Digital FAIL

There are few things more frustrating in the world of home recording than discovering digital pops and clicks on what was otherwise a good take. These aberrations occur when the ongoing conversation between the computer and the audio interface “clock” experience a mutual brain fart. The result is a malformed sample. If you zoom in to the actual wave (aiff, wav, etc.) you’ll see something like what’s shown in the picture there. The sample gets a FAIL. You get a click.

I found precious few articles on how to actually salvage a marred take, though lots of techies opine on the culprits of these things. One decent discussion on the “save my take” front can be found here (and yes, I stole that image from their article):

http://digitalcontentproducer.com/soundforpic/revfeat/soundtrack_pro_tutorial_0105/

It’s for Logic Pro users (like me) unaware (like me) that they bundle a companion program called Soundtrack Pro with Logic Pro (use spotlight and type “Soundtrack”). I actually don’t know what this thing is for, but it has a pop/click analyzer with a “Fix All” button. And thank you very much, my recording sounds much less clicky now.

Incidentally, I have a pair of Presonus 8-Channel Firewire Firepods. I find that I always gets clicks when recording at a 96Khz sample rate. Fortunately, such high speed sampling only benefits frequencies at the edge of human hearing. Audio-wise, it’s far more important to focus on bit-depth, 24-bit, than fast sample rates (i.e., 192Khz is a marketing gimmick only useful for tracking dog whistles). Second, even at 44.1Khz, I find the clicks go wild when recording directly to the internal disc. Best bet, record on a FW800 external drive, or at least a fast USB device.

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