Old 08-28-2019, 03:07 PM   #1
jkprg
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Default How to clean vinyl records

Hi,
Is it possible to automatically clean clicks/cracks from old vinyl records? Thanks a lot
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Old 08-28-2019, 03:17 PM   #2
domzy
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Do you mean actual vinyl? If so, then lukewarm water with a tiny bit if washing-up liquid works ok for general dirt.
Or maybe you are talking about recordings of records? In which case i think Izotope RX seems to be the way to go.
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Old 08-28-2019, 03:46 PM   #3
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Izotope has a de-click, pop & scratch apps but not cheap.
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Old 08-28-2019, 03:53 PM   #4
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I presume it's digital restoration you want but if not there's some interesting "failures" here:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?reload=9&v=alTn6j0D8pI
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Old 08-28-2019, 04:07 PM   #5
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I've never used Izotope Rx but it has a very good reputation.


There is a special purpose freeware application called Wave Corrector.


I've used Wave Repair ($30 USD) several times. It's not automatic so it usually takes me a full weekend to "clean-up" a digitized vinyl file. It has several repair options and it can do audibly perfect repairs on most (but not all) clicks & pops. Ironically, it tends to work better on the worst clicks simply because they are easier to "find". And of course, since it works manually it only "touches" the audio where you identify a defect.


Audacity has an automatic Click Removal "effect", a Repair "effect" where you select/highlight the defect, or as a last resort you can zoom-in and re-draw the waveform.


This page (authored by the Wave Repair developer) has some additional recommendations (some possibly outdated) and a ship-load of other information about digitizing vinyl.


And my usual advice... Buy the CD or MP3! (If it's available.)
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Old 08-28-2019, 04:56 PM   #6
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Try this.

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=UJIf2I_47ZE
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Old 08-29-2019, 10:28 AM   #7
serr
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jkprg View Post
Hi,
Is it possible to automatically clean clicks/cracks from old vinyl records? Thanks a lot
You can look up the cleaning solutions people use. Lots of talk and debate around that. Distilled water, sometimes isopropyl (careful with how much and depending on the type of vinyl being cleaned), sometimes a chemical to reduce the surface tension of the water so the solution gets deeper into the grooves. The vacuum setups work best. Penetrate the surface and into the grooves. Isopropyl to go after oils (eg skin oil). Get it all into solution and vacuum it up.

If something has actual physical damage, of course those noises from that are permanent. If it's a rare album and you can't find am undamaged copy... now something like iZotope RX can help.

If you're looking to "clean up" artifacts from a damaged copy of vinyl, iZotope RX is the best. There isn't a one size fits all setting - and it depends on how extensive the damage is. With some labor of love going over the program with different settings, you can come up with a perfect removal of damage artifacts without removing any program. If you really want to be precise with that, render "click tracks" of just the removed clicks. Finesse all that until you have a track of just the removed clicks with no false positives and no missed quieter ones. (You can comp "click tracks" made at different settings and compare them to the original raw track as you go for preciseness.) Then subtract that (null it) yourself from the raw track.

This is all labor of love kind of work to do precisely while preserving every nuance of the original recording. Put the time in up front hunting down a less damaged copy of the album.

Original pressing vinyl records are now going to be the best preserved copies of a lot of music after that Universal fire a decade ago.
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Old 08-29-2019, 02:03 PM   #8
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Thanks to all of you. I actually meant digital restoration. Frankly speaking I thought that it's possible to use somehow Reaper to do the job... At least by using some fx/plug-in that would detect short peaks that it will trigger volume down fx. Anyway thanks a lot for your suggestions.
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Old 08-29-2019, 07:49 PM   #9
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Izotope Rx is a plug-in. (It doesn't officially support REAPER and I don't know if there are any "issues".)
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Old 09-01-2019, 10:54 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by serr View Post
You can look up the cleaning solutions people use. Lots of talk and debate around that. Distilled water, sometimes isopropyl (careful with how much and depending on the type of vinyl being cleaned), sometimes a chemical to reduce the surface tension of the water so the solution gets deeper into the grooves. The vacuum setups work best. Penetrate the surface and into the grooves. Isopropyl to go after oils (eg skin oil). Get it all into solution and vacuum it up.

If something has actual physical damage, of course those noises from that are permanent. If it's a rare album and you can't find am undamaged copy... now something like iZotope RX can help.

If you're looking to "clean up" artifacts from a damaged copy of vinyl, iZotope RX is the best. There isn't a one size fits all setting - and it depends on how extensive the damage is. With some labor of love going over the program with different settings, you can come up with a perfect removal of damage artifacts without removing any program. If you really want to be precise with that, render "click tracks" of just the removed clicks. Finesse all that until you have a track of just the removed clicks with no false positives and no missed quieter ones. (You can comp "click tracks" made at different settings and compare them to the original raw track as you go for preciseness.) Then subtract that (null it) yourself from the raw track.

This is all labor of love kind of work to do precisely while preserving every nuance of the original recording. Put the time in up front hunting down a less damaged copy of the album.

Original pressing vinyl records are now going to be the best preserved copies of a lot of music after that Universal fire a decade ago.
Some good tips here, as with all recording getting the source right saves work later down the line, so although you're looking for digital restoration tips getting your vinyl physically clean and sounding good before recording it will yield far better results overall.

I use this on my vinyl: https://londonjazzcollector.wordpres...r-vacuum-rcms/ distilled water, isopropanol alcohol and tiny smidge of Iltophol (as a wetting agent) and I have a super budget vacuum record cleaner.
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Old 09-10-2019, 07:51 AM   #11
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IMO iZotope RX7 is worth every penny, ... of course that depends on how much you need it...

I have had some serious restoration projects much nastier than just cleaning digitized vinyl stuff and have used a combination of RX7 and
Adobe Audition....

Audition has a feature called 'auto heal' that can be used by zooming way, way in on the wav in a tiny time selection and then run... it will eliminate most tiny issues that might remain after RX has done the bulk of the work...

We live in the age of digital miracles!
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Old 09-11-2019, 07:57 AM   #12
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I used to use Wave Repair to do that sort of work. I still have a license for it. That program dates back to the mid-90's I think. It worked great, but as already mentioned, it wasn't a fully automated process. It was bit-level surgery. Tedious. But... at the time there weren't a lot of other (inexpensive) options. I remember spending lots of hours trying to clean up a single album. I was getting heirloom records from around the country, so it was worth the time and expense.

I don't know what's all out there at the moment but Wave Repair was cheap and it had all the tools to do the work. Output was 16 bit/44.1K only (I think that's still true). I recommend it, but only if you can't find a better alternative for around the same price.
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