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    How to avoid turn off "click"


    I am new to sound recording -- I have purchased a H4N PRO. WHEN I PRESS THE OFF BUTTON, THE SOUND OF IT GETS RECORDED. WHAT CAN BE DONE ABOUT THAT? SUGGESTIONS? Thank you!

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    Impossible, unless your fingers are as deft as a ninja.

    What you can do, and indeed what most people do, is to simply delete the last few seconds of your recording when editing. You can combo that with a small fade out at the end (and a fade in at the start of the sound).

    If you do really want to keep those last few seconds and want to get rid of the button click, you could try your hand at Equalization (EQ) to try and remove/reduce the click's frequencies, though I imagine that would be challenging.

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    I was having the same issue with a Zoom recorder. However, it came with a wired remote that plugged in to the recorder. I found that using the remote to start and stop recording eliminated the click at the beginning and end of the recording. I'm not sure if the HN4 has a remote, however. If it does I'd give it a try.

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    I know nothing about audio equipment, but from an electrical point of view it surprises me that a microphone would cause a click when switched off. Given how expensive mics can be, I'd expect them to have capacitors or resistors that short the circuit when it's turned off and drain the signal to ground.

    I'm sure there's something I'm not understanding. Can someone explain this to me?

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    hackerb9 wrote:
    I'm sure there's something I'm not understanding. Can someone explain this to me?

    I think in this case, the main issue is due to using recorders rather than microphones to record sound (so the Zoom portable series internal mics vs. external mics like Sennheiser/AKG plugged into a recorder).

    Since the button to start recording on portable recorders is attached to the hardware, the vibrations you create when pressing record are picked up in the recording (as an audible high click or low frequency bump, e.g. at the end of this recording).

    When recording with microphones (which need to be plugged into a recorder/pre-amp of some sort), you don't get this issue since the button to start recording will be on the recorder/pre-amp, as opposed to the mic itself.

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    There's the issue of button noise, but clicks can arise any circumstances when recorded sound is instantly cut from it's zero-crossing. As far as microphones, even the fanciest mics give a pop or harsh sound when it's suddenly unplugged or a condenser mics phantom power is turned off while passing signal.

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    Hi Roger

    The vast majority of recorded sounds on here will have been edited on a computer with DAW (Digital Audio Workstation) software. I use Audacity which very is basic but highly regarded and absolutely no-strings-attached free.

    It's normal to start a recording a second or so before the sound you need, and keep recording for a second or two after the end. It's then very easy to 'top and tail' on the computer - block and delete the unwanted beginning to exactly the point you wish (in Audacity press the Z key and it will find a click free zero crossing), then perhaps put a short, say 10-50ms 'fade-in' on the new start. Do the same at the end of the recording with say 1-2second 'fade-out'. You can listen, check and change lots of other things too; balance the level, add a bit of filtering or equalisation, decrease background noise or snip out intrusive bits in the background etc. Learn by experimenting: try different settings, (use 'undo'-'redo'), and listen to the results until its how you like it.

    For examples you can check my car_stop_start_source.. files, and my edited car_arrive.. and car_go.. uploads to see how even a beginner can edit something out of raw recordings with Audacity.

    When you're hooked, you can go spend lots of money to replace Audacity with a more sophisticated DAW.

    Regards,
    Wibby

    Heaven in the sky is to die for, Heaven on earth is to live for.
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    The H4N does have a wired remote available. I've got one.

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    strangely_gnarled wrote:
    It's then very easy to 'top and tail' on the computer - block and delete the unwanted beginning to exactly the point you wish (in Audacity press the Z key and it will find a click free zero crossing), then perhaps put a short, say 10-50ms 'fade-in' on the new start. Do the same at the end of the recording with say 1-2second 'fade-out'.

    I had no idea about the 'Z' key, what a great tip! Though, if I'm using a fade, won't the signal be forced to start/end at zero?

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    stomachache wrote:
    As far as microphones, even the fanciest mics give a pop or harsh sound when it's suddenly unplugged or a condenser mics phantom power is turned off while passing signal.

    That makes sense to me about a necessary pop if a mic is unplugged or if the "off" switch simply breaks the circuit. So, even the fanciest mics pop when switched off? Interesting. Perhaps the thought is why bother putting passive components in the mic when it's easier to put active zero crossing detection in the preamp. (Mics can't power active circuits (like the LM 471 Op Amp, right?).

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    hackerb9 wrote:
    I had no idea about the 'Z' key, what a great tip! Though, if I'm using a fade, won't the signal be forced to start/end at zero?

    Yes very true, but the Z key is just one quick click, and soon becomes a good habit, like using your turn indicators when driving even if you don't see cars around.

    There are loads of other useful key click tips on the Audacity website. Like if you want to block and delete a short section, use Z on the selection, then press C to preview what the edit sounds like before you press delete key. It can give results as good as or better than a crossfade on some edits, and is much less effort. (where it's appropriate).

    Wibby

    Heaven in the sky is to die for, Heaven on earth is to live for.
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    Yet another super handy tip! I wish we had a compilation of these that were aimed at people using audacity specifically for Freesound.

    I'd love to know not only the shortcuts, but also the steps people do when processing their sounds before uploading here.

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    I really enjoy Goldwave editor. I use the older version though just cause I am old school.
    Always fade the beginning and the end of each sound that you cut/chop/record or just anytime its necessary.
    Always look at different graphs of the waveform to see if there are any clicks in the sound.
    You will be able to tell the difference in the wave pattern from what is natural, and what isn't by the small spikes in the sound. Most importantly use you're ears to find the click, obviously.
    Chances are you can get lucky and remove the click by fading the beginning of the click, and then fading the click out. Try you're best to not jeopardize the sound quality or adding periods of silence in the finished sound from fading. Try to go microscopic on the wave pattern and fade as little as possible while fading however much is necessary.
    May be a pain to do, but in the end product, its worth it and the sound sounds cleaner.
    Just a tip to throw out there wink
    While there are shortcuts to cross fading such as what strangely_gnarled mentioned, I just feel more comfortable doing it myself and it is indeed a good habit to make when recording.

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    hackerb9 wrote:
    Yet another super handy tip! I wish we had a compilation of these that were aimed at people using audacity specifically for Freesound.

    I'd love to know not only the shortcuts, but also the steps people do when processing their sounds before uploading here.

    To be honest there's nothing specific that relates to editing for freesound more than any other purpose/use. Some users describe their editing steps in sound descriptions or profiles.

    I'm not an expert but have just picked up a few tips and tricks and learned the hard way by trial and error with different stuff and settings I didn't understand. I learned for example, doing the same sequence of editing steps, but in a different order can lead to quite different results. Or using reverb; add ten seconds silence to the end before you process to catch the tail. Trial & error then judge with your ears.

    I think there is a specific Audacity help page with a table of quick key short cuts.

    Audacity is very clunky to use, but compared to most other software the help is clear and very comprehensive. Beyond the Audacity site there are thousands of "How-to's with Audacity" on youtube etc. Not all of them are very helpful clever or clear, but if you've got a spare afternoon....

    There again, there are many users who swear by different DAWs and think Audacity is just a toy. Plenty of opinions in the freesound forum posts... if you've got another spare afternoon...

    Wibby.

    Heaven in the sky is to die for, Heaven on earth is to live for.
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    Erokia,

    Totally with you: The best editor is the one your familiar with. I'm an old dog and don't like having to learn new tricks. I dread the time I'm going to be forced to 'up-grade' my Windows Vista. Or get a mobile phone or a satnav or internet-connected car.

    Wibby

    Heaven in the sky is to die for, Heaven on earth is to live for.
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    strangely_gnarled wrote:
    Erokia,

    Totally with you: The best editor is the one your familiar with. I'm an old dog and don't like having to learn new tricks. I dread the time I'm going to be forced to 'up-grade' my Windows Vista. Or get a mobile phone or a satnav or internet-connected car.

    Wibby

    Haha yes, the world is moving very fast and everything is getting updated constantly.
    But who says you have to update?!
    Nah, old school is cool.
    And I miss windows vista ;(

    What ever suits you best is the best thing for you, most of the time.

    Cheers!
    Jordan

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    strangely_gnarled wrote:
    Audacity is very clunky to use [1]
    [...]
    There again, there are many users who swear by different DAWs and think Audacity is just a toy. [2]

    [2] Audacity is so good at being the multitrack recorder and editor that it is, that it leads some people to think it's a DAW, which it has never claimed to be grin

    [1] I've met people who made entire music pieces in Audacity, from recording to mixing and "mastering"; they have my admiration and respect, because to me the "DAW stuff" is definitely easier, quicker, and more comfortable in a DAW. Most tools tend to feel clunky when used beyond their designed main purpose smile

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    Great tips, Erokia!

    Erokia wrote:
    Chances are you can get lucky and remove the click by fading the beginning of the click, and then fading the click out. Try you're best to not jeopardize the sound quality or adding periods of silence in the finished sound from fading. Try to go microscopic on the wave pattern and fade as little as possible while fading however much is necessary.

    I just played around with doing that in Audacity. On my test, the click was actually a single sample, so once I went microscopic, I could just grab it and put it in the right place. I presume it's not always so easy. smile

    What do people think about using an automated filter? I tried Audacity's Effects → Click Removal and it seemed to work miraculously. What are the downsides to doing it that way?

    Copyc4t wrote:
    Audacity is so good at being the multitrack recorder and editor that it is, that it leads some people to think it's a DAW, which it has never claimed to be :grin:

    I don't even know what a DAW is, to be honest, so Audacity is plenty for me!

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    hackerb9 wrote:
    Great tips, Erokia!

    Erokia wrote:
    Chances are you can get lucky and remove the click by fading the beginning of the click, and then fading the click out. Try you're best to not jeopardize the sound quality or adding periods of silence in the finished sound from fading. Try to go microscopic on the wave pattern and fade as little as possible while fading however much is necessary.

    I just played around with doing that in Audacity. On my test, the click was actually a single sample, so once I went microscopic, I could just grab it and put it in the right place. I presume it's not always so easy. smile

    What do people think about using an automated filter? I tried Audacity's Effects → Click Removal and it seemed to work miraculously. What are the downsides to doing it that way?

    No real downsides, IMHO. When it works, it's a real timesaver; when it doesn't at default settings, it may take some time to find better ones for that kind of sound (and if you find them you can save those settings as a custom preset to be easily recalled next time). In the worst case eventually, the result may be sub-par and you'll need a different solution.

    hackerb9 wrote:
    I don't even know what a DAW is, to be honest, so Audacity is plenty for me!

    Digital Audio Workstation; it tends to be a software metaphor for a mixing console, where you usually load your audio (and MIDI) tracks, put effects on them, curate the mix until it's good, and export your mixdown to a single track.

    What makes Audacity feel clunky compared to DAWs is that Audacity applies effects as subsequent transformations on a track, while in a DAW you can tweak all the parameters of the active effects and even rearrange the effects' order at will, without resorting to the single project-level undo/redo stack. Experimenting is a lot quicker this way.

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    copyc4t wrote:
    What makes Audacity feel clunky compared to DAWs is that Audacity applies effects as subsequent transformations on a track, while in a DAW you can tweak all the parameters of the active effects and even rearrange the effects' order at will, without resorting to the single project-level undo/redo stack. Experimenting is a lot quicker this way.

    Thanks for the explanation and clarification copyc4t. Even old dogs can still learn - from a cat.

    Wibby

    Heaven in the sky is to die for, Heaven on earth is to live for.
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