Removing tiny 'cracks' from vinyl rips


When we numerise vinyl through special devices, there’s always noise into it. Removing the hiss is pretty easy and the big cracks too.
The big cracks are usually a long line that is pretty simple to locate and remove with the “repair” tool.

However when there are tiny cracks, sometimes these cracks seems impossible to locate and therefore to remove.

Any tips?

For example, on this screenshot of the wave form, there are 2 cracks… But I can’t locate them…

Try the [u]spectrogram View or Multi-view[/u].

I tried but I see nothing :-/
I actually don’t understand this view.

Edit: I can see a few lines that may match with the cracks. It helps a bit. Thanks.

I used the ClickRepair app - it cost a little but produced excellent results - and saved me a lot of time doing the manual type repairs that you are doing.

See this sticky thread:


Or [u]Wave Corrector[/u] which is now free.

I forgot my “standard advice” - Buy the CD or download the MP3 (if the recording is available digitally). :stuck_out_tongue:

Yes, but vinyl rips gives better sound when correctly remastered. You can clearly see the difference between a remastered CD rip and the same music remastered from a vinyl rip. It has a little something to it that sound more powerfull. Or maybe it’s just me.

Try spectrogram view

looking for clicks.png
Audacity’s spectral editing tools can cause less collateral-damage than repair tool.

Not just you …

Yes, but vinyl rips gives better sound when correctly remastered. You can clearly see the difference between a remastered CD rip and the same music remastered from a vinyl rip. It has a little something to it that sound more powerfull. Or maybe it’s just me.

You’re the one complaining about the “sound” of vinyl. :wink: It’s a matter of personal taste and some people do prefer vinyl or you may prefer the “sound” of a particular phono cartridge, but technically (noise, distortion, frequency response*) analog vinyl is an inferior format.

There will always be a difference, usually because of vinyl limitations but sometimes they are mastered differently and on older originally-analog recordings the CD/MP3 may have been poorly remastered.

And, you to some extent you can “remaster” digital to your tastes except you can’t really fix “loudness war” mastering. (You can’t fix that on vinyl either and modern vinyl is often made from the same digital master as the CD & MP3.)

Note that the vinyl cutting & playback process changes the wave shape and it often makes the vinyl “look” and “measure” more dynamic (depending on how you measure dynamics) but it doesn’t change the sound of the dynamics. Something similar happens with MP3 compression.** The MP3 version often has peaks that are slightly higher than the original (and some peaks lower than the original), but again these peaks are too short in duration to alter the sound of the dynamics.


  • The frequency response on a record can extend higher than a CD (limited to 22050Hz) but digital is flatter across the audible range and most of the ultrasonic information on a record is noise and distortion (not that it matters since it’s not audible).

** Don’t confuse MP3 file compression with dynamic compression. MP3 is lossy compression and it can introduce artifacts but it doesn’t damage the dynamics.

And not just the cartridge - the pre-amp that is necessary to apply the reverse RIAA equalization also has an effect on the sound (adding to that famous vinyl “warmth”).


Thank you very much for all this information & explanations, tough I’m really not a sound engineer so your terminology and references sounds a bit complicated to my newbie ears. What I mostly do when remastering vinyl rips is because these songs/tracks/music only exists as vinyl (at least as far as I know). Mostly 80’s 12 inch versions of songs that never got a into CD or any digital transfers. So, the only way to have these in the computer is to rip the vinyl…

I have used the spectogram view to locate the missing cracks and it quite worked well. Thanks for this. Though there are still extremely tiny cracks I can percieve but not locate. Not a big deal.

What are the “spectogram tools” actually, I don’t understand, I’ve searched but I don’t know what to do. If I have to play with frequencies and so on, I won’t be able to do that, I have no notion of this stuff…

If you can hear them they will be visible on the spectrogram,
but you may have to adjust the spectrogram settings to see them.

I have been trying the spectorgram tools and watched the video but that seems a bit complicated for me.
I tried the equalizer for some noises too and it worked for a noisy segment. Now I have some static/interferences I can’t figure out how to remove.
Here is the sample with a screenshot of the graphic with 2 different spectogram view settings.

So, if anybody can help with that, it’s welcome.

Reduce the spectrogram FFT window-size to 128 to see clicks.

The clicks will be easier to see if you apply this sort of equalization first to “sample.flac (146.6 KiB)” …

suggested equalization.png

Thank you. I did what you suggested but it didn’t work.
Here is the graphic at 128. The equalization you suggested didn’t remove the clics/cracks/parasites :-/
The repair tool is not working either on these. It actually makes it even worse.
Desktop Screenshot 2020.09.18 -

I didn’t claim it would: removing that trebley noise makes them more visible on the spectrogram.

Something has gone wrong when you captured that vinyl to produce the loud fizzy noise at 9-10kHz.

Try the RIAA equalization curve …

https ://
suggested spectrogram settings.png

Hello. Thank you but actually I did not rip the vinyl myself. Someone has bought it for me and ripped it (I don’t have a vinyl player/recorder myself). However, I checked some other versions of this track online and they all have these small parasites at the same place in the audio. It must be on the original recording. But that doesn’t mean it can’t be removed or that it should stay there. But it seems that it will stay there as I can’t find a way to get rid of them, at least without damaging the song/sound.