I recently made a recording from my mixer using Audacity 2.0.6 and the line-in jack on my laptop and during editing I discovered the audio file began developing a strange clicking noise whenever someone is actually speaking. The problem begins towards the end of the recording (about 100 minutes into a 2-hour recording session) and was was not present in the source (I was monitoring the mix over headphones attached to the mixer). It starts intermittently then increases in frequency of occurrence, becoming very distracting. I’ve attached a sample to this post.
I think the cause was the laptop starting an update or some other disk-intensive activity in the background towards the end of the recording session. I’ve taken steps to prevent that from happening in future sessions, but I’d like to salvage the first recording if possible.
Is there any good way to remove the clicking noise, or is that portion of the recording going to be a complete write off at this point?
I’m going with “not possible”, unless you fancy applying the Repair effect for every 52 milliseconds of damaged audio. The Repair effect can fix it pretty well (Audacity Manual), but you will need to do that about 2400 times for a 20 minute section.
If we use the laptop for recording again my plan is to verify there are no pending updates waiting to download in the background and make sure Steam, Google Hangouts and any other unneeded background apps are closed. I’m fairly certain it was Steam that torpedoed me, as I think it prompted to restart for a client update shortly after we finished recording which would imply it was downloading the update in the background during the recording. I haven’t had a chance to test this yet, as we haven’t had to do a recording anywhere near as long as this one again yet.
I’m not sure that I’d describe it as “god results”, but it’s an admirable attempt
It still sounds a bit weird, kind of “bubbly”, but much less distracting than the original.
(prevention is definitely a better solution than fixing in post processing)
Thank you very much. I know what my next software purchase is going to be.
What were the exact settings you used, if you don’t mind my asking?
True, but it’s so much closer to serviceable than what I was starting with, I think I can live with it. I’ve heard stranger on podcasts where one of the speakers was coming in on Skype. I figure if I preface it with a brief explanation to the listeners of what happened, that should work.
Agreed. As cool as the ClickRepair tool appears to be, I’m definitely going to try to keep from putting myself in a situation where I need it again.
*DeClick = 30 (default is 50)
*Pitch Protection = “on” (default is “off”) though leave this “off” for brass recordings
*Reverse = “on” (there is no processing penalty for this and it helps on percussive music)
*Method = Wavelet
These settings worked well for most of my LPs - a few needed a bit more oomph - a very few needed manual repair when the damaged section was too big.