What is causing the crackling on this vinyl??

[Not sure if this is in the right forum section - apologies if not]

I know this has nothing to do with Audacity as such, but wondering if anyone would be kind enough to offer suggestions?

I’ve recently been buying up various 12" vinyl to collect remixes by a particular artist. While most are great, there’s one in particular that I can’t rip properly. While the vinyl looks pristine, the pops and crackles throughout the recording make it almost unlistenable. I ran it through the most recent version of DeNoiseLF, then ClickRepair, then DeNoise. I tried various settings for ClickRepair, and went up to max for “DeCrackle” but all without success. Having run the recording through various filters, I also tried the Audacity’s “Noise Reduction”, but without success. The problem is that the music is breakbeat, with lots of high frequency drums and cymbals - even though Audacity and other filtering software can remove the noise from the silent parts of the song, they can’t seem to touch the stuff which is overlayed on the drums/cymbals etc. So every drum beat has a handful of crackles associated with it - it’s a nightmare.

The vinyl looks very clean
It’s not a white label - it is a promo release, but it’s an official FFRR vinyl with appropriate labels and sleeve.
I ran it through my record cleaning gadget, and it has been de-static-ified
The turntable cartridge is clean, and free of fluff
All other vinyl I’ve ripped using Audacity, and exactly the same hardware setup has come out quite nicely

Stumped! I resorted to buying a WAV download, in case the pops and crackles are actually part of the music (long shot, I know). The downloaded WAV is ‘clean’ as I’d expect. Given that this is a second-hand vinyl, is it possible that a previous owner has damaged it in some way? I’m thinking maybe it has been played wet, or something (and if so, is the vinyl effectively dead now)?

Anyone go any ideas as to what is actually causing this?

Again - I know this isn’t anything to do with Audacity software, and so apologies if I’m being a bit cheeky by asking. And even if it’s ok for me to ask about this, I’m sorry if this post should be in a different forum section!


That’s OK. We’re resilient.

Nowhere in all that did you say the magic words, “It plays perfectly on somebody else’s phonograph.” I bet it doesn’t. Go to the club and get them to play it just long enough to see. Buy the DJ a pint.


Thanks :slight_smile:

Are you thinking maybe the vinyl is in poor shape, and that it won’t play anywhere? Perhaps it’s simply a bad recording…? Either that or something has happened to it since new that has messed it up… Whatever it is, it’s not visible to the naked eye (and it doesn’t appear to be static either).

Perhaps a bad pressing or something?

If the system plays other vinyl albums correctly, then the only other possibility is a bad record.

When I do a master transfer of records, I literally scrub them with dish washing up soap and warm water. Rinse carefully in distilled water which drys and leaves nothing behind. No alcohol or other chemicals.

Couldn’t hurt.


I’ve got a “Disco Antistat” manual record cleaning machine - I ran it through that before I tried to rip it the second time. But I’ll certainly give it a go with washing-up liquid and warm water. When you say “scrub” - do you use a brush, and if so what sort of thing do you use?

I am also interesed in the answer to that last question…

Or quite possibly what is know as a “cold pressing”. When the record is made the blob of vinyl goes between the stamper plates (the “negatives” of the record) whic are supposed to be heated to a specific temperature. If the operator was lazy and pressed the album before the plates hasd warmed up properly, what happens than is that when the plates are withdrawn they damage the grooves.

When I was still buying vinyl I would sometimes go through 3 or four copies back to the store till I got a clean pressing. They were very gald when I moved to CDs :smiley:


That is good to know. Unfortunately, it’s hard to find necessarily clean pressings when you are finding your LP’s at an antique store. Is there a way to tell visually if the pressing was defective? Also, has anybody else noticed in any recordings a “reverse echo” occurring, where you can just barely hear the audio that will be playing in a few seconds? My guess is that this is bleed from reel to reel windings that they may have used as a master before cutting the record. Anybody else picked up on this or have any insights? Maybe I will try to see if I can find some audio as an eample.

<<<When you say “scrub”>>>

No, you find a paper towel that won’t fall apart when it gets wet or a small washcloth or clean dish towel. You’re after vigorous agitation of the fluid. If you have to start digging dirt out of the grooves with a brush, you may have more problems than a little Palmolive For Dishes can handle. The detergent will float away all the greasy fingerprints and gentle scrubbing helps. Rinse in luke warm water until all the soap is gone and then last rinse in distilled which dries 100%. Los Angeles tends to have tap water with so many minerals in it that you can stake a mining claim in many bathtubs. My house in Maryland on the other coast didn’t, so there I didn’t need the distilled final rinse.


“Scrubbing” sounds a bit too vigorous. “Vigorous agitation of the fluid” - that sounds better. (don’t want to damage the vinyl).
Back in the days when I still had my vinyl collect (ok so some of it is still up in the attic) I had a square of velvet (an off-cut from some upholstery material) which I reserved for cleaning records.