Like many people, I’ve been specifically drawn to Audacity because of its ability to clean up converted tracks from vinyl. I’ve spent quite a few hours becoming acquainted with all the tools to improve the sound quality of the recordings, but it appears that I’ve run into some problems. Many of my records have light scratching, which creates some mild clicks and pops in the recording (which is especially noticeable in the quieter sections of the music). I’ve tried everything from noise removal (which works, but when applied to the degree where it’s finally removed, the sound quality decreases significantly) to click removal (which even at it’s highest setting doesn’t work for quieter pops and clicks) to the repair function (which takes too long; about 25 minutes per track!). Unfortunately, these clicks and pops are too quiet for the existing tools to pick up, but loud enough for your ear to. Basically what I’m looking for is an improved (or new) plug-in that can sense these more subtle pops/clicks/static and remove them. I feel like if I can find these things myself just by zooming in and analyzing the grooves, there should be no reason a computer can’t do the same. Other programs (such as ClickRepair) can do this, but unfortunately they charge you an arm and a leg to do it (and hey, I’m a college student). I think it’s something that would really benefit people in the future as more and more people get into digital conversion. I feel like it would be foolish to ignore this issue, considering the fact that many people are drawn to Audacity specifically for vinyl conversion. I’m also assuming it would be good to use with all sorts of different recordings. Unfortunately I don’t have any experience with plugin design, however I am pretty familiar with the nature of vinyl recordings. Hopefully someone out there will feel my pain!
Audacity is short of developers with time to spare.
The best solution (short of another algorithm) is probably to make Repair work on longer selections.
So at the moment “Improved Click Removal” is just a feature request (I’ll add your vote).
Have you tried the free / effectively free click removal solutions in other programs that are mentioned here:
$40 US is hardly an arm and a leg
Thanks for the reply Gale! I’ll be sure to check those out.
And yeah $40 isn’t the worst, but when you’re a college student and your entire record collection is probably worth that much, $40 becomes money you don’t really want to spend just to convert them
I know this is a late response to the original post, but I thought I would throw in my two-cents-worth of experience. I have been converting my 1960s and 1970s vinyl (rock) using Audacity, and I have spent a very large amount of time working on click and pop removal. I gave up on the Click Removal function in Audacity only because I was not able to adequately remove the clicks without damaging the sound.
I found that I could remove a lot of clicks after identifying them by active listening and locating them on the waveform and applying a Repair. Then I discovered how valuable the spectrogram is for this purpose. I now do all my click removal manually with the Repair function by simply viewing the spectrogram and without even listening (except on certain questionable peaks that may or may not be actual clicks). I usually have the frequency display fully from 0 to 22K. I not only find the loud clicks easily (without even listing), but I also can see some of the small stuff (dirt) that interferes with listening pleasure. It often takes me as much as 45 minutes per song, but the end product is worth the effort and time cost.
The process takes some experience to identify the clicks versus some transient music that might look like a click. The spectrogram contains an amazing amount of information, and I think a really experienced person using this technique could help us to avoid repairing (removing) something that should not be removed and could help speed up the process. It is simply too tedious to listen to every several milliseconds of music to distinguish subtle noise (dirt) from actual music on the spectrogram.
I would love to hear from someone with more experience than I have on how to better distinguish the small clicks from the music.
I should have included that I expand the time scale so that my screen displays only about 260 milliseconds of the recording at a time.