Major Distortion Problems with Play-At-Speed

Audacity 2.3.2
Windows 7 Professional SP1
HP ZBook 15 G3, 64 bit, 16 GB RAM


I’m a longtime Audacity user, and I primarily use it to remove pops from vinyl rips. I just upgraded from 2.2.2 to 2.3.2, and I was ecstatic to see that a resizer has been added to the Play-At-Speed toolbar. However, after using the toolbar, I am devastated to discover that it has some problems introduced with the new Play-At-Speed functionality that are show stoppers for my primary workflow to remove vinyl pops.

  1. I typically work at 0.28, 0.04 and 0.01 times normal speed. As I choose slower times, there is distortion introduced at the beginning of the playback. At 0.01 or 0.02 times, the distortion lasts for the duration of playback of audio on the entire screen, completely obscuring the pops that I’m trying to locate and repair. I can’t repair the pops if I can’t hear and find them (most are too small to be identified only visually). I’ve attached a screen capture file “0.01 Distortion.MP4” that illustrates the problem.
  2. If I slide the Play-At-Speed slider control completely left, it sets it to 0.01 times speed. However, when I push the Play button, the cursor either won’t move, or will move for a bit, then stop, then move some more, then stop – very choppy. I’ve attached a screen capture file “Full Left Start-Stop-Choppiness.MP4” that illustrates the problem. I don’t know if the intention was to completely stop playback with the control at full left, but if so, it’s not working and it does nothing for me, plus the readout should show 0.0 times speed. I find it much more useful for full left to equate to 0.01 times speed and have the audio play at this speed when I push Play. If others have requested 0.0 speed at full left, then a configuration parameter should be added to allow a choice between 0.0 or 0.01 times speed (or enter a minimum speed) for people like me who need 0.01 speed at full left.

Please fix the two major problems introduced with the new Play-At-Speed toolbar functionality. These are show stoppers for removing vinyl pops, and until these are fixed, I’m stuck at version 2.2.2. (These problems are not present in the older 2.2.2 version.)

P.S. – I was so excited to discover that a resizer had been added to the Play-at-Speed toolbar that I sent you a donation, but that was before I discovered the problems introduced with its new functionality. I hope I have not jinxed my relationship with Audactiy because besides these problems, it is an amazing tool that I hope to continue to use.


I can’t repair the pops if I can’t hear and find them (most are too small to be identified only visually).

Usually you can see it if you zoom-in, if you can “find it”… The Spectrogram View makes it a lot easier to find clicks & pops visually. Click the little drop-down arrow to the left of the waveform and click Spectrogram. It doesn’t always work but usually you can see it, then you can zoom-in and switch back to the regular waveform view.

This is time consuming and it can be frustrating!

Just for reference… I’ve used [u]Wave Repair[/u] ($30 USD) for a long time. It has several repair methods/options and with most (but not all) clicks & pops it can make an “audibly perfect” repair. Ironically, it’s often easier to fix the bad clicks & pops simply because they are easier to find. It works manually so it only “touches” the audio where you identify a defect. But, that usually means I spend most of a weekend cleaning a digitized vinyl recording.

[u]Wave Corrector[/u] is a fully-automated pop & click remover and it’s now FREE!

:smiley: Oh… My usual advice: Buy the CD or MP3! (If it’s available.)

@DVDdoug. Thanks for the WaveRepair tip. I agree 100% on “buy the CD or MP3 if it’s available,” but I’m posting a lot of Harry James 50s and 60s catalog on Youtube, and a lot of it has never been re-issued on CD. (Some of the CD re-issues have awful mixes, too - really surprising from someone like Verve). I try to get the transfers as close a possible to “CD quality.” I’ve spent 2-1/2 weeks “de-popping” this latest transfer I’m working on. A lot of the pops are so small that I need to amplify the selection AND listen to it to find them. I don’t want to get the thread on a tangent of best de-popping method, though. To me there are serious problems with the Play-At-Speed function (or I have serious problems with a driver or something), and I need to find out what to do to fix them. Thanks, Steve.

The tool I used when digitizing my LPs and 45s was (in addition to Audacity) ClickRepair - see this sticky thread: