I was just wondering what some peoples opinions are about the crackling, hissing, etc associated with transferring vinyl, cassettes and other analogue sources.
What I have found out is that most of the tools I have seen usually lower the high and some mid on the equalizer. It seems like the equivalent. I find it useless.
Is there a process to follow? Can more be done?
When I transfer my material I do editing, put on a limiter, etc. Most of the time I cannot hear the hissing or crackling. I don't think if a recording is analogue that those sounds can be eliminated. They are there. But is the point to minimize it?
Some of my CD's are originally analogue recordings and a person can hear the crackling, hissing, etc.
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Many audio editing programs do noise removal. I use the Nero Wave Editor a bit for that sort of thing. Have a Google for it because I think it's a standalone program and I think it's free, but I'm still using an older version that came with the Nero 7 suite. It has filtering for removing crackles and pops that work quite well. For noise removal you need to find a section where there's nothing but noise if possible, let Nero analyse it, then apply it to the entire audio. You can usually reduce noise and hiss a bit that way but you'll probably never get rid of it completely without it having a noticeable effect on the audio itself. How much you can remove sometimes involves a little trial and error.
Audacity has a similar noise removal method. I can't remember if it has a filter for removing clicks and crackle but it probably does. Or there's no doubt other free audio editors to be found and they probably mostly have a similar noise removal method.
For noise suppression to be effective you need to make a noise print first. Get a quiet passage with only noise and tell the filter that is noise. Then apply this to the whole file. To remove cracks things are more straightforward.
Most important thing is not to throw out the baby with the bathwater, I have seen far too many examples of people applying thick noise suppression and thereby harming the sound. Key is always to use moderation.
@newpball, you have just contradicted yourself. First, you say "the difficulty is 'what is noise' and 'what is wanted signal'", and then you say "equalizing the highs out is just silly". YOU. DON'T. KNOW. WHAT. THE. NOISE. IS. The OP does.
No, it is not silly, IF: you have a 78rpm record which has little to NO high end (not possible for its technology), and your capture full spectrum. OF COURSE the filtering of the high end will remove noise (broadband & crackle/ticks) while removing little if any of the wanted sound.
There are a very wide variety of types of (unwanted) noise, and a wide variety of ways of removing them (I can think of 17 right off the top of my head).
Only a few of them use noise pattern analysis in preparation for removal.
I agree, don't "throw the baby out with the bathwater". Use a scalpel instead of a sledgehammer when processing/noise-reducing. And use moderation.
(Might be a good idea for you to use a scalpel instead of a sledgehammer -and moderation- in your arguments as well)
I tend to try to EQ out a least some of the noise if possible, but it of course depends on the source. For audio that only contains speech I'd try to EQ out any low frequency hum or high frequency hiss first, then use the analysis to remove as much remaining noise as possible. Sometimes even if notching out a bit of noise with EQ does effect the EQ of the audio itself a little, it still enables the noise filter to remove more noise without having a negative effect, and noise removal tends to sound a lot worse than a little EQing when too much is applied. It's all about trial and error and finding a happy balance.
Give wavecor.com a try.The trial version will only give a limited time,but long enough to see if it works for you.I have used it for many years,without a problem.The owner,Derek Higgins has a wealth of knowledge on the subject.
Back in the day they made outboard audio denoisers. I had a Pioneer RG-1 and a Garrard unit. They worked quite well. You might find something on ebay. The Pioneer was really range expander but also suppressed noise.
Last edited by newpball; 17th May 2015 at 18:58.
Thanks for the replies.
I'll check these things out.
Some important things I found that helped with vinyl and cassette or reel transferring that make the job easier is getting the equipment setup, cleaning and maintaining it.
Eg: For my record player I setup the tone arm, weights, anti-skate, have high quality shell heads and needles, setup the needles so they don't dig into the sides of the vinyl. For a cassette player cleaning the tape heads with a cleaning tape and using a tape de-magnetizer.
I found some youtube videos. This guy gave good advice in his earlier videos: https://www.youtube.com/user/viperfrank/featured
Few practical tips from my side:
- always use correct wiring and grounding
- always capture at least few seconds of silence before correct signal - this gives you opportunity to distinguish between noisefloor, noise from environment, noise from storage medium and noise being integral part of signal
- you can do multipass capture (i.e. record same material multiple times, align in time and combine - uncorrelated noise will be averaged and reduced)
- you need to do a lot of experiments - denoising is a bit like art
try "Groove Mechanic"
give away for free called "Izotope Vinyl" that might be what the OP is looking for.
The best thing I have ever found for audio cleanup, however, is called "SoundSoap" (aka "Bias SoundSoap"). It is both a standalone application
and a plugin. The VST plugin version used to be included with Pinnacle Studio (might still be). Find out about it here:
I does cost $$$, but they also offer a free trial version here:
The trial version is fully functional, except that saving audio directly is disabled.
The super-easy hack/workaround for that is is just to playback through a virtual audio device like "VirtualAudioCable" (**which I hate**) or
one of the many free virtual audio toys from Vincent Burel (**which I love!!**) and are available here:
Good luck, OP!!
Rina"When the going gets weird..., the weird turn pro."
~Hunter S. Thompson