How To Treat A Quack?

My version of Windows is Vista Premium SP2. My version of Audacity is 2.0.3. I downloaded the executable file.

Is there any way to treat a small portion of a file in such a way that it sounds the same as that sound adjacent to it, either before or after? I guess the method would involve masking, filling in, replacing, or maybe something else. Here’s what I mean:

I’ve attached a small clip from one of my most favorite files. Near the center is a brief sound caused by finger action on the guitar strings. The sound reminds me of the quack of a baby duck. It occurs several times in the recording. I hear it as a flaw in an otherwise beautiful recording.

I was able to isolate the sound using the spectrogram view, but I didn’t know what to do with it. I tried incrementally reducing the volume, but when I got to the point the ‘quack’ was almost inaudible, it was obvious something was missing from the track. How would a professional treat this sound if he/she didn’t want it there?

I’m not quite sure what you mean by the “quack”, but I’m guessing it’s this:

What I did was to select another, similar part, and use that to “patch” over the bit I wanted to replace.

I thought the annoying sound would be fairly easy to pick up on. Maybe not. I didn’t hear it in the portion of the clip you selected. I went back to check it’s position. When I highlight from 2.670 to 2.800 and play, the unwanted sound is about all I hear.

Whether or not we are talking about the same area may not be that important. What is important is that what you describe as ‘patching’, is exactly what I was wondering if could be done. I just didn’t know the name of the technique.

I’m going to study the images and instructions you’ve provided. Then I will try my hand at patching. I’ve never attempted this before, so wish me luck.

Thanks for your help


That’s what I thought you meant.


I have never done crossfading, so I had to guess at a lot of this. The patch I chose was adjacent to and left of the relevant part. I chose a .280s length of patch. Not knowing how much is ‘a little’, I silenced a .300s length of patch. I centered the patch in the silenced area. This left .010s on either side of the patch for crossfading.

Here is where I was really lost: I highlighted a section that included about .010s of the patch, .010s of silence and .010s of the clip to the left of the relevant area. Then I applied Cross Fade In. I did the same on the right side, applying Cross Fade Out.

When I listened to the results, it sounded as if there was a repeat, pretty much as what you would get if playing an old 78 that skipped the track just once.

I went back and increased the size of the area to be crossfaded to .020s of the patch, the .010s silence, and .020s of the clip. I did this on either side, applying Crossfade, again.

The results as I hear them: The patched area does not sound as it would if Jimmie Rodgers had not made that accidental sound. I do feel though, that to someone who had never heard the recording, the patched area would go unnoticed and assumed it be just another note struck on the guitar.

I’m fairly satisfied with the results, BUT, I’m sure a professional could have done much better. If there are any more suggestions to improve my ‘patching’ they would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks again for all the help.


I think you have the basic idea. Making really good edits takes practice.
There is an article here about making crossfades:
In my edit, the crossfade was applied to a very short overlap (less than 1 millisecond) during the quietest moments at the start and end of the note. The fade type was the standard (linear) “Fade In” and “Fade Out” from the effect menu.

“I silenced a .300s length of patch” , Should read: I silenced a .300s length of relevant area