Author Topic: How many clicks is "normal"?  (Read 4662 times)

salty

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How many clicks is "normal"?
« on: June 20, 2013, 06:31:04 am »
When using the "scan for clicks" function, what is a "normal" number of clicks that people are seeing?  I get a pretty wide range but I'd say 1 click/sec is about average, it probably varies by a couple orders of magnitude though (say 0.25-4).

I'm pretty new at this, but surface noise drives me crazy and I've been trying to minimize it.  I bought a Record Doctor vacuum record cleaner, and I also bought a decent turntable.

I just recorded a brand new record, "Change Becomes Us" by Wire, 2xLP.  It even came in poly lined sleeves so I thought about putting it on the turntable as is, but I've heard people claim even new vinyl should be cleaned, so I cleaned each side just before playing it, gave it a final touch up with a carbon fiber brush, and recorded.  I don't have a dust cover for my TT but I don't think I have a lot of dust.

Anyways, here are the click counts with the "Pop Music on Vinyl" preset (I believe that is the same as default except PP is set to 3 instead of 2.  Sensitivity is set to 3)

side 1 (12:14) 1335 total = 963 clicks, 314 PP, 58 BP
side 2 (12:33) 4479 total = 1527 clicks, 2952 PP, 0 BP
side 3 (10:09) 1622 total = 725 clicks, 897 PP, 0 BP
side 4 (14:14) 1529 total = 1358 clicks, 104 PP, 67 BP

I debated turning BP off since there is no brass on the record, but you can see it triggers sometimes.

I was monitoring the audio as I recorded it and I didn't hear a lot of noise so I expected the counts to be a lot lower.  I'm listening to the recording now and it all sounds really good to me, there's almost no noise - of course the real test will be when I have my headphones on tomorrow (which is when it really bugs me - the noise is nowhere near as bothersome through speakers, but unfortunately I have to listen to headphones at work).

Any advice?  I didn't spend a whole lot of time doing A/B between corrected and uncorrected audio, but when I did (both while music was playing and during fadeout or silence) I usually didn't notice much difference despite all the "corrections", which seemed to mostly be small - just a guess but almost all of the widths are 30 or less, and at least half are probably below 20.  Anything over 50 is rare and I only spotted one over 100...  although those numbers don't really give any sense of the amplitude of the correction.

Paul Sanders (AlpineSoft)

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Re: How many clicks is "normal"?
« Reply #1 on: June 20, 2013, 09:45:30 am »
Hi,

This is a tough question to answer, but a few thousand is typical.  VinylStudio makes a lot of 'corrections' that you can't hear, even on a a pristine, clean disc.  It is necessary to make the click detector very sensitive in order to pick up a decent number of clicks, and these corrections are all part and parcel of the process.  If you zoom in on one of these repairs, you can often see a tiny deviation in the waveform, but, as I say, this is often inaudible.

The other problem is percussion bursts.  VinylStudio often has a 'nibble' at the leading edge of these.  Again the result is usually inaudible but you can experiment with increasing the Percussion Protection (PP) setting if this is an issue for you.

salty

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Re: How many clicks is "normal"?
« Reply #2 on: June 22, 2013, 03:25:20 pm »
Thanks Paul, I think that answers my question...  I was disappointed to see so many "clicks" given the circumstances but I think you're right that most or all of them are inconsequential in this case.  And I can certainly see how percussion is problematic.

Is there any way to sort the click data to find the "worst" clicks to give them some extra manual attention?  The duration would probably be a good start, although some measure of the amplitude of the click would probably be even better.  I'm not sure what makes a click more noticeable though.  The absolute volume would certainly work in some cases but those should be rare unless the record is damaged, so probably the relative volume of the click vs the surrounding music is better.  Of course, now I'm getting the feeling I'm "re-discovering" what people who have written click removal code have known for many years. :)

Paul Sanders (AlpineSoft)

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Re: How many clicks is "normal"?
« Reply #3 on: June 22, 2013, 04:43:56 pm »
No, there's nothing like that, sorry.  It just wouldn't work - sometimes tiny imperfections are surprisingly audible and vice-versa.  The best thing to do is to listen to the LP side after running the click scanner and deal with any left-over clicks manually.