Strange Popping and Clicking Noise in audio

I am using Mac Yosemite (version 10.10.5) on a Macbook Pro with 2.5 GHz Intel core i5. Am using Audacity 2.1.2. What’s happening is when I use Audacity now, recording or importing audio, there’s quite a bit of unwanted pops and clicks that shouldn’t exist. It could be a latency issue but I’m not sure (says "0 seconds to buffer and -150 seconds latency correction). It was making these clicks for a couple months then got worse when I started monitoring a loud mic’d guitar amp. In November I switched to El Capitan like a moron and had to switch back to Yosemite because the same unwanted pops were there. Now that I’ve switched back, it was working okay for two weeks and now it’s way worse. Please let me know if there’s any more information you need, I have records to transfer all the way from October! :slight_smile:

So it’s a playback problem and never a recording problem?

Exactly what playback device have you chosen in Device Toolbar? Please give make and model number if it’s an external device.

With what physical connection to where are you monitoring the amp?

Generally, if a low “Audio to buffer” setting does not help, try turning off WiFi, and right-click or CTRL-click over > Get Info… then check (tick) the box “Prevent App Nap”.


If I record in Garageband everything sounds fine, no pops or anything. However, if I take that same recording, import it to audacity, export it and play it in iTunes, plenty of clicking going on.
Anyway, I’m using a USB connection most of the time. It’s either with my turntable (Numark TTX), with my Yeti microphone, or my ProFX12 mixer. These all sound good in Garageband but in Audacity not really. I’ve heard rumors that it could be the Pro Tools Aggregate? As soon as I heard that I deleted Pro Tools and removed the aggregate from the settings on the laptop.
I monitored the guitar amp with the Yeti mic that day, then it got noisy, maybe it was too loud and it did something to Audacity. But usually I have the settings on 2 channels (stereo), 44 kHZ, and input device is set to USB Audio.
I’ve clicked “No Nap” so I’ll come back in a few minutes after I’ve tried it… :slight_smile:

Okay, so I clicked “No Application Nap” like you suggested, then I changed the latency/buffer. I think I messed with those because I was adding on top of drums and the delay was a bit distracting. So I put the Audio Buffer at 150 and Latency at 130. They seem close to default, now I’ve imported a Blues Traveler song and am hearing no clicks/noise right now. I hope this a healthy setting for both because I have plenty of records to transfer. Do you think it’s an okay setting?

The export from Audacity should not be adding clicks.

Suppose you exit Audacity. Don’t have Audacity set to launch when you reboot. Record in GarageBand. Play the file in iTunes. Quit and restart iTunes and play the song. Do you hear clicks?

Running ProTools and other audio editors at the same time is not likely to be a good idea.

I don’t know how you are monitoring, but you should not use Audacity’s software playthrough because that always has delay (and the Audio to buffer setting is disregarded if software playthrough is on).

The known Audacity problem is that other things being equal, playback can be clicky on Mac, especially when using Soundflower or external devices, unless Audio to buffer is set to around 0 or a little above. I think that is still the case in 2.1.2. However you should experiment with a few test recordings at different, low buffer settings to make sure you don’t get dropouts when recording. If you do, take the buffer a little higher until you don’t get dropouts.


Okay, now I know. Pro Tools is gone and so is the aggregate. Think that might have helped, thankfully it was the free version. the only reason I got it was because it allowed playback while EQing (which the old Audacity didn’t allow).

I had “Overdub” and “Software Playback” checked while recording. Monitored by clicking the “click to start monitoring” button on the main screen before recording. But it looks like after I unchecked those and changed the Audio Buffer to 100 (default) and latency to 130 (hopefully that’s normal) I think the problem kinked itself out. I messed with both of them to stop delay with the guitar track while recording, think I may just listen in from here on and experiment with the latency.
With all that said, I’ve exported a short soundbite into iTunes and it plays awesomely. Thanks a bunch! :slight_smile:

OK. Just to be clear, all the Audacity “Latency” setting does is to determine where the recorded track is moved to after doing a recording with other tracks present and overdub on.


Just don’t leave software playthrough on during playback.

I recorded from Soundflower (2 channel), with software playthrough on, default buffering and latency correction. Playback had lots of low-level clicks, and I thought there was something wrong with the recording. I fiddled with buffering and latency correction, no help. Then I turned off software playthrough for playback, and playback was OK.

Nothing was wrong with the recording. Using Soundflower and software playthrough for recording did not cause any problems.

Thanks for the comment.

Software playthrough should not operate during playback, but what device are you using for Audacity playback?

You don’t have to record with software playthrough on in order to hear the recording. You could turn on Soundflowerbed instead.