Clicks/Beeps in Recorded Audio w. Video Examples

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MarcusAurelius
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Clicks/Beeps in Recorded Audio w. Video Examples

Post by MarcusAurelius » Fri Oct 10, 2014 9:27 pm

Hello folks!

First I need to be clear that this problem has nothing to do with Audacity itself, it simply evidences itself when I record with Audacity as well as other recorders, and I can see it visually using Audacity when I post-process. I occasionally record directly with Audacity (I did so in this video) and always use it to post-process my Audio (noise remove, normalize, compress, equalize, normalize again). If this is the wrong section of the forum for this I apologize - please direct me to the correct one.

I am using Windows 7, Audacity 2.0.4 and I obtained it from the .EXE.

I am a Youtube let's player (I play video games and record commentary) and for a long while now I have had problems with clicks, beeps, and other noise artifacts in my audio. I will link below to a short video that gives both audio and visual (waveform, using Audacity and Sony Movie Studio visualizers) examples of these artifacts.

As the video explains, I'm looking for A) what is causing the noise? Is it mouth noise, a mic problem, a connection problem, something else? And failing that, B) what is the best way to remove it? I am currently just cutting them out of the waveform which works but is very labor intensive and occasionally produces a thud or gap in the audio that's probably just as bad as the click it's replacing.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k2GETGley60

I appreciate any help you are willing to share. Thanks!

-Marcus

kozikowski
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Re: Clicks/Beeps in Recorded Audio w. Video Examples

Post by kozikowski » Sat Oct 11, 2014 3:08 am

Remember in the dialog when you said you would post a time stamp for the distortion sample? Do that.

I'm with the YouTube poster who can't hear anything wrong, but that doesn't mean it's not there. It's just the most fun when two out of five listeners can't hear the problem. Technological Twilight Zone.

What else is the computer doing? Do you leave Skype running in the background?

You didn't tell us enough about the specifics of your setup. USB microphone? Which one? Pretend I'm going to buy your system.


I would recommend upgrading to the current 2.0.6.
http://audacityteam.org/download/windows

Koz

MarcusAurelius
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Re: Clicks/Beeps in Recorded Audio w. Video Examples

Post by MarcusAurelius » Sat Oct 11, 2014 5:53 am

Hi there! Thanks for responding. I did post a comment with all the timestamps. It's the only comment by me. It might have moved down a bit.
I am using a Blue Snowball USB mic. It is plugged directly into motherboard. I have an ASUS board (exact model in one of my replies to a video comment - I'm away from my machine for the weekend). The onboard sound is Realtek. I have mic volume - in windows - set at 50%. The mic cord is close to and touches my keyboard and mouse cords...hard to keep them separated.
Frankly I'm puzzled some folks can't hear it. I know we are always our own worst critics but it seems unbearably noticeable to me.

Trebor
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Re: Clicks/Beeps in Recorded Audio w. Video Examples

Post by Trebor » Sat Oct 11, 2014 6:31 am

MarcusAurelius wrote:As the video explains, I'm looking for A) what is causing the noise? Is it mouth noise, a mic problem, a connection problem, something else?
It's not digital , it's mechanical : the diaphragm of the mic occasionally sticking and freeing itself with a click + ring.
IMO microscopic blobs of saliva hitting and accumulating on the diaphragm are the culprit, ( don't try to clean the diaphragm yourself it's too fragile ). It sounds like you are too close to the mic.
MarcusAurelius wrote:B) what is the best way to remove it? I am currently just cutting them out of the waveform which works but is very labor intensive and occasionally produces a thud or gap in the audio that's probably just as bad as the click it's replacing.
Prevention : #1 back off from the mic a bit , (#1b add some stocking-fabric to your popshield ).

Removal : Automatic De-click software is a solution , like Brian Davies De-click which the cheapest commercial de-click software I've seen. A free experimental prototype de-click plugin is available for Audacity here ... http://forum.audacityteam.org/viewtopic ... 49#p245549

[ PS you're using a bit too much noise reduction ]
Attachments
Marcus original, slow-original, beep, repaired, slow-repaired.wav
(1.15 MiB) Downloaded 130 times
Spectrogram @ 1 sec of ''Marcus original, slow-original, beep, repaired, slow-repaired''.png
ping-ring @ 12kHz
Spectrogram @ 1 sec of ''Marcus original, slow-original, beep, repaired, slow-repaired''.png (210.99 KiB) Viewed 3790 times
Last edited by Trebor on Sat Oct 11, 2014 7:28 am, edited 1 time in total.

kozikowski
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Re: Clicks/Beeps in Recorded Audio w. Video Examples

Post by kozikowski » Sat Oct 11, 2014 7:01 am

PS you're using a bit too much noise reduction
+1. Your voice has a talking into a wine glass sound and the spaces between words are deathly dead quiet. Both of those can be caused by too much noise reduction.
the diaphragm of the mic occasionally sticking and freeing itself with a click + ring.
IMO microscopic blobs of saliva hitting and accumulating on the diaphragm are the culprit, ( don't try to clean the diaphragm yourself it's too fragile ). It sounds like you are too close to the mic.
I don't think that's the case. The poster said it doesn't matter what the volume is, and that's a loud volume problem. Given how condenser microphones work, having a plate touch would give you a lot more troubles than a little tick. Also, this microphone has a -10dB switch for recording very loud sounds and instruments, meaning the plates will handle a lot higher volume than somebody announcing loudly.

I'm trying really hard to get Blue to tell me what the maximum undamaged volume is and apparently that information is not available. The user manual has been aggressively consumerized and what technical information there is is jammed into a tiny panel that's difficult to see.

Koz

MarcusAurelius
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Re: Clicks/Beeps in Recorded Audio w. Video Examples

Post by MarcusAurelius » Sat Oct 11, 2014 3:35 pm

Thanks! I have noise removal at 25 (the top slider). What should I lower it to? I also feel I'm too close to the mic but I record in a small space and when I move back even with the cardiod you can hear the echo. I don't have the budget to soundproof the walls :(.

Trebor
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Re: Clicks/Beeps in Recorded Audio w. Video Examples

Post by Trebor » Sat Oct 11, 2014 8:08 pm

MarcusAurelius wrote:Thanks! I have noise removal at 25 (the top slider). What should I lower it to?
10 is a typical value for me, you should use the bare minimum of noise reduction. There should still be a hint of hiss-noise between words rather than total silence, as the onset of speech after total silence is jarring, (see comfort noise).
MarcusAurelius wrote: I also feel I'm too close to the mic but I record in a small space and when I move back even with the cardiod you can hear the echo. I don't have the budget to soundproof the walls :(.
You could put the mic in a box lined with acoustic foam, ( a mini DIY vocal-booth ) ...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UTeUeRxAS7M [ home made ]
http://harlanhogan.com/images/portaboothFullFront.jpg [store bought ]

I'm new to Paul-L's de-clicker plugin, so I'm still experimenting to find optimum settings , but it definitely works, see attached wav ...
marcus , before-after Paul-L de-clicker plugin.wav
de-clicking most noticeable on "I've" ,
[ maybe "I've" overdid the de-click settings, but it demonstrates the Paul-L's plugin works ].
(366.92 KiB) Downloaded 81 times

MarcusAurelius
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Re: Clicks/Beeps in Recorded Audio w. Video Examples

Post by MarcusAurelius » Sat Oct 11, 2014 10:20 pm

Thanks again. I'm away from my computer until Monday but I'll check out the declicker then.
So to summarize this thread so far, the sound is not mouth noise, so a new mic could improve it? I was planning on upgrading anyway but wanted to be sure it wasn't fruitless, if the problem was my voice or my computer.

MarcusAurelius
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Re: Clicks/Beeps in Recorded Audio w. Video Examples

Post by MarcusAurelius » Tue Oct 14, 2014 4:57 am

So it's been a few days and I guess no one can determine with certainty where these sounds originate from. Pretty fun to have a unique problem :). However, since so many people on my channel claim to not even be able to hear them, I invested in a good pair of studio headphones that provide clean sound (i.e. no extra bass and all that).

The only solutions I have been given is a declicker program that I will try as soon as I get a chance, and the suggestion to lower the noise removal.

If anyone is still following the thread, I lowered the noise removal to 10 in a recent video and didn't notice too big a difference, except for my mouse clicking is pretty easy to hear and annoying. Trebor and Kozikowski, if you would do me the favor of checking out a minute or two of it and tell me if you perceive less of the "wine glass" effect you noted. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CuOe39otSkk

If not, any other suggestions? Is there a "best practices" guide for Audacity tools like noise removal, compressor, normalization, equalization, for podcast-type speech? I would never have learned on my own to drop noise removal to 10, for example, and don't even know what the other options do. Videos on Youtube just say: "here are my settings - copy them", without a fundamental explanation of what they do.

I also want to say I really appreciate the responses and support for my issue when the cause isn't directly Audacity. I really enjoy using the program and would honestly pay for it (my reason for not getting a paid software like Audition is that you don't buy it, you rent it, basically. I'm more a one-and-done kind of guy). When all this audio stuff was way beyond my level of understanding, it's nice to hear from folks who understand it. Thanks!

-Marcus

waxcylinder
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Re: Clicks/Beeps in Recorded Audio w. Video Examples

Post by waxcylinder » Tue Oct 14, 2014 8:53 am

MarcusAurelius wrote:I also want to say I really appreciate the responses and support for my issue when the cause isn't directly Audacity. I really enjoy using the program and would honestly pay for it ...
Marcus, we always welcome donations (even small ones, it all helps) :)

See: http://audacityteam.org/donate/

WC
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