This is my first attempt at ripping an LP from my new turntable, so please be patient.
All seems to be going fairly well until I attempt to use the “Noise Removal” filter. It does it’s job for the most part since most of the LP hiss is gone. However, it seems to introduce something new. Here’s a sample of what I’m talking about
Instead of a clean bass line, it sounds like there is an additional noise that goes along with the beat…almost as if there is someone in the background shaking a maraca along with the beat. This noise isn’t present (or at least it’s unnoticeable) before the Noise Reduction is performed.
Does anyone have any experience with this or advice on how I can eliminate it?
Thanks so much!
Unrelated, but the vocals sound REALLY off in this mp3 sample…not sure why. It sounds fine in the flac version of the recording that I made. Still, the noise I’m mentioning comes through well, so I suppose it’s irrelevant.
That sounds like it is probably the hiss which has been removed between the bass notes but not “during” the bass notes.
So as to avoid making the sound muffled or muddy, the Noise Removal effect tends to ignore noise that occurs when the audio is at a high level. In most case, high level sound will tend to mask (cover up) background noise, but in this case the ringing of the bass notes is all low frequency and does not mask the high frequency hiss.
Try reducing the “Attack/decay time”, increasing the “Sensitivity” to about 8 dB, and reducing the “Noise Reduction” amount.
Hmmmmm, thanks for the tips. Still no luck, unfortunately.
I’m beginning to think it’s something that needs to be adjusted in the recording process as opposed to an issue with using the filters. Not sure what, though…I don’t hear this noise on a typical listen through the LP. It seems to be noise that’s introduced only when I record.
I think your original suggestion was correct, but that I’ve simply been unable to find the magic #s with the noise removal tool. I ripped another album with a very similar bass beat intro as the Radiohead album I referred to in my original post and ran into exactly the same problem.
Hiss type noise is usually a complaint of people performing too far away from the ideal zone of a live microphone and the microphone’s own natural noises overwhelm the performance. You shouldn’t get that kind of noise with a turntable. You can’t have the needle too far away from the record. It’s either there or it’s not, and the whole process is tuned for good quality music – or should be.
You’re right. You don’t hear that kind of damage when you listen to the records in the living room.
That can cause problems. Are you recording through a USB Hub? Audio doesn’t much like going through hubs.
Audacity Noise Removal name is a little grand. There’s a discussion about calling it “Noise Reduction” rather than Removal and there’s a silly line that by the time you realize you need it, it’s too late.
It will never turn your noisy recording into a studio performance. It’s not a Universal Get Out Of Jail card. We almost always always send you back to do the recording over again.
None of the enhancements were checked, but I went ahead and checked the “disable all enhancements” button to be extra safe. My recordings didn’t sound cave-like or hollow as mentioned in the faq guide, however, so I don’t suspect that is the problem.
My original recording was not through a usb hub. I did move it to a usb hub to test later and didn’t notice any differences between the two setups.
By and large most all of my LP conversions have been excellent - but my 45 7" singles conversions tended to be average at best (but most of them had spent a lot of their life having a hard time on my 1950’s juke box). I consistently use click removal bu seldom noise removal. The only LPs I used noise removal on were old blues records which were obviously transcriptions to vinyl of old 78s, done long before the days of digital clean-up. I found that I had to use different NR on each track of those LPs for best effect (tedious).
You are using good quality kit so should get good results - the limiting factor is likely to be the records themselves. Are you cleaning them? You’re not playing them “wet” as used to be the fashion some years ago are you?
Mostly I replaced the 45s with modern re-issues either from CD or LP. A lot of those had been re-issued in crummy faux-stereo, so I found myself taking them back to mono. For the CD versions I sought out compilation albums from my local library to lift the replacement track from - technically “piracy” but I had paid my license fee in buying the original 45, only replacing the format.
Curiously when I gave my son copies of all the 45 recordings he insisted on having them raw with no click removal and no noise removal as that is how he remembered them sounding on the jukebox from his childhood (he and my grandchildren now own that jukebox and most of the 45s).
I have seen those, thank you. All my records have been cleaned and dried, and I use a dry record brush before every play, although I’m not sure the brush is accomplishing much. After playing with some of the settings I figured out that setting the noise removal db level around 5 seemed to reduce the noise a little without making those bass beats sound horrific. Still, the overall noise floor just seems higher than it should be especially after my Wilco recording posted above. I’m curious why that recording responded so well to noise reduction while the others did not. I’ll tinker with the settings more tonight.
If the amount of noise were equal to what I hear when simply listening to an LP, then I’d be happy. It just seems that the phono box is introducing more noise/hiss than it should.
Another thing I played with last night was turning the microphone levels down in windows and increasing the gain on my phono box, but it didn’t seem to make much of a difference (assuming I always aimed for -6db levels while recording). Also, would there be any improvement from using the “line in” input on my phono box as opposed to the RCA cables? I’m assuming not, but it doesn’t hurt to ask.
Unless there was a fault on the Prject box I wouldn’t expect it to introduce noise into the signal that came from the deck. Many of us use cheaper equipment than that and get excellent resluts. There are some negative comments about the project box on t’interweb - its price point is above the lower-end stuff but well below the high-end kit - so the purists tend not to like it.
When “listening to an LP” what is connected to what - and what with?
I’m puzzling to understand why you are fiddling with mic levels in Windows. This is a USB device and you are using it as such, right? The Project box should be delivering down the USB cable an already digitized digital signal and the input sound controls in Windows or Audacity should have no further effect on the signal level (that’s why it’s good that you got a box with a gain control - the cheaper, but still excellent, Behringer UCA-202 lacks such a control).
No, the linein on your box is to take the signal from the TT. You could use the RCA lin-outs from the box, but that would bypass the ADC in your Project box (and use your PCs onboard souncard for that job - and your Project box’s ADC is almost certainly going to be superior to the the one on your onboard soundcard. And it would depend on your laptop having a line-in, most don’t these days only a mic level input which expects a much lower level signal and would thus not be appropriate.
I’m curious why that recording responded so well to noise reduction while the others did not.
Noise Removal is something of a violin. Results not guaranteed. Each new show/record should generate a new Noise Profile to be effective. You can’t take a profile on one record at the beginning of the week and use that forever. Also, the type of noise and intensity may require different settings when you do apply the tool. That’s not a set and forget process, either.
Noise Removal tends to not work well in complex music or shows. It’s best with light noise in simple performances where it can recognize when noise masking is needed and when it’s not. It’s not a blanket “remove noise from everything.” That gives you gargling, honky voices.
Debut Carbon → RCA → Phono Box → RCA → Schiit Asgard Headphone Amp to headphones or Onkyo Receiver to speakers. This doesn’t give a perfectly black background of course…there’s some hiss. It just seems that this hiss is amplified when recording through Windows/Audacity. Maybe this is normal and I’m complaining about nothing…
When you go into the properties of the USB device it has a levels tab where you can adjust the level from 0 to 100. This is the same adjustment that you can make in Audacity in the microphone monitoring section by moving the slider back and forth. If this is bumped up all the way, then the gain knob on the phono box can be left at very low levels to achieve the -6 db peak. If I turn the levels down in Audacity (or through the properties menu of the recording device), then the gain knob has to be increased accordingly to reach the same recording levels. Maybe I’m doing something very obviously wrong here…
That was my understanding, but, like you, I’m grasping at straws.
The phono/line in selector is selected appropriately (I don’t believe I’d be hearing any music at all if it wasn’t). TT and box ARE grounded. Audacity and Windows are set to the usb device.
I had the same thought as you about MM v. MC. I know that I set it up correctly initially, but I will absolutely double check tonight to be sure it hasn’t been accidentally changed.
If none of these things help, then I’m starting to wonder is if my initial recording is absolute crap (maybe some issue with my phyiscal TT setup) or if I’m simply expecting too much from the post-processing.
As a side note, did you listen to the Wilco clip I posted earlier? Is it something you would deem as an acceptable transfer?
Ok so we’ve established the LP itself sounds good with the TT&box - yes there will always be some vinyl hiss, but normally only detectable at high listening levels.
Is the tone arm and cartridge set up properly for : tracking weight, anti-skate, vertical alignment of cartridge?
Is the TT set on a good firm solid surface isolating it from vibrations?
You don’t listen loud on speakers to monitor while recording do you? That can feed back to the TT and/or cartridge.
Ok time to try some new tools. Have a look at Brian Davies’ site: http://www.clickrepair.net/
I use his ClickRepar all the time, every LP transfer - excellent results.
I have used his NR stuff in the past on trial - but decided I didn’t need it long-term (as in my earlier post in this thread).
They both cost a bit - but the great thing is that Brian allows you a 14-day free trial to test the s/w to see if it works for you - I bought CR the following day after trialling it.
To use them capture in Audacity, export a 32-bit float WAV file, process through Brian’s s/w, import the repaired tracks back into Audacity for further processing (labelling,inter-track clean-up, normalization etc.)
Another forum elf here (BillW) IIRC uses ClickRepair in two passes: one for click removal and the other for de-crackle - you can do both in a single pass but he believes he gets better results with the double pass (I never use the de-crackle).
Everything is set up as properly as I can tell (this is my first time setting up a TT). I followed the instructions in the manual closely. I zeroed out the tonearm and set the tracking force to 17.5 mN, set the ant-skating weight to the the correct notch, etc. I did not adjust the azimuth at all since it didn’t seem necessary, but maybe I should revisit that. My one concern that I noticed last night is that the stylus seems to be coming out of the cartridge at a slight angle. The needle seems to be entering the grooves perpendicularly as it should, however. Perhaps I should take a picture to see if it’s a flaw or just my overactive imagination. I haven’t noticed any issues in regards to sound…no skipping, distortion, etc. I haven’t been listening on speakers during the recording, but I have been listening via my headphone amp. Is this bad practice or should I be listening at lower volumes?
I’ll check out the Davies software. Click removal hasn’t been a huge issue for me. There are typically one or two noticeable clicks during each song that can be removed pretty easily in Audacity. I did have a question about how the 32-bit float setting works. The phono box is only a 16/44.1 box. I’ve noticed that I can set Audacity to 32-bit or 16-bit without any noticeable difference other than file size and headroom while editing. How does that work, exactly?
One extra tip for cartridge/stulus vertial alignment not in your Pro=ject manual. Rather then lowering onto and LP groove to check verticality (as your manual suggests) I place a small mirror on the platter and (carefully) lower the arm/stylus onto it = It’s easier to see if it’s vertical or not as both halves must line up vertically. Take care that the ant-skate doesn’t push the arm/cart off the mirror and thus bump the stylus cantilever.
Did project supply a stylus brush? These should be used occasionally - but very carefully. Brush only in the direction the LP goes i.e away from the arm/headshell.
Nice looking TT BTW - useless in my house as I have four active climbing/jumping cats.
I’ll double check the vertical alignment tonight. No stylus brush was provided…I have brushed it very gently with my carbon-fiber brush just to remove dust bunnies that very occasionally collect on it after playing a side (this rarely happens now that I’m dusting my records before each play).
I misspoke earlier…it is the cantilever I noticed having a crooked appearance coming out of the cartridge. It appears, to me at least, to be slightly angled inwards (towards the center of the record). The TT came with an alignment grid that I didn’t understand at all, so I’ll get that back out and educate myself and see if there’s actually a problem. Thanks for the mirror trick.
Those alignment grids are useful. My SME-3009 arm one came with one when I bought it 40-40 years ago - fortunately I file it carefully with the manual as it’s been needed each time I have replaced the cart.