Need help fighting weird crackling (not clipping) in a mix

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3 posts since 16 Apr, 2019 from Chernarus

Post Mon Apr 15, 2019 8:59 pm

Hey, everybody. I'm new here, sorry in advance if the section is wrong.

We're not pros, we try to write music in our free time and we use pretty basic stuff for that - free Ableton Live that comes with audio interfaces, almost no plugins, no proper monitoring equipment - just consumer stuff etc.

So we're making a piece in Ableton (not the first one) and we ran into a strange problem with cracling noises:

1. It's completely fine on the DAW. No matter what we listen to: the timeline, a rendered wav (44 or 48 kHz) or an mp3 file. Doesn't matter if we connect our headphones to the audio interface (Steinberg UR44) or to the receiver - it sounds Ok either way.

2. It sounds Ok on my computer (Focusrite 2i4, similar headphones, similar receiver), either wav or mp3.

3. BUT! It sounds bad on my other amplifier (headphones, loudspeakers) and on my mobile with cheap Bluetooth earbuds - wav file or mp3, doesn't matter. It quite distinctively crackles at the same timestamps, even in the same channels (L/R). My second amp (not a receiver) is a good old one, headphones are the same I use on my PC, earbuds always been ok aswell - it's something with the sound. It sounds almost like clipping, but there's no clipping. And the volume of the playing device doesn't matter.

Here's a small clip: ... -solo1.wav
Major crackling happens at 00:27 when the guitar starts and later on some guitar notes, at 00:39, for example.

We tried many things (track levels, compressors, EQs), but either it doesn't really help, or it makes the mix... "flat". Plus it's hard to test it, 'cause every time we have to transfer the rendered file to the phone and listen it there (just reminding - everything sounds ok on the DAW).

We definitely know very little about mixing and we're out of ideas. We've never had anything like this before.

6 posts since 6 Mar, 2019

Re: Need help fighting weird crackling (not clipping) in a mix

Post Tue Apr 23, 2019 5:46 am

Honestly its hard to hear what you're talking about. I hear some crackling but it doesn't really detract from the overall sound. Have you checked grounding on your amplifier?

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4637 posts since 8 Jun, 2009 from UK

Re: Need help fighting weird crackling (not clipping) in a mix

Post Tue Apr 23, 2019 6:31 am

Have you tried a real-time render rather than the standard Live export? It could be a plugin or audio process that doesn't have time to complete when bounced at higher speed, so you get the odd click when the buffer runs empty on that channel.

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