should cover the 5 seconds that ACX suggests for the end of chapter room tone. Everything else should be shorter than that. If you need longer, paste twice.

Do you correct the breaths before or after mastering? Some microphone systems create their own noise while recording and it doesn’t matter what you do.