Digital Artifacts. Easier way to remove?

So this track that I’m working on has what I can only describe as digital artifacts.

A good example of what they sound like is here in this awesome sir’s post (see xtract.mp3):

In spectrogram view they are quite easy to see.
I could go through select the group and notch filter each one individually, but there is probably close to 1000 on the entire track. To make maters worse some of the good audio dips into the same frequencies as the digital artifacts. It also appears that the notch filter introduces it’s own blip of noise each time I run it.

Anywho, if there is an easier way to go about cutting those out that will be extremely helpful.


On your example, try removing all frequencies above 5kHz with the equalizer …

cut-off everything above 5khz equalization.png
Can compensate for the consequent loss of high frequencies (somewhat) using a harmonic exciter.

…I didn’t listen to the “sample file” because I’m at work.

It also appears that the notch filter introduces it’s own blip of noise each time I run it.

it might help if you select on [u]zero crossings[/u] but “glitches” can happen when an effect suddenly kicks-in or kicks-out.

The best solution would be to figure-out what’s causing the defects/glitches and prevent the problem instead of trying to fix it.

You can also try Click Removal or Repair, or you can use the Draw tool to re-draw the waveform (in the regular waveform view). Or there are several special-purpose applications designed for removing vinyl clicks & pops, such as Wave Corrector which is now free. (These vinyl clean-up tools sometimes work on other short-duration defects.)

So this track that I’m working o

What does that mean? Describe the show.

The best solution would be to figure-out what’s causing the defects/glitches and prevent the problem instead of trying to fix it.

Is it really that twittering bird in the background?

Many of the repair tools delete some musical tones from the performance. That means you are intentionally creating damage that sounds good. And it can be a really bad if your singer or musicians try to use that tone in the show. Audacity can’t tell and deletes all of them.

So best bet is clean the computer and stop all the other tasks, processes and apps and see if you can make the original damage stop. Prime suspects are Skype and Chat apps and Games. Do Not leave any of them running in the background. Windows can have its own filtering and processing that can get in the way.

Check here even if you don’t have any of these problems.


One more. Did you get that distortion during post production processing, or did the original music arrive like that? There are Audacity tools which can create distortion.


Hey! Thank you all for your replies!!!

Thanks DVDdoug! I’ll look into Wave Corrector.

So lemme provide additional information about what I have to work with and what I’ve done so far.

Can’t prevent in future recordings:
My mom sang at my great grandmother’s funeral a long time ago. Like 26 years ago. The recording was, at some point in the past, put onto a cd and then found recently and ripped to mp3 format. (I probably went wrong there to start.) My mom was diagnosed with and treated for thyroid cancer, which has left her singing days over. Thank goodness she is still with us. :slight_smile: Suffice it to say preventing the audio problems in the first place is long past.

The audio:
Here is some of the raw audio, and then at half way I’ve included what I’ve done to remove the noise so far (might want to skip to the middle as the 11k is pretty bad):

Here’s the full raw audio:
06 Track 6.mp3

Steps I’ve gone through:
I started by notching out that frequency around 11k. (trying to work on it hearing that whine is unbearable) Then pulled it through a reaper vst plugin called reafir_standalone, which enables noise gate, EQ, and noise subtraction. The Noise Gate is doing much of the heavy lifting cutting out all that background noise. However some of the background hiss and hum is loud enough to escape the gate. I didn’t really want to go to ham with the noise gate, because it would likely clip out some of the finer detail in the vocals. Then very minor noise subtraction, again, to avoid destroying fine detail.

That is what I’m left with. The vocals seem relatively intact (though if you notice something I could do differently to improve them more-so lemme know) However those little artifacts peppered throughout overwrite the “pristine” vocals. The piano is all but a lost cause, and don’t care too much about it sounding good.

I think it’s safe to say that those “digital artifacts” are in fact introduced by me as I’m trying to remove the noise. They are basically the remnants of what I can’t easily get rid of before hurting the vocals. I can see them each individually on that spectrogram, if I could just draw a box around just them and delete…

Thank you again sooo much for helping me work through this!

Spectrogram of the same audio before and after:
Here is that first part of the Voice.mp3 with the noise in spectrogram:
Raw Audio.PNG
And after noise removal in the second part of Voice.mp3:
Noise reduction.PNG

You’ve used the right type of tools, but you’ve dialled-in too much noise-reduction IMO.
Noise-reduction always does harm, use sparingly.
In your example some level of hiss is inevitable if you want to avoid conspicuous damage to the vocal …