popping and cracking


I am using Audacity with my mac mini, rode nt-1a mic, and scarlett solo interface

things were going along fine until I started getting random pops in my playbacks. I have tried every solution that came up in google to no avail.
Can someone please advise me on this? I am beyond frustrated.

random pops in my playbacks.

Actually random? Play the same segment and the pops occur in different places?


I"m sorry, no…it records pops randomly throughout my recording Always in the same places on playback. I have to quit Audacity, then restart it and then am only able to record one v/o, the next one pops and cracks. I am not coming in hot, and all settings are as they should be.

Do you have any ideas what may be causing this?

Please read the pink panel at the top of the page and tell us the version of Audacity and Mac OS X.

And how are those settings exactly?

Ensure Scarlett is set up as default input in /Applications > Utilities > Audio MIDI Setup with the same number of channels and same sample rate that you chose in Audacity. What project rate are you choosing in Audacity? You don’t need more than 44100 Hz for voice overs.

Also look at Audacity > Preferences…, Recording section and reduce “Audio to buffer”. Start at 0 milliseconds then increase it in 10 millisecond increments until you get a good recording.


Dear Gale,

So far, so good! :smiley: You are the best, and I can’t thank you enough! I thought I was going to have to purchase a new interface…turns out I did not in fact, have my Scarlett as input default on my Mac!! I changed it, and just recorded 5 auditions without one single crack or pop! Sigh…very happy camper!!!

Janice Harper

I also want to thank you. I have been having the same problem and was following your conversation. It seems to be working now! Am book marking this forum for future use. Thank you!

Audacity can choose its recording device independently of the system default, so setting your interface as system default should in theory not be necessary. I don’t know if the issue is in Mac OS X or Audacity or in device drivers (or lack of custom drivers).

However using Audio MIDI Setup to set an external device (default or not) to the same sample rate as Audacity project rate and to the same number of recording channels is strongly advised to reduce risk of recording glitches.


What setting up Audio/Midi setup avoids, is having unnecessary up or down sampling in Core Audio. And you really need it for anything that touches surround sound.

It isn’t a problem if you only record from one source and have only Audacity open. There’s no up/downsampling in sight, Audacity can talk almost directly to the audio hardware.

If you have two audio devices and/or several programs (that can do audio) open, things change. Not so very much, if everything is using 48 KHz, 16 bit (Apple’s Core Audio default), or at least is set to use the same sample rate, things run smoothly. But if your DAW is set to record at 24 bit/96 KHz and you are playing youtube at the same time, things might start sputtering. Core Audio isn’t completely daft, but there’s a limit to it’s built-in smartness.

Once you record more than 1 or 2 channels, it turns into a religion to travel to Audio/Midi setup before even thinking about recording. And on your own machine, you’ll probably only need to do it once. Unless you connect new hardware.

And these days, even the browser can record audio and video. And probably your word processor too.

I agree it “shouldn’t” be necessary for a mono or stereo device, but clearly it does make a difference with some USB devices. Logitech USB mics are a known case in point.