Irregular clicking that won't stop despite following forum suggestions

Audacity version: 2.2.2
I have Windows 10 Pro, version 1803
I have a Rode NT-1A microphone
I use Focusrite Scarlet for interface mixer

I have spent a great deal of time researching how to remove clicking noises from my voice overs. I have tried the following with no luck:

  1. changed USB cords
  2. shut off internet connection
  3. shut off computer anti virus and protection
  4. removed mouse
  5. moved microphone away from computer
  6. used Audacity click repair
  7. used the click repair from
  8. used pop mute
    Sample crackling.aup (1.15 KB)
    Many of the clicks and distortions I can fix manually, but it is very time consuming. I am trying to make a little money during book narrations but the editing of the clicks is killing me. Some of the clicks are so hard to find and repair, I end just rerecording; it’s faster. I

A couple more suggestions -

Try increasing the [u]Buffer Length/Latency[/u]. The ONLY downside to a larger buffer is longer latency (delay) if you are monitoring yourself through headphones.*

If you are recording at a high sample rate, try 48kHz or 44.1kHz. With less data to deal with, you are less likely to get glitches (and these settings are still better than human hearing).

You might try recording software that supports ASIO drivers. Your interface may have come with Ableton, and I believe Focusrite offers ASIO drivers.

There is a FREE program called [u]DPC Latency Checker[/u] that may help identify the problem. (You’re not complaining about latency but multitasking, latency, buffers, computer speed, and glitches are all related).

Or, there is an FREE online book called [u]Glitch Free[/u] about optimizing your computer for audio.


  • IMO - The BEST solution to latency is to get an interface with zero-latency hardware monitoring (where the monitoring signal doesn’t go through the computer). The Focusrite website says “low latency” but it’s doesn’t say “zero latency”. Anytime the audio goes through the computer, you are at the mercy of the computer and whatever it and the operating system are doing (although ASIO drivers are supposed to help).

I use Focusrite Scarlet for interface mixer

Which Scarlett? I don’t think there are any Scarlett mixers. The two popular Scarelett models are the 2i2 and the Solo. Neither one is a mixer. You can’t “assign” channels or easily produce mixes and versions of the audio. Their job is strictly to get the sound into the computer. The Solo is natively mono and the 2i2 is natively stereo—two microphones.

Sample crackling.aup

The AUP is an Audacity Project Manager text file. It’s not sound. It tells Audacity what to do with all that stuff in the _DATA folder which is where all the actual sound is. To post to the forum, it’s is recommended you Export as WAV (Microsoft) 16-bit stand-alone sound file. For a mono recording (one blue wave) don’t go over about 20 seconds.

6. used Audacity click repair
7. used the click repair from
8. used pop mute


  1. Stop using the computer.

Most people plug all this stuff together and just start recording with no serious sound damage. Editing sound (and video) is a special case where the computer has to do nothing wrong and do it continuously for hours. I have had Windows machines which were not up to that and no amount of software juggling could force them to work. How old is the computer?

For one example: Would you notice if your mouse didn’t track exactly where you put the cursor? That kind of USB error is deadly for real-time production.

And speaking of USB, do you have the Scarlett Something plugged directly into the computer? Real Time production will not go through a hub or a keyboard USB socket loop, for two examples.

And lastly, just stop, period.


I know this isn’t glamorous, but that’s a stand-alone Olympus sound recorder and roll of paper towels in a quiet, echo-free room. It produces passable ACX AudioBook conforming voice tracks.

Although I have not been able to get a cellphone to work (I haven’t tried all that hard), at every news event, there’s a forest of cellphones recording the interview.

The NT-1A is a terrific microphone, but if you can’t record it without killing yourself, then the process is not all that valuable. Can you try another computer?


First, I appreciate the thoughtful responses.

Koz: I have the Scarlett Solo; I apparently inappropriately described it as a mixer. It is plugged directly into the computer. I have tried both USB ports with no help in resolving crackles. The computer is a Lenovo, 2015, 64 bit operating system x64 based processor; Intel Celeron processor @1.83 GHz

I will attempt and report back my findings concerning DVDdoug suggestion on latency. I will also try another computer if the problem persists.
I will upload the sample file as suggested.

Again, it is gratifying to know someone is trying to help.

DVCdoug: I need help with this suggestion. Do you mean I should try recording software other than Audacity? Can I download ASIO drivers from the Focusrite site. Perhaps that is the software you are referring to.

“You might try recording software that supports ASIO drivers. Your interface may have come with Ableton, and I believe Focusrite offers ASIO drivers.”

DVDdoug: I logged onto the Focusrite website and see that I have already downloaded the following:


Audacity doesn’t easily support ASIO software. That’s proprietary software and Audacity can’t hide the cost since Audacity is free.

Have you ever compiled a software program? If you don’t recognize that, then ASIO isn’t for you. If you like programming, you can compile a special Audacity program with ASIO support.

No, I can’t either.


Koz: I have the Scarlett Solo; I apparently inappropriately described it as a mixer

We’re not offended, but you should know when somebody posts with a problem we hang on every word—literally every word and a mistake anywhere could send us down the wrong path. We have to build your whole world in our imagination to visualize the problem. We can’t see you or what you’re doing.

My solutions tend to the touchy-feely physical. You said you changed the USB cable, but to what? USB cables with interfaces such as the Solo tend to be long because they want to make the product as versatile as possible, but long USB cables can have data errors and the errors can be sporadic. A lot like what you have.

What’s the shortest USB cable you can round up, even temporarily? Two feet/0.6M Try that.

Just to play Blue Bird of Happiness for a minute. It is possible to have broken devices. That’s why trying the Solo on a second computer is insanely valuable. If the problem vanishes or even changes that gives good information.

I will inspect your sound file when I get home.


And that’s another variation. I don’t hear anything wrong. That’s not a gold standard, and other elves may find problems, but I think that clip is good to go. So if you hear ticking and clicking, you may have playback problems, not recording problems. What else do you have that will play music? Separate device. Make up a known difficult sound file and play it on Something Else.


Other notes. When you experience sound problems, do they happen in exactly the same places every time?

Can you do anything to make them worse?

“When I load several programs in addition to Audacity, the problem gets much worse!!” as an example. If you’ve been through days of corrections and nothing’s worked, that in itself is good to know.


Koz: After applying multiple fixes, I recorded 20 minutes of voice narration. The clicks and distortions were significantly reduced.

These are the fixes I applied. I do not know which may have had an effect. I post these with the thought that it might help others.

  1. I followed instructions on the Focus website about making my computer optimized for audio recording, which included disabling programs to run in the background and keeping computer set at high performance power setting.
  2. I used a latency problem detector app. It suggested that I had latency problems that could be network related. The only action I felt comfortable taking in response to this was disabling my bluetooth app.
  3. The latency check also had me disable CPU throttling settings in the control panel and BIOS settings. In BIOS, I disabled EIST (Enhanced Intel Speedstep[ Technology).
  4. On Audacity, I changed MME to Windows Direct Sound as Audacity website suggested there might be lower latency with Windows Direct Sound.
  5. I increased buffer length from 100 milliseconds to 110 milliseconds.

I am hoping that the improvement is sustained as I continue recording.

I am surprised you did not hear any clicks. I can hear them and SEE them on the waveform as they occur.

Again, the time and energy all of you have supplied is much appreciated.

I can hear them and SEE them on the waveform as they occur.



I thought I had the problem solved. Here is another sample of the clicks. You should find these easily. There are a couple of distortions also.

I thought I had the problem solved.

As a fuzzy rule, you change one thing and the problem vanishes. Gone. You are most unlikely to have two or more problems at once (but it does happen) and if you don’t hit the exact problem, it gets squishy and erratic and just comes back later at the worst possible time.

I don’t recognize the problem at “Skidding.” Again, generally, when someone gets odd flipping and skipping like that, there is digital zero in the holes between sounds. You don’t have normal holes. You have some trash in the skips. Worse yet, it looks like someone or something is carefully creating those holes. They have editing signatures.

Is that the raw reading or after processing?

Are you using Cloud Services or Network Connected drives? Even if you’re not using those for Audacity, sometimes just having them connected can cause problems.

I don’t recognize that and apparently, nobody else does either. You will probably spend the rest of your life running this down.

  1. Stop using the computer.

There is an evil side to this. It looks exactly like someone is intentionally creating this distortion to drive everyone crazy.