Unfortunately, the infamous ClickRepair software by Brian Davies is not that accessible with Jaws screen reader, though I have heard the results with the clicks and crackles removed and they are simply amazing. However, when I emailed Brian Davies myself, I didn’t get a response.
So, I thought I’d turn to anybody who uses ClickRepair to help me to assist in removing crackles and clicks from my favorite two old records, if you don’t mind. Below is the email I wrote to Brian Davies… hopefully it will explain everything. If not, just tell me what I’m missing.
A couple years ago I happened upon your ClickRepair software to remove clicks and crackles from very old recordings. Unfortunately they are not that accessible with Jaws (a screen reader), and I’m blind and can’t use a computer without Jaws. So, I thought I’d turn to you for some assistance on this.
Since 2012, I have been collecting very old recordings of bagpipes. Part of this is because I play the bagpipes myself, and I’ve always been fascinated with the sounds of history - and this includes bagpipes no doubt. I have learned how to remove the warping on records with Audacity using a vibrato effect which I can explain later (long process), but in Audacity the removal of clicks and crackle is not all that possible, especially when I’m blind (I’m not going to repair every single crackle because I don’t use the mouse), and even the Click Removal effect is unacceptable. Sure, many of these bagpipe recordings do suffer from clicks and crackles, but these two, in a ZIP file, are my two absolute favorites.
I’d be delighted if these could have all the clicks and crackles taken out of them. Also, feel free to put these recordings on your Examples page so people can finally know that old bagpipe recordings do exist!
Wow, Trebor! That was amazing!
However, why is the sample rate sortof low? Also, maybe it would be easier if I just have the clicks and crackles only, so I can invert it and the clicks will be cleared up. I think the fact that is MP3 and the low sample rate will make a big difference. If you have a dropbox maybe you can save them both as Wav and zip them up and upload it to Dropbox or Filehosting as I did. Was the MP3 just for demonstration? If so, that’s understandable.
Thanks - I love the results. But what’s easier - just the crackles and clicks only, or like you did every other 10 seconds?
There’s nothing but noise above 13KHz on the recordings, and essentially all of the music is between 100Hz & 5KHz,
so a sample rate of 16KHz is more than sufficient to contain the music. By using a higher sample rate, say 44100Hz, you’re just adding high-fidelity crackles.
Track 25 is dual-mono : the pair of tracks are absolutely identical. Inverting one of them just results in total silence.
Track 26 is very close to dual mono. If the recordings are from 1917 they will both be mono, not stereo.
OK. Here’s a google-drive link to ZIP file with de-clicked & de-crackled, (no de-noise & no equalization).
Attached below are two mp3 versions de-clicked , de-crackled, de-noised & equalized …
Thanks a LOT, Trebor! Your help has been very invaluable!
I think the de-noised version sounded a little “bubbly”, almost like it was underwater a little, but the clicks and crackles removed it sounds like the record had been dubbed from another record player! Some record players emphasize the clicks more than others, I’ve noticed. Especially if you compare the turntables of Tony Langford, the guy who dubbed all these bagpipe records onto an 8 CD set (these two were dubbed by Langford), and that of Jim McGillivray’s turntable. Jim’s turntable has less crackle yet more hiss. I can show you a record played on Jim’s turntable if you like.
Again thanks a million! Now if only it was accessible to Jaws and that it wouldn’t require Java Runtime (I couldn’t install that for some reason). Maybe in the far distant future someone could put this exact algorithm into Audacity’s Click removal and Noise removal… as if to say when Brian Davies leaves this world, he says he’s a retired mathematician… Not to be offensive or critical or anything against him…
PS. I don’t know if private messaging is available on here, but if there’s another record I would like to have cleaned up, I might be able to contact you separately… if you prefer, my GMail can be reached at Bagpiper023.
Just getting back after an update after a friend of mine installed ClickRepair onto his laptop and he and I did some experimenting with more of my bagpipe records. We simply can’t get the crackles removed like you did, so I’m curious to know what settings you used. We did not try either the Wavelet or X2 or X3 modes yet, so maybe that will make more of a difference.
PS. After a lot of tedious and laborious scripting in Jaws, it (sortof) works. Radiobuttons aren’t read allowed and can’t be changed, nor are the checkboxes.
I had the settings turned up really high …
“Pitch Protection” tickbox checked,
“Reverse” tickbox checked,
“Method Wavelet X2”
“Automatic” is on “All”.
It took an unusually-long time to process, (about the the same as playback- time), even with “Sound Output” turned “Off” which speeds processing up.
NB: “Sound Output” has to be on “out” to hear the cleaned version, if “Sound Output” is on “in” you just hear the original crackly version, even though the cleaning process is taking place.