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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 02-05-2004, 08:54 PM Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
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pops and crackles... (this is getting tedious now...)

Ok, managed to finally get a fairly decent mix out of cubase...

now guess what?


I'm getting strange pops and crackles everywhere!!! this is really begining to grate now

any ideas on how to remedy it guys?

kev
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 02-06-2004, 07:35 AM
 
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Location: Worcester, MA
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A couple things which often cause pops, crackles, and 'rustling':

- Master Vol is set too high and tracks are clipping- but when you look at the individual track levels, they may appear to be normal.
- You've edited a track or 2 and added reverb, EQ, or compression, but that has changed the level of the wav file and even though it's not clipping in the mix, it's now 'ruined' because the editing added in the noise to the wav file itself. If this is the case, revert to the unedited original tracks, and try lowering the volume of the track in the editor before modifying the track with effects that would cause clipping in the editing phase.
- You're using a tube mic preamp that has the 20db gain boost engaged, or the output level is almost or near maxed.

Just a couple ideas, hope it helps.

-Ben
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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 02-06-2004, 10:11 AM Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BeastofLove
A couple things which often cause pops, crackles, and 'rustling':

- Master Vol is set too high and tracks are clipping- but when you look at the individual track levels, they may appear to be normal.
- You've edited a track or 2 and added reverb, EQ, or compression, but that has changed the level of the wav file and even though it's not clipping in the mix, it's now 'ruined' because the editing added in the noise to the wav file itself. If this is the case, revert to the unedited original tracks, and try lowering the volume of the track in the editor before modifying the track with effects that would cause clipping in the editing phase.
- You're using a tube mic preamp that has the 20db gain boost engaged, or the output level is almost or near maxed.

Just a couple ideas, hope it helps.

-Ben
thank you so very, very much my friend!
Kev Brigden is offline  
post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 02-06-2004, 11:55 AM
 
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I'll also employ a hard limiter to some of the offending tracks. When you look at the stats, it's only limiting far less than 1% of the track. But it's that compounding effect, when that track is in with the rest of the mix, it can crackle the rest of the program at that millisecond. Now it's bitten your whole master mix. Sometimes I'd rather do that than decrease the track levels and therefore the whole program levels. It is undetectable dynamically because you still hear the spike, you just hack it off pre-clipping, maybe only by .1db. But it's enough because we all know that digital clipping isn't music. Who knows, maybe someday, the way they now put phonograph crackles on songs, our kids will be listening to music with "retro" digital clipping simulated and added in.
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 02-06-2004, 02:58 PM
 
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Hey KEV, if ur problem isnt solved, try raising the latency, till the pops stop, this might also happen if ur using too much plug ins and ur system is running low on resources, which Cubase version do u have? i recomand using Cubase SX this one is way better than the old VST32 version, Cubase SX uses little resources, and therefor u will have less probability of cracks and pops. hope this helps!
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 02-06-2004, 03:12 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by frankfalbo
I'll also employ a hard limiter to some of the offending tracks.
Hey Frank- do notice that the limiter seems to effect the dynamics of the track? I've taken a raw track and both 1) compressed & normalized and 2) limited, compressed, and normalized and noticed I liked the dynamics of the non-limited track better. Then again, I'm only using Cakewalk for this stuff so perhaps it's the software that's not up-to-par. Still not going to upgrade the software though - only use home recording to put down ideas and share demos... use a reel-to-reel and a proper mixer for the good stuff

And Kev- let us know what the problem was once you've found it. Would be interested to know.

-Ben
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 02-06-2004, 04:56 PM
 
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It's totally dependent on how much limiting you do, or how much is required to avoid clipping. I would assume you'd like the "non-limited" track better. Remember to really only use the limiter to hack off the few problem areas. So maybe its 4 or 5 times in the whole song that it's shaving .5db off of a peak here and there. If a track will have compression, then you should let the compressor even out those spikes for you, and you'll get a fat signal without clipping. But for bass slaps or percussive clean guitar picking, using a hard limiter for the few clips actually means you're retaining the dymanic range of the rest of the track, rather than squashing it with compression just to save some peaks.

And you wouldn't limit before compression either. That's another reason you didn't like it. Limiting should be your last dynamic process, and used more as a repair kit than a dynamics process. If you limit before compression you just reduced the dynamic range sent to the compressor. And remember that hard limiting does not sound like an improvement on one track by itself, but can really improve the way it sits in the mix. Analog tape sort of does both. There is a compression and drive ratio up to a certain level, and a max saturation level above that, too. It's just something that can help in the digital environment where sometimes perfectly balanced tracks can clip when brought together in a mixdown. At that point its too late because it's written to the mixdown. Hard limiting is the way I've always governed against that and I use so little of it that I don't feel it's negatively affected my mixes. You're going to at least 2:1 compress your master anyway.
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 02-06-2004, 05:37 PM
 
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Thanks Frank! That's why I'm an amateur at home recording, and others I know are 'engineers'.
-Ben
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