Random pops and clicks in recording and playback

I have been recording with audacity for several months. I am using a scarlett solo interface and a Rode NT1 mic. Recently when trying to get audio approved for a website I’m trying to join, the last few tests I sent ended up having pops and clicks and cutting on words i didn’t notice in editing. When told about it, I went back and listened to the audio and heard what they were talking about. I thought in playback it was just a computer error. Since then, I’ve spent hours online researching potential causes and additional hours trying to fix, record, record, and record. No luck.

I a getting some of these that are clearly part of the recording because they remain in playback in the same spot no matter how many times I replay it. I am getting others that present in playback, but I will stop and then replay the section where it was heard and it is gone. This leads me to believe it is not my mic or interface or even the cables and cords i’m using. I thought maybe there could have been a short in a cable, but since the sounds are not always replaying in the same spot, I think its something else. Some of them are permanent and don’t disappear. This has been very devastating as I had projects I needed to complete. I’ve spent countless hours trying to resolve this and don’t know what else to do so I am reaching out for help here.

Here is an audio clip where I cut and pasted several sections from different recordings that had clips or pops that didn’t go away with multiple playbacks: https://soundcloud.com/brad-evans-574774774/clipnpop

I think they are obvious, but if needed, let me know and I will identify the spot in the recording where they occur


Please post a short sample from the raw (unprocessed) recording (just a few seconds) to this forum in WAV format.
(See: https://forum.audacityteam.org/t/how-to-post-an-audio-sample/29851/1)

is the soundcloud link I included in my original post not what you are asking for? or do you want a full raw recording of one take to hear where the clips and pops occur?
I’m using version 2.4.2 I even re-downloaded it last night because I couldn’t think of what else to try. Didn’t help

The first half of that clip will be fine, but it needs to be unprocessed. (Audio on SoundCloud is compressed for better streaming, but it slightly alters the audio, which is no good for diagnostic purposes).

Thank you for clarifying that. I’ve often thought there has to be some adjustment made to audio uploaded to soundcloud that limits the purity, but that is what I’ve been encouraged to use elsewhere. I’ve got a 4-5 second clip I can attach. The audible clip is just before 4 seconds in the first “741”

I didn’t realize I could attach something directly. I apologize I didn’t do that at first. here you go…

It looks like a “drop-out” (a small part of the waveform is missing). Have you disabled drop-out detection? (See: “Detect dropouts”)

First Track000.png

I haven’t heard of that. I’ll try it. According to that link, when audacity does that it will notify me in audacity that dropout was detected. I don’t ever get a notification of anything like that, but I’ll uncheck the box and see.

It should normally be checked (enabled).
If it is enabled, and you are getting dropouts like this, but no labels are created, then the dropouts are occurring before the audio data reaches Audacity.

Where would I see if a label was created?

You can’t miss it :wink:
First you get a warning message:

Then you get labels where the dropouts (clicks) occur:

Ok, yeah. I’ve never gotten anything like that. What suggestions do you have?

Is your recording as simple as:

  • 1 Rode NT1 microphone,
  • plugged into Scarlett Solo,
  • connected to the computer via USB,
  • recording into Audacity,
  • and nothing else?

Yes. that is correct. I am not sure what happened. I have been using the above mentioned set-up since I started earlier this year and now I’m getting these clips and pops and words being cut during recording. upon playback, I hear them. Some are permanent, but some disappear if I play back the section where I heard it several times. very strange.

Is everything up to date in your computer? (Windows update / anti-virus / anything else that updates itself)
Updating, or even looking for updates, can cause severe but temporary slow-downs that can cause headaches for media work. The best way to avoid that is to ensure that the computer is always fully updated.

I have checked for updates several times in the last couple days as outdated drivers was suggested as an issue. the Focusrite people sent me updated drivers for their control software and the interface itself. That didn’t resolve it yet either.

To help narrow down the root of the problem, try making a test recording in Windows Sound Recorder.

Just as a sidebar while you diagnose the root of the issue. Paul L’s DeClicker plugin seems to work wonders on the micro-clicks in your attached wav. It might be a good fix in the meantime for any takes that would be usable if it weren’t for minor but noticeable clicks.

I normalized to -3dB but did nothing else but apply DeClicker to the whole track at default settings. Here’s a pic of the click at 3.40947, raw on top, declicked below. It’s not perfect but smooth enough to pass unnoticed, at least to my ear.
Before and after wavs attached. Good luck identifying the cause and finding a solution.

Thanks for the feedack. I do use declicker to help with mouth noise when editing, but the obvious errors I get in audio have still been obvious in final product…especially when a word just cuts out and things like that

Ah, righto. Good luck.