Cracky Cymbals

I am sort of new to audio editing. I have a recording and the cymbals from the drums seem to be “echoey”, well maybe not “echoey” but distorted and sounds pretty poor quality wise. What effect should I do to reduce the crackle distortion from the cymbals?

Keep in mind this is inside a song. It is mixed with other instruments so I would like something that can improve the cymbals without having a big impact on the other instruments as well.

The ability to pull one instrument out of a mix, fix it, and then put it back is a popular request. You can’t do it, but it’s a popular request.

Crunchy instruments almost always means they were recorded too loud and they overloaded Something Somewhere. The actual microphone, the preamplifier, the line amplifier, the mixing desk, the output amplifiers, the A/D converters. Something in the pathway hit the overload point during the drumstick impact.

Drums are terrifically easy to overload because it’s rough to tell how loud they really are until it’s too late.

There is a program called Clip Fix which tries to second guess where the performance might have been had it not been overloaded, but as with most tools like this, by the time you realize you need it, it’s too late. It’s available as part of the standard tool set in Audacity 1.3. Before Clip Fix, if you overloaded something, you have no show. With Clip Fix, overload kills the show only 98% of the time.


Thanks for the tip but I am having trouble with Clip Fix. It goes halfway then freezes and does nothing. 5 minutes pass by and its still halfway it does not progress at all. I have had to repeatedly exit Audacity through the Task Manager because of it.

Clipfix is VERY memory hungry and you can easily run out of available ram. At this point, your computer starts swapping memory to disk and clipfix will then start running very very slowly, or may stop altogether. Try selecting shorter sections for processing and it should work ok.

If you find that you need to use clipfix on more than very short bits (fractions of a second) then your recording is probably too badly damaged to be effectively repaired.