How can I remove these snap, crackle, and pop noises? [newbie]

Hi everyone.

Would you please help me? I made a recording. These are fragments of the audio file:

As you must have noticed, at some points you can hear snap, crackle, or pop noises. How can I remove those noises without altering my speech?

I have Audacity 2.4.1 on a PC with Windows 8.1 and I’m a 1.0 newbie, so I ask you to please go slow. I can learn but there’s a lot I still don’t know :blush:.

Thank you in advance!

The thuds at 1.155s & 3.777s sound like you blowing on the microphone.
They can be prevented by using a pop-shield.
( leave about a hand’s-width gap between the pop-shield & the microphone)

IMO there is excessive sibilance, (8kHz-12kHz), which is fixable in Audacity with a de-esser plugin.

Thank you for your answer Trebor. So if I understand you correctly I can’t remove the thuds (new word :slight_smile:) with Audacity. Best thing I can do is prevent them next time I record voice. Correct?

OK, I just looked up sibilance… so that’s one more word in my vocabulary. I’ll install the plugin and probably bother you after that asking you how to use it. I hope it isn’t a problem.


You can “see” noises better if you have the Spectrogram View on (see your audio below). Then you can use the Spectral Editing tools to remove the noise.


Paul-L’s de-esser* plugin can be configured to de-thud.
Or if there’s only a few thuds can manually remove each one with Audacity’s spectral editing tools.

[ * Correction: Paul-L’s de-clicker plugin can be used to de-thud ].

Thank you both. very much! OK, I read both pages: (1) Spectogram View and (2) Spectral Selection and Edition. I understood very little of them both, but I did get a very general idea.

I’m just an amateur trying to get a video ready for web-viewing just for the fun of it. I’m not a YouTuber either; I’ll probably just do this once. But I’m the kind of person that likes to make an effort in order to do a good job.

Can you please explain to me step-by-step how exactly can I remove those noises either using the De-Esser plugin or the spectral editing tools? Related to that, OK I think I can identify the thud noises on the spectral view as the yellow bar that drops bellow 100 Hz frequency. Am I right? And what about the first noise? What kind of noise is it and what should I be looking for on the spectral view?


I’m at the beginner level too but like you I am willing to try what is available.

I’m at work and can’t mess around with this right now, but a simple fix might be that first noise since it is clearly visible as the red vertical line. An easy way to remove this might just be to zoom in a bit and then carefully highlight just the section of the audio with that vertical line. Then press the “Z” key which moves the selection just slightly so that the boundaries of the selection are at a zero volume (that helps to avoid creating new clicks when editing). Then press the “C” key which give you a preview of the audio with the selection removed (Playback - Audacity Manual). You can adjust the length of the “Play Cut Preview” by going to the Playback section of Preferences under the Edit menu item.

If the preview of the audio with the cut sounds okay, then you can just press delete and that section will be removed. The other noises are a bit more difficult as they seem to be more mixed in with vocals and they don’t cover the full spectrum of frequencies. The other Spectral Editing Tools (under Effects) might help. You would just highlight the small section of the Spectrogram that is causing the problem, instead of the full height, and use one of those tools. I can look at that later tonight when I get home and see if there is anything I can do - but like I mentioned, I’m fairly new to all this too.

If there are a lot of these noises in the recording, doing it this way will definitely be tedious


Thank you mafg1953. I had no idea about the z and c shortcuts. They sound very useful!

Yes, please help me a bit more regarding the spectral editing tools. I’m very lost about which to use and how to use it. Thank you in advance.

Maybe this would a lot easier to fix with the De-esser plugin but I don’t know how to remove the thuds with it :confused:.


Relative to using the De-Esser Plugin, I think once you locate the frequency of the sounds that are a problem, you would narrow in on that frequency in the selected audio and apply the De-Esser Plugin. A description of the De-Clicker and De-Esser Plugins are here along with links to the Plug-Ins:

I think that unless you are really good with Spectograms, the adjustments you need to make are going to be trial and error. When you look at the first noise, it stands out nicely. The other two are likely mixed in with audio that you want and so pulling off the noise in those cases likely will not work well. You probably want to look at the 4 part Spectral Editing Mini Course by Paul Licameli – the person who worked on the Spectogram feature for Audacity. The links to those four parts are below:

I’ll tinker with your audio when I get a moment and see if there is anything I can come up with.



Sorry, the link to the first video in the series of four by Paul Licameli should be:


My bad: I meant the De-Esser’s sibling plugin De-Clicker can be used to de-thud …

OK, I watched the videos and studied what you’ve shared with me. I get a general idea but I’m not able to fix it myself. I don’t know what’s the frequency of the sounds I want to remove and I think I can see the thuds in the spectogram but I don’t get what tool to use or how. I tried the notch filter and the spectral multi-tool but I don’t know how to set them, so that didn’t work. I also wasn’t able to use center snaping. Paul Licameli makes it look SO easy :angry:!

Sorry if I’m being a pain. Like princess Leia said a long time ago: “You’re my only hope.” Can you Mike, Trebor, and the rest of you gals/guys, please tinker with my file and give me some more details about what to do :confused:?

This is the spectral edit tool in action …

The vertical lines are clicks & thuds.

Thank youTrebor. OK, I was able to do something using the spectral delete effect. The thud turned into a low volume bleep. I’ll call that a step forward :slight_smile:.

I could also try the De-clicker plugin but I get lost and intimidated with all the number fields. I tried copying the numbers shown by Trebor on his image from June 18, but the thuds didn’t go away after I used it. Can anyone please give it a try on my short file and tell me with what numbers it will remove the thuds?

Thank you all.

EDIT: What?! I think I got it :astonished:! I was able to remove a thud paying closer attention to the white color and using the spectral multitool. I’ll keep on practicing, but I still appreciate help with the De-clicker just to learn :slight_smile:.

I thought I had it. I was able to remove the thuds from the small audio file I had shared with you before, but when I tried it on the original file, the spectral image actually looked somewhat different. In that one, I was only able to turn the thuds into softer bleeps.

I’m attaching two screenshots showing more or less were the thuds are. These are prior to any editing. Can you please help me with the following? To what frequencies and colors should I be paying attention to regarding the thuds?

Captura 2.JPG

Getting closer and learning a little bit :slight_smile:.

Plosive thud’s are mostly below 300Hz.
Attenuate them until they match into the background colour, whatever that colour is.

It may be quicker just to re-record with a pop-shield,
and/or put the microphone to one side to avoid blowing on it, which is what causes the thuds.

re-recording would be quicker than repairing …


Here is what I have come up with. The noises are reduced, definitely not completely, and the editing probably negatively impacted overall audio quality. But I did not spend a lot of time to get a more precise fix. If you wanted to try multiple fixes on different areas, you could probably narrow it down to a better quality. Also, if you zoom in closer to the bad sections of the audio, you can get the rectangular selection area of the Spectral Edit Multi Tool to fit better into angled areas to clear them up.

My settings for the Spectogram are as follows as I think it gives a clearer picture of the areas in the wave that need repair:


Here are the effects I used:

1 - Filter Curve – 100 Hz Rumble – on the whole audio.

2 - Highlight the area to fix and use Effect > Nyquist > Spectral Edit Multi Tool – you may need to use it multiple times on the same spot. On the click noise, I only used the Multi Tool once and on the Thuds, I used it multiple times. I tried to clean up in between the horizontal white frequency bands on the Thuds and get rid of any other white band residue that was present. I applied the Spectral Edit Multi Tool until the color changed from white to purple/blue since white represents the loudest sound and blue/gray are the quietest sounds.

3 – I Ran Filter Curve – 100 Hz Rumble again.

The repaired areas are circled in blue below and I included a copy of the repaired audio for you to listen to.

Good Luck.



Thank you Mike and trebor all this has allowed me to learn more about thuds and the spectral view. I’m tempted on recording everything once again. At least now I know what I did wrong and have an idea of how to attenuate those thuds if they aren’t too loud.

I really appreciate it all. Thank you both.