Click Repair questions - vinyl

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Gimme 4

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I use my SAE 5000A impulse noise reduction unit. Works quite well. Pretty much set it for the noise level off the record not so much the music. If I change to a different cartridge with an output difference I would then adjust the sensitivity as needed.

sae5000a-1.jpg
 
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winopener

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Someone emailed the developer with questions about the software, Brian Davies emailed back that he is ill with no time to work further on it, and does not expect to recover. Very sad news, but he leaves a legendary piece of software for vinyl transfer process. So much better than others that I tried.
What is the last version of CR, since that's all that will be left?
 

jimfisheye

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Want to make an absolutely perfect click repair with absolutely zero damage to the music and have a little time on your hands to take a deep dive?

Start with iZotopeRX. This has the most workable click repair to begin with.

We're going to make at least 3 different passes!
One to target the average level clicks.
One to target the lowest level clicks.
One in between.

Except...
Tick the box to output the removed clicks instead of the cleaned program!

Fun fact: The click repair works by isolating the click, reversing the polarity of the isolated click, and mixing it with the program to then null the click out.

We're going to take over and do this manually! (But still with automation assist.)

Bring those "click tracks" (haha) into your favorite DAW app.
Put them up in sync with the original raw audio program. Click the reverse polarity switch for those tracks (or invert them as you please).

Now listen through. Alternate between the 3 "click tracks" as needed to target the noises and only the noises. (ie. Have only one of the "click tracks" unmuted at a time. Hopefully this part is obvious.) The first "average" click track will be good for most of it. There will be the quieter sections where you need the stronger one. You're going through and building the "click track" to end up being a perfect collection of all the clicks and only the clicks. When you have that edited, render mixed with the original raw track to end up with perfectly removed noise with no artifacts or damage. (Edit between those "click tracks" as you please. Either comping to a single track or leaving them in separate tracks with just the keeper sections.) You might find yourself listening through with one of the "click tracks" up and erasing a few false triggers (that were bits of program and not a click) from that "click track". Then a quiet section comes along and you need to paste in the "click track" with the more aggressive removal settings in that section. etc etc

You're building a track of only the noises to use to null them out of the original.

You might have to make a couple more "click tracks" if 3 doesn't cover the range of noises vs program.

If you're going for restoring something important and demand absolutely perfect results, this will get you there! It sounds a little fiddly and time consuming and it is. But it's actually not as frustrating as trying to find a compromise setting that results in mostly removed clicks and mostly undamaged program. This is still highly automated. There will be stretches where you don't have to finesse anything. So this is still very highly automated vs manual erasing with a pencil tool function! And it's a LOT more accurate!
 

abby normal

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in my experience, the best results for digitizing mono LPs are to strip away the difference signal, either by using a monaural cartridge or with a true mono switch [NOT just a fold-down] on the preamp, or in your .wav editor in the channel mixer. Pristine Sounds 2005 [RIP] also had a handy dandy true mono setting. a LOT of noise is in the difference signal, strip away that and VOILA! a record that sounds a LOT cleaner.
 

abby normal

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in my experience, if one can't get their hands on a gently used CEDAR DCX and CRX combo [the professional gold standard of declicking/decrackling], the best [in my case] PC-based impulse noise filter in terms of transparency and effectiveness is the sonnox declicker/decrackler, at moderate settings it will not audibly touch the music even on the brassy bits. but its decrackler is more sensitive to sharp percussions so you will reduce the settings in those cases but even there you will notice a reduction of clicks in general. right up there with the sonnox is the iZotopeRx declicker/decrackler combo. you can get it on sale now and then for $99 or even a bit less.
 

Wagonmaster_91

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Here's a little Click Repair trick I use when cleaning up a vinyl rip: Clicks, pops, crackle and surface noise are most noticeable on the quietest parts of a song, so on songs that fade out you start to hear more unwanted noise as the music level fades to silence.
I open the track in an audio editor (I usually use one the Sound Forge programs but the one you like will work as long as it can perform the following steps) and make a "work" copy of the file. This is so if I don't like the finished results I still have the original. Using the work copy, I choose a point a few seconds before the fade out of the song begins and place a marker there. Then I select everything in the file from the marker to the end of the file, copy that and create a new file with just that end portion of the song.

CR works by "listening" to the audio and determining that sudden loud peaks are probably clicks that need to be removed. So, to help it "hear" those peaks during the fade out, I boost the volume of the fade file by 10 - 15db making sure the volume boost isn't enough to clip the music info. I process the fade file through CR then open the new CR fade file in the editor and reduce the volume by the same level that I boosted fade file, bringing the CR fade file back down to the original file's volume. Be sure to note how much you boosted the fade file so that you lower the CR fade file by the same amount so you don't hear the edit. I go back to the work copy and delete the portion from the maker to the end and replace it with the new CR fade file.

On a really noisy fade I have even split the fade out into multiple sections to perform the task so each section can be boosted louder as the song fades out, but if you do that remember that each section must be treated as a stand alone file for processing and boost/reduce volume levels and then put back together in the work file. Also, the section can't be too short or CR won't have enough reference info to tell what is music and what is noise.

I got this idea when thinking about the way Dolby noise reduction works on cassettes - boost on encode / reduce on decode.
 

atrocity

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I open the track in an audio editor (I usually use one the Sound Forge programs but the one you like will work as long as it can perform the following steps) and make a "work" copy of the file. This is so if I don't like the finished results I still have the original.
I chop up a side with CDWave Editor and use the Batch option in ClickRepair to feed in all the pieces in sequence. That allows me to use fairly conservative settings for the louder parts while cranking it up for the quieter ones. For between-song bits I crank DeClick and DeCrackle all the way up to 100. I find that less distracting than a fade down to silence, but YMMV.
 

kap'n krunch

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REALLY bummed out to hear that Brian is sick and ...well...My POV is that either way we are all better -if you heal you are fine and if you don´t you are better off without pain and in the happy place, but call me pragmatic...

Hope he gets better...curiously enough I have just turned on to vinyl (and hopefully to MCH) my former "chief" recording engineer where I worked in San Juan and now HE is asking me for advice and was asking about CR and found the webpage closed..funny how the student becomes the master!!!

Let's hope Brian heals and lets us enjoy CR for a few more years...
 

markshan

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If I own a vinyl, that is either out of print, or the vinyl is the go to version of a title in terms of fidelity....I end up ripping it.
Now, we have to worry about clicks and all that good stuff. I had been using Audacity to manually deal with all the clicks and it does take forever honestly.

A few here have said that the program, Click Repair works great. I downloaded a trial, but I cannot find very much info on the web that is for "dummies". :)

My very fist question is - once I drag a wav file and click ;) start and it finishes. Where in the hell is the new file? I can't find it, nor do I find anywhere to save that new file....

Leave it to me to get stumped in the likely easiest part of the process. lmao

Anyone? Kap'n??
It prompts you to save in the same location with the filed annexed with "-cr1" before you process it.
 

markshan

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For the record... 🍌 I just ripped an Andy Williams vinyl I have. It's an original from 1963 - Monaural CL2015. It has good fidelity, but my copy is pretty beat up. I just went for Click Repair easy way and holy cow! I am way more than happy with the outcome. I can't believe it works that well. :mad:@:

Without looking at side/sides, I simply would never suspect that anything has been removed or edited...except the clicks.
It is a tremendous program. It's had to believe that it works just as well as iZoTope, is far simpler to use and far less expensive, but that is absolutely the case. Jim, it has options to monitor clicks only in real time. It has several options to be as quick and automated or as detailed as you like.
 

markshan

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There are two types of recordings that flag false positive ticks and clicks, these should not be treated with CR, or maybe but only in the worst circumstances. LPs with loud horns like Chicago, TJB, and LPs with synth like Kraftwerk or parts of Pink Floyd like "Welcome to the Machine" generally cause CR to see and repair tons of ticks that are not there. My SQ copy of WYWH really freaked out CR on that track.
You forgot cowbell or other metallic percussion. It always thinks those are clicks. That is what is great about monitoring clicks only in real time. When I did side one of "It's a Beautiful Day" it cruised right through the first side until the cowbell section of "Time Is". At that point the click monitor sounded basically like the percussion track. So I let CR do the whole file up to that point, paused it, turned everything down to zero and let it finish the file. Then I did that section manually in Au3.
 

markshan

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Someone emailed the developer with questions about the software, Brian Davies emailed back that he is ill with no time to work further on it, and does not expect to recover. Very sad news, but he leaves a legendary piece of software for vinyl transfer process. So much better than others that I tried.
That's really sad to hear. He seems like one of us.
 

markshan

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in my experience, the best results for digitizing mono LPs are to strip away the difference signal, either by using a monaural cartridge or with a true mono switch [NOT just a fold-down] on the preamp, or in your .wav editor in the channel mixer. Pristine Sounds 2005 [RIP] also had a handy dandy true mono setting. a LOT of noise is in the difference signal, strip away that and VOILA! a record that sounds a LOT cleaner.
Noooo! If you declick then fold, the program gets to capture the profile of the click on each wall of the record separately, correct each optimally then output a cleaner signal, which you should then fold. What do you mean by "a true mono switch [NOT just a fold-down] on the preamp"? I listen to mono records with the mono switch on my 2230, but I always capture in stereo.
 

markshan

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One tip I didn't see mentioned but is very important IMHO. If you have a really loud click, the kind you can see towering over the level of the music in the waveform, manually fix it before running the whole file through CR. Sometimes the automated program will fix such a click in such a way that it is still audible (though reduced) but will also make it more difficult for other methods to remove.
 

marcb

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Noooo! If you declick then fold, the program gets to capture the profile of the click on each wall of the record separately, correct each optimally then output a cleaner signal, which you should then fold.
IIRC, I believe this is essentially what the s>m function does in clickrepair - declick, then fold - but in 1 “pass through”.
 

quicksrt

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IIRC, I believe this is essentially what the s>m function does in clickrepair - declick, then fold - but in 1 “pass through”.
I never ever do a fold in digital. Fold to mono with a "Y" connector on the analogue signal - and noise floor should be (but not always) very much reduced. I believe in the fewest digital conversions - to preserve all ambient and transient information of the analogue signal. But that's just me.... and a few other thousands of audio enthusiasts. Other say digital is perfect and does not degrade at all ever.
 

quicksrt

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You forgot cowbell or other metallic percussion. It always thinks those are clicks. That is what is great about monitoring clicks only in real time. When I did side one of "It's a Beautiful Day" it cruised right through the first side until the cowbell section of "Time Is". At that point the click monitor sounded basically like the percussion track. So I let CR do the whole file up to that point, paused it, turned everything down to zero and let it finish the file. Then I did that section manually in Au3.
I had not noticed cowbell being an issue with CR. I'll keep that in mind. Drum kits are sometimes full of metallic percussion. Hummm.
 

quicksrt

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Here's a little Click Repair trick I use when cleaning up a vinyl rip: Clicks, pops, crackle and surface noise are most noticeable on the quietest parts of a song, so on songs that fade out you start to hear more unwanted noise as the music level fades to silence.
I open the track in an audio editor (I usually use one the Sound Forge programs but the one you like will work as long as it can perform the following steps) and make a "work" copy of the file. This is so if I don't like the finished results I still have the original. Using the work copy, I choose a point a few seconds before the fade out of the song begins and place a marker there. Then I select everything in the file from the marker to the end of the file, copy that and create a new file with just that end portion of the song.

CR works by "listening" to the audio and determining that sudden loud peaks are probably clicks that need to be removed. So, to help it "hear" those peaks during the fade out, I boost the volume of the fade file by 10 - 15db making sure the volume boost isn't enough to clip the music info. I process the fade file through CR then open the new CR fade file in the editor and reduce the volume by the same level that I boosted fade file, bringing the CR fade file back down to the original file's volume. Be sure to note how much you boosted the fade file so that you lower the CR fade file by the same amount so you don't hear the edit. I go back to the work copy and delete the portion from the maker to the end and replace it with the new CR fade file.

On a really noisy fade I have even split the fade out into multiple sections to perform the task so each section can be boosted louder as the song fades out, but if you do that remember that each section must be treated as a stand alone file for processing and boost/reduce volume levels and then put back together in the work file. Also, the section can't be too short or CR won't have enough reference info to tell what is music and what is noise.

I got this idea when thinking about the way Dolby noise reduction works on cassettes - boost on encode / reduce on decode.
CR brand click fixer "ClickRepair" works just as well on near-silent parts of the LP, and works just as well on micro-ticks, the kind that are very hard to do manually. Even stuff one would not normally mess around with CR goes in and flattens those little pricks into the pavement. The quieter the surface / background, the easier CR has with eliminating the pop or tick.

That is why when I see the repairs going on and I see some or many red lines, I do not get worried about false positives being messed with, as it is fixing some really tiny specks which we almost do not even hear on playback, but they are there is one goes and listens to the raw file again.
 

quicksrt

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in my experience, the best results for digitizing mono LPs are to strip away the difference signal, either by using a monaural cartridge or with a true mono switch [NOT just a fold-down] on the preamp, or in your .wav editor in the channel mixer. Pristine Sounds 2005 [RIP] also had a handy dandy true mono setting. a LOT of noise is in the difference signal, strip away that and VOILA! a record that sounds a LOT cleaner.
A mono switch is a fold-down on the preamp actually, often called "summing" the signal to mono. As is a "Y" connector. Many pros suggest summing it at the cartridge output level, others after preamp before digital recorder. I like doing it at the cartridge RCA output, very early in the signal chain. My drops are gorgeous stereo or mono.
 
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