Removing scratch (static?)

Good day. Don’t know what this scratching sound is. I guess it must be some magnetic disturbance due to poor storage of a DAT or ADAT tape from which this was transfered years ago. I’m looking at it in spectrogram but don’t know exactly what to look for. Can this noise be removed?

As always - thanx.

Here’s a screenshot, if that will help. I see some white in the midrange. Is that normal? I’m just starting out with spectrogram, so don’t know much about it.


It’s quite easy to see the problem in a few places in the normal waveform view. Those spikes are some form of interference / corruption and shouldn’t be there. If there were just one or two, then you could have used the Repair tool (, but as there are dozens in that sample (and I’m guessing hundreds or thousands in the whole track), I don’t think it is practical to attempt repaire - It’s too badly damaged.


Thank you, Steve. I find it noticable only in a couple of places. I think I could split the stereo into mono and copy selections from the bottom track into the top track. Kind of like patching those few areas. At least I know what it looks like now.

I don’t think that will be very successful. The visible spikes are the worst damaged parts, but there is audible damage throughout most of the audio, which is too small to see, but still sounds crackly / bad. (Certainly bad enough to ruin my listening enjoyment).

poor storage of a DAT or ADAT tape from which this was transfered years ago.

So you don’t have access to the original tape and/or player? DAT tapes do not have a good reputation. There is a standing joke about performing a backup recording on any DAT sound shoot. About half of the time you will be using the backup because the DAT tape will not be usable. 50%. I’m not making that up.

Have you ever seen a video of how a home video recorder pulls the tape out of the cartridge and carefully threads it around the rapidly rotating drum? That’s how DAT machines work, except very few home video recorders get stuffed into a run bag, bounced in the back of a car, frozen, boiled and then dropped on the way to a shoot.

It’s widely understood that the data transfer from a DAT machine is simply not going to work and the only way to get the show from the tape is the headphone connection.

That’s what you’re holding.

So no, the show is terminal.


I am wondering if I can manually remove the spikes in places where there is noticable noise? For example, can I select one byte and level with volume reduction?

I’d try running it through Brian Davies ClicRepair - he gives you a 14-day free trial - see this sticky thread