Periodic Click on Audio after Cassette Transfer

I am hoping someone will be able to help me out please.

I am transferring some old audio cassettes onto my PC and on several of them, i am getting a periodic “click”. I am using an ION Tape2PC USB Cassette archiver connected to my PC. It doesn’t happen with every cassette and sometimes only on one side of the cassette i’m transferring so i don’t believe that it’s a hardware issue.

I am using the Audacity Version 2.1.0 on Windows 7 x64 SP1 installed using the exe installer.

I’ve been trying to read through the FAQ and the forums and most solutions appear to work on repair single clicks rather than periodic ones like in the recording. Apologies in advance if i’ve missed the obvious solution somewhere :smiley: . I’ve tried using a notch filter, de-clicker and pop-mute but don’t appear to be able to get a good result without decimating the spoken word.

Is there a simple method in Audacity for removing this kind of issue.

Many thanks for any help,

It sounds to me like a noisy transport mechanism on the tape recorder or the tape is moving around too much inside the cassette. You could try tightening the tape. Not an Audacity issue.


Audacity does have a Click Removal effect that operates on all the selected audio not just a single click - see:

But this is not “best-in-class” - Goldwave is reckoned to be good and when I was digitizing my LPs I used Brian Davies’ excellent ClickRepair to do the cleanup - see this sticky thread:


Audacity Click Removal does almost nothing with those clicks. I would still argue it would be better to try to fix the problem with the tapes/tape recorder. Ion might help you.

Using your WAV I had success with the Noise Gate Nyquist plugin.

It does make the space between the words sound artificially quiet. You could always Generate > Noise… at very low amplitude into a new track which will then be mixed in.

See here for how to install Nyquist plugins:


Many thanks for the replies. I’ve tried using playing around with the physical cassette, including tightening the tape as well as taking the reels into another cassette holder without much success i’m afraid.

WC - I did give the Brian Davies’ ClickRepair with some success but it seems to be a little heavy handed with the issue i have.

Gale - I will definitely try using the noise gate plug-in over the weekend. I was thinking of trying a cross correlator as well which is why i wondered if that was available in audacity already.

Again, many thanks for the advice!


I am sorry to be such a spoilsport, but I feel I have to relate this.
I had so poor and unreliable results with an ION Tape2PC USB Cassette Deck that I quickly took it to the nearest recycling plant (I also had unwanted audio clicks, and the tape mechanism wasn’t really up to the task).

I then bought a second-hand Marantz cassette deck on the Web for $30. It was in good condition. Its tape mechanism simply did not bear comparison with that of the ION: the Marantz mechanism was up to the best HI-FI-standard. The Marantz deck also had a line output. After plugging it into my PC through the motherboard line-in, I got Audacity to record 100+ cassette tapes with perfect digitized sound.

I suggest buying a good second-hand cassette deck and using a line-out/line-in connection in preference to any USB setup.

I agree, I recently had to transfer a few cassettes to digital and I did not even consider a USB cassette deck, I got a decent secondhand conventional deck for about £12 GBP including shipping from eBay.

But if the user does not have a line-in, only a mic in (very common these days) they will have to buy a USB interface as well, unless the computer has a “compatible” input that recognises a line-level input and might be good enough for speech.


This article from the Wiki may be helpful to you:

And I agree with Gale’s low opinion of USB tape decks


Did you use Audacity’s 2.1.0 Noise Reduction? I hear some leftover bird-song artifacts in the pause. You may want to vary the settings a bit, raising sensitivity a little until you don’t get that effect. Try some increased Frequency Smoothing too, from 3 to 6, which should leave that inhalation sounding more natural.

Do what Gale says to get rid of thumps, but for amusement I saw whether my Declicker could be decent for this unintended purpose. They are not gone but much less evident with settings:

sensitivity 3,
step size 5,
max length 5,
low frequency 37.5,

otherwise as defaults. Maybe better could be found with experimentation.