Recording Clarity

I am recording LPs from my ION turntable to the Computer Desktop. The LPs are old; however, I have cleaned them up using a method found on You Tube (Rain-X Windshield cleaner and a microfiber rag). Clean-up really seems to do the job, but I still have crackling in the recorded files and some “tinny” sounding music. I understand that where there are scratches on the LP, I will get a click as the LP spins. Is there a way to use Audacity or other available web site’s information to reduce/delete these recorded sounds?

I started out making manual repairs with Audacity and then using the Effect>Repair tool to fix them one at a time - effective, but very tedious.

Audacity does have a click removal effect but it’s not the “best in class” - following a steer from one of the other forum elves, Kozikowski, I then used Brian Davies’ excellent Click Repair to automate the process. See this sticky thread:
It costs a little but will save you loads of time and it does an excellent job.


You might find this workflow from the Manual useful:

It’s part of this tutorial set:


In Audacity, there is a Click Removal “effect” or you an try “re-drawing” the waveform with the mouse.

It can be tricky to “find” the defect in the waveform when you zoom-in. If you click the little drop-down arrow to the left of the waveform, you can select Spectrogram view which usually makes e the clicks & pops stand-out visually. Once you find the defect in the Spectrogram and zoom-in, you can can change back to the normal waveform view.

There is specialized software for this. [u]This page[/u] has several software suggestions (as well as tons of other information about digitizing LPs).

I use a program called [u]Wave Repair[/u] ($30 USD) which was developed by the author of the above web page. In the manual mode it does a “perfect” job on most clicks & pops, and it only “touches” the audio where you identify a defect. But, it’s VERY time consuming and it usually takes me a full weekend to clean-up a digitized LP. ( I’m getting lazy and I’m going to try one of the more automated programs next time.)

…some “tinny” sounding music.

That’s just the record, right? I mean, most or some of your records don’t have that tinny sound, right?

If most records don’t “sound right”, your turntable may have a [u]ceramic cartridge[/u] which is quite a bit lower-quality than a magnetic cartridge. That website has [u]reviews of several Ion turntables[/u] so you you might be able to check your specific model.

You probably can’t totally fix the tinny sound, but you can use the Equalizer effect to bring-down the mid-high frequencies and maybe bring-up the lower frequencies.

You’ll have to adjust the EQ by ear. When you are “experimenting”, it’s usually easier to use the Graphic Equalizer Mode than the Draw Curves Mode. If you haven’t used an equalizer before, the low frequency bands (bass) are on the left and the higher frequencies (treble) are on the right.

I’ve found it more common for older LPs (from the 60s to mid 70s) to be a little “dull” and I’m often boosting the higher frequencies by 3-6dB. But, every record is different… Classical records were generally better than popular records, and records got better and more consistent after the disco era (late 70s).

After EQ (or any editing that affects the levels/volume) it’s a good idea to normalize (adjust the levels so the peaks hit 0dB) before exporting. Audacity itself can go over 0dB, but CDs, normal WAV files, as well as your digital-to-analog converter are all limited to 0dB, and if you try to go over you’ll get clipping (distortion).

If you run the Amplify effect, it will scan the file and default for an adjustment (up or down) as required for 0dB peaks. Or, you can run the Amplify effect to check the peaks and then cancel if you don’t want to change the volume.

Thanks to all you “Helpers’” replies. Think the stylus may be part of the problem, so I will order the correct one for my ION iTTUSB10 and see if it improves the recordings…otherwise, I will attempt to take advantage of the other suggestions that might clear up my issues!!

Very Much Appreciated!!


According to the chart, the TTUSB10 has a moving magnet cartridge so that part should be OK. You may just have some old worn-out records that may not have sounded that good when they were new.

…If that were the problem, you can’t just change the stylus. You’d have to change the whole cartridge (pickup). It’s not worth doing because the cheap ceramic cartridges usually don’t have a standard mount and you’d need to add a preamp in-between the pickup and the analog-to-digital converter (ceramic cartridges have higher output and don’t use a preamp).

The tinny noise is a big issue with Audacity. When I do a search I see hundreds of cases but having a hard time finding
a solution.

What appears to have worked for me (for now anyway) is to change the recording volume from 1.0 to 0.6

Your mileage may vary :slight_smile:
Take care

I disagree that it is “a big issue with Audacity”, other than due to the fact that a vast number of people use Audacity for recording from vinyl, so even a minute percentage of users having problems will amount to a large number in absolute terms.

Audacity has virtually no control over the quality of vinyl recordings - it records whatever audio it receives. As described in various posts in this thread, there can be many reasons for poor quality sound, and in most cases it is due to the equipment being used. If Audacity is given tinny sound to record, then Audacity will record tinny sound - that is not the fault of Audacity. When used with good equipment that is correctly set up, and with good quality clean records, you can expect excellent quality recording with Audacity. If that is not happening, then we are here to try and help resolve problems.

I second that - and I have used Audacity to transcribe hundreds of LPs with absolutely excellent results.

In many cases when folk get a “tinny” sound it’s because they connect the outputs of a record deck directly to the computer or external USB soundcard without passing the signal through a phono pre-amp. The pre-amp as well as providing amplification also importantly reverses the RIAA equalization that is always present on LPs (and 45s) to prevent the need jumping out of the groove. The RIAA EQ that is applied by the recording engineer de-emphasizes the bass - and thus without reverse RIAA EQ at the playing end the results will sound tinny - and as Steve says that is not down to Audacity.


The sound coming from a phono cartridge isn’t regular audio like plugging in a cassette machine. It has intentional RIAA distortion needed to make music fit in the grooves. If you don’t take the distortion out, the shows will sound very tinny and gutless. That’s what the Phono-In of entertainment systems does. The shows goes through RIAA Removal before the sound goes anywhere else.

Behringer makes a stand-alone preamp called the UFO202 that has a Phono Pramplifier built in. It knows what RIAA is.

Most USB turntables have that correction built-in, but some of them also have analog cables and the provision to turn RIAA off. You would need that if you were going to compensate for RIAA somewhere else, like plug your turntable into your existing entertainment system which already knows what RIAA is.

It’s an alarm bell whenever somebody says “my records sound tinny.” No, you can’t plug your older, high-quality turntable into the Mic-In of your laptop. That’s wrong on so many levels.

Of course, on the other hand, nobody is throwing awards at USB turntables for high quality. You’re going to get to the last record and throw the whole thing out, right? So you bought equipment with a known trash date.