Why doesn't the effects toolbar work for me? (NEWBIE)


I just successfully recorded one side of an album. The next thing I attempted was trying to use the effect tools. I can magnify and highlight clicks and pops, but neither the click removal nor the noise removal appears to have any effect on what I’m trying to edit. The pulldown windows enable me to attempt the process, and it looks like it should have worked, but nothing happens, no matter how many times I try to repeat the process or adjust the sensitivity levels! What am I doing wrong? I tried this both before and after I saved the project. Any input will be appreciated.

Thanks, GeeZee

Personally I have never had much joy with the click removal effect in Audacity - so what I have done is to remove them manually. Version 1.3 of Audacity is much better for this as the developers have added a new “Repair” effect - this will mend a broken portion of waveform, up to 128 samples, by interpolating from the neighbouring waveforms.

To use it you really need to zoom in (use the magnifying glass icon) to the level where you can see the individual samples (little dots will shoe on the waveform). Then select up to 128 samples 1.3.x has a counter display at the bottom to help with this - then click Effect/Repair (if you are doing a lot of repairs then so long as you don’t use any other effect meanwhile then Repair will remain the current effect and you can use the Ctrl-R shortcut. In 1.2.x of Audacity you will have to instead use the pencil tool to redraw the waveform manually. It’s probably worth testing the repair before moving to the next one.

BTW: a useful tip for finding the clicks is to use the “Spectrum” view of the project rather that “Waveform” - click on the little downward pointing triangle in the control box of the track to get a dropdown to do this. Clicks/pops will show up as strong bold vertical lines. But I recommend switching back to the Waveform view for the actual Repair.

If you get a really big click/pop that’s bigger than 128 samples then you can try selecting the whole lot and deleting the offending noise. This however may leave you with a disjoint waveform (which would sound like a click itself). To solve this, simply zoom in as soon as you have done the delete without moving the cursor. Then select some samples either side and apply the “Repair”. This does not always work - so certainly test this and use the Undo function to go back to where you were before (i.e. undo the Repair and the Delete).

This manual process is very time consuming, but produces excellent results - well worth doing if you have treasured recordings that can no longer be purchased on modern media.

BTW: I also use Audacity mainly for transcribing/repairing vinyl & tapes - and 1.3 has proved well stable enough for these relatively modest needs (you will also get better label handling in 1.3 as an added bonus).