How do I remove clicks and pops and other noises from my needle-drop recordings?

One of the advantages of digitising an LP record collection is the ability to repair the results of surface damage once the recording is in the digital domain.

Click-Pop removal for audiophiles

Stereo Lab incorporates an audiophile click-pop removal process of our own design which is optimised for fans of the vinyl disc whose LPs are good condition and for the most part need little or no correction. Importantly, the Stereo Lab algorithm doesn't interpolate or predict the audio. Instead, a robust click-detection algorithm is coupled to an adaptive attenuator which lowers the intensity of clicks rather than attempting to remove them altogether. In this way, audio is never lost or synthesised.

The importance of a robust detection is to ensure there are no false positives and correction is not wrongly applied to musical transients rather than clicks. The Stereo Lab detection algorithm is virtually foolproof. It is biased against detection so, in the event of an ambiguous detection it will rather let a click go through than replace good audio.

Click removal works much better if it is applied before RIAA equalisation because the massive bass-boost of the RIAA equalisation process transforms a very brief dust particle "snick" into a very noticeable "thwack" . So the Stereo Lab Click-Pop removal control is incorporated in the Phonograph EQ Preferences. When the check box for click-removal is checked, the process will be automatically invoked as the appropriate disc replay-correction is applied.

Crackle removal

Occasionally, the click-pop removal process in Stereo Lab will leave artefacts from removed clicks which sound like electrical noise; similar to the sound of a tube or a capacitor going "leaky". This happens when there is a lot of surface damage and the audio is faint. If you experience this on a particular needle-drop recording, select the Crackle-removal check-box. This will eliminate these artefacts - although at the expense of slightly less click-removal.

78 RPM records

For information about groove-noise in 78 RPM (shellac) records go here.



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