Trying to clear unexplained cliping.

I was recording a friend playing piano. My setup was an electric piano (like a clavinova) line out to line in on a windows laptop. I tried recording a few seconds and it sounded fine but I let him record through the rest of it and at the end listened back. It came out like this . I thought maybe if I exported it would fix it because it is not exactly a high spec computer but it came out the exact same.
I tried a few effects and played with the settings and either got no change or they removed the clicks but degraded audio quality. I have good experience with audacity and similar software but couldn’t crack this one. We could record it again with better settings or a proper audio interface if we can get one but it would be easier if there is some way of getting by without.

Thanks in advance,

line out to line in on a windows laptop.

There are some Windows laptops that have stereo Line-In, but there aren’t many and they tend to be higher end. Most Windows laptops have a Mic-In.

It’s mono and set to receive the low-level, delicate signal from a microphone, not the robust, powerful stereo signal from a keyboard. Every time you stress a note or chord, it crackles, right? That’s the microphone amplifier overloading.

Is that what you did?


It’s definitely not clipping, it’s more like skipping

''bad Audacity record'' is not 'clipping'.gif

In which case see this FAQ on skipping:


I am aware of laptops with line in and mic, and yes I just used the mic and it was overloading at the start (not sounding like the one on the audio file given). I turned the piano down very low and the kind of crackling sound became unnoticeable on a test record, it was only near at the end of the session when i listened back and heard skips, that sounded different to the over amplification noise.

See that skipping piece. Skipping is usually some step in the process not going fast enough for live audio. It drops bits or samples here and there.

As you record anything, the computer slows down, usually imperceptibly, but if you have some condition right on the edge of failure, a simple recording may push you over.

Most people want to solve the problem and get on with their life, but the the act of making it worse can sometimes tell you what the problem is. Is there anything you can do to make it worse?