Total noob, with a deadline of next Thursday!

Hello everyone,

My grandfather’s 80th birthday is next Friday. I have - very last minute - been asked to help clean up a recording from an album that he made when he was in high school. There is a massive amount of “scratch” sound in the file. It was handed to me in Audacity project file(s) format (2 songs total.)

I have tried learning a huge amount in the last two days, and when I get close to cleaning out the scratch, I also loose the music. The scratch is actually MUCH louder than the music, which is all tuba solo.

Is there any chance someone with much more experience would be willing to help with this project? I’ll gladly submit exports, or anything else, but may need to be walked through the steps. I’m looking at the post right now, about how to submit a sample. (I have figured out how to remove the clicks, so am not so worried about those, but the scratch is horrendous.)

Thank you,

At the risk of being the cold water thrower, Audacity doen’st have very good forensics tools. We can’t turn mostly trash into a musical performance – as you noted. The CSI tools don’t really exist. The Audacity tools are designed to suppress background noises and gentle hum or fan noise.

By all means submit a segment of music. If you pick too large or long a sample the forum will reject it, so you can’t break anything.


Thank you. In theory, I was hoping there might be some way to isolate the sound range of a tuba, vs. the sound ‘noise’ and separate the two. I’ve been working with Noise Removal, Amplify, Simple Amplify (the tuba is almost imperceptible over the scratch.) The tuba starts about half way into this short clip, which is from second 5 to 10 of the file.

(For the record, I am on Windows 7 Pro, x64, with the exe installer of Audacity installed about 2 days ago. I also installed the two recommended plugin packs from that page.)


Some other other elves may want to take a crack at it, but I don’t see pulling music out of that any time soon.

Noise Removal is less magic than you think. When you capture the profile in the first step, Audacity remembers all the notes and tones and then later, when you apply the filter to the show, it tries to subtract all those tones from the performance. The trouble with hash, white noise, and scratches, is they trigger all musical tones. That’s why Audacity is trying to subtract everything from the show, music and all.

In the sample, there is a bass drum or something at the beginning making the critically important profile step much more difficult.

This is the best I could do.


You can improve that recording in Audacity a little bit by removing all the sound above about 4KHz using the equalization “curve” below…
equalizaion suggestion.gif
Almost everything above 4KHz on that recording is not music, so you can get rid of it. Unfortunately equalization will not remove the clicks & crackles , see “Brian Davies de-click” for that …

“Asleep in the Deep.wav” must be one of the scratchiest recordings ever submitted to his forum :astonished:
IMO You’ll need specialist record-cleaning software like Brian Davies de-click & de-noise [21 day free trial ]"Brian+Davies"+%2Bsettings++%2Bclick++crackle

To process that scratchy track so it is audible to an 80 year old , in a few of days, using software you’re unfamiliar with, looks like mission-impossible to me, [ start thinking about an alternative gift ].

Thank you everyone! That equalizer plugin turned out to be priceless. What I did, was lowered all sounds between 0-40Hz, and 400+Hz, since the Tuba’s frequency is about 43-350 (aprox.) I also used it to increase the volume on the tuba’s frequency range. This had a huge effect in improving the ability to even hear it. After that, noise removal went much smoother.

As for scratchiest, I’m not surpised - it was recorded via laptop, from an old 45… We’re talking about a source LP that is probably about 60+ years old! It also happens to be the ONLY surviving copy, hence this project for his 80th birthday.

There are actually two songs- the second one came out MUCH better. I’ll post a sample of ‘where I’m at’ with them tomorrow - early day tomorrow.