Getting rid of noise from a record

I have a vinyl record that has a bit of a noise problem. It has been cleaned several times with my Pro-Ject VCS, using the current “Wash-It” made up as per instructions, and the noise is reducing each time, but still very intrusive especially at the start of the side. Trying to get rid of this noise in Audacity has been very difficult. There seems to be a broad arc during the first half of the side that is possible stuck dust, with the noise mainly on its “leading” edge.

I am wondering if there is anything special I can do to the record to get rid of the noise further before recording it in Audacity again, or whether just to clean it with the VCS a few more times.

I wonder if the problem isn’t dust. Dust doesn’t have a personality like “only in the first third” or "changes with each cleaning. "

The broadcasting people used to have a particular problem of losing the first one or two notes of a song because they had to “back time” the record so it would start on cue. The first note or two would get played four or five times more than the rest.

Post the lead-in groove and first eight seconds of a noisy song as a WAV soundfile. Ten seconds total.


If it’s not dust, it’s crud. Here’s the sample…

Is that a 78? Do you have a 78 stylus? 78 records have a wider groove than 33 or 45. If you mismatch the stylus, the point spends its time picking up garbage from the bottom of the groove instead of carefully riding on the sides as intended.

Stylus for 78 RPM records

The groove of a 78 RPM record is about 3 to 4 times wider than the a typical 33 1/3 RPM record. To play 78 records, you must use a stylus designed specifically for the wider grooves. The tip radius should be at least 2.0 mil. If a standard microgroove spherical stylus tip is used, it will ride very low in the groove and produce a very noisy signal, unlistenable signal. Not to mentioned it will destroy your standard stylus very quickly!


That’s clearly 33.333 RPM. note the gap between the first two frazps.

The problem is probably damaged vinyl and no amount of cleaning is going to help.

You might have some success with “clickrepair”. This is not-free software, but it does decent job of cleaning up noise on old LPs. You will likely end up repairing the worst of the frazps manually. Click-repair has a manual mode you can use, or there is another not-free but not horribly expensive program called wave-repair you might want to try as well. Wave repair also has features that streamline the task of breaking albums into separate recordings that IMHO are easier and quicker that the same task in Audacity.

Also see the extensive thread on click/pop removal software:

Both wrong. 45 RPM.

I’ll look into clickrepair… only other thought I’ve had, short of obtaining another copy of this record (it’s from 1984) would be to try PVA on it… but as I’ve never done that before and can’t be sure it will do much good, another copy may be the way to go. Failing that, I’ll see if, in the near future, the artist re-releases it in some better format.

Is it actually playing at 45 rpm? There are 3 noise bursts at the beginning of the piece that sure sound link the same defect coming around again. The spacing is 1.8 seconds – 33 1/3 RPM.

It is playing at 45.

Two more copies obtained - both better. neither perfect, but a good chance I’ve now got one that will record well.