How to Fix Audio Interface Buzzing, Clicking and Popping Sounds

How to Fix Audio Interface Buzzing, Clicking and Popping Sounds? We will figure it out and help you solve it together in this article.

by Derrick Reeves | Updated: July 28, 2021

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Do you have crackles and dropouts (gaps in playback) sound coming out of your audio interface? This is an issue that many people run into. Buzzing, clicking, or popping sounds can be caused by any number of things. In this post, we will explore the most common causes for these sounds as well as how to fix them!

What Causes The Problem?

If you're experiencing crackles or dropouts, it's possible that the CPU load on your computer is too high.

If your audio interface has a lot of latency, it can also cause these types of problems to occur.

Finally, if your audio interface is running on too many channels at once - this could lead to clicking and pops as well.

How To Fix Crackles And Audio Dropouts

How To Fix Crackles And Audio Dropouts

 

Make Sure Everything Is Up-To-Date

  1. Update your music creation software and plugins
  2. Update audio interferes drivers and firmware
  3. Update your PC's operating system.

Adjust The Audio Preferences

Audio buffering is necessary to ensure playback and recording from your computer are smooth. To avoid crackles and dropouts, you may want to use these setting for optimal playback and recording:

1. Raise the buffer size until you find a good threshold where crackles and audio dropouts stop occurring.

2. Use values expressed in powers of two: 32, 64, 128, 256, 512 1024 - this will keep the total latency down to an acceptable level.

3. Reduce the input/output sample rate to 44100 samples per second for best results under heavy CPU load conditions (also ensure that your ASIO drivers are up to date).

The Audio Interface

Steinberg UR22C USB Type-C Audio Interface

  1. Update the audio interface drivers and firmware to eliminate any possible glitches.
  2. Older interfaces may not have drivers for your current operating system, and since the interface has been discontinued, you'll need to upgrade it.
  3. Ensure that your soundboard is USB 3.0 compatible to avoid any buzzing, popping, and clicking sounds on playback.
  4. If you are not sure, test with your computer's built-in sound card.

Reduce The CPU Load

Turn off any unnecessary programs that might be running.

Windows users: Find and close all non-essential processes by clicking on Task Manager (Ctrl+Alt+Delete).

Mac Users: Click on Activity Monitor in your Applications folder to find running applications.

Close them down one at a time if they are open - remember which ones you have opened!

In OS X Lion or later, this can be done with the "Quit" command under the File menu. If it doesn't work, try Command + Option + Escape.  The keyboard shortcuts may vary depending on what version of Mac OS you're using.

Minimize Hard Disk Overload

When the hard disk takes too long to read audio from the disks, audio can sound crackling and this will not go away until the hard disk is done with its operation.

To reduce the risk of audio distortion, we recommend that you stop recording as soon as possible after a loud impulse or transient has been heard (footsteps on a wooden floor).  We also recommend switching to another program and closing it down when not in use.

Upgrade And Service Your Computer

Upgrade And Service Your Computer

Your PC maybe not powerful enough to process audio files efficiently. Try upgrading to a newer and more powerful computer or swapping out your hard disk for an SSD.

Keep your Mac up-to-date

The newest update of OS X has fixed some audio distortion issues, so we recommend doing it as soon as possible.  If you have tried everything and the problem is still there, try contacting the manufacturer's customer service center with any details about what you've done already in order to fix it yourself.

Turn down other applications that may be playing sound while recording.

Optimize Windows For Audio

Optimize Windows For Audio

Windows may need a few adjustments to be optimized for audio.

Open the Control Panel, then go to Hardware and Sound > Sound > Recording tab.

Select your default recording device and click Properties in order to access its settings window.  Then select Devices with no volume controls under "Other volumes" that are controlled by the system slider on this dialog box, so Windows will do a better job of managing sound levels when you record or playback sounds through these devices.

Save Audio as MP-Layer (MPEG) instead of WAV format

WAV files consume more disk space than MP-Layers because they're uncompressed which can lead to issues like hard drives running out of capacity too quickly if not monitored carefully.

Conclusion

The above steps are all you need to take in order to lower the volume of your audio interface and get rid of annoying buzzing, clicking, and popping sounds.

After implementing these tips, you should be able to create better-sounding recordings while saving space on your hard drive.

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