How To Truly Clean Up A Sample?

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#1
'Sup everyone; I'm working on a track right now and am getting around to EQ'ing the lead stabs and pads before working on the break and bass, and before adding anymore textural sounds on top (I already have them lying around). The pads I did myself but the lead notes are from a sample I fetched online. I already went ahead and did a LOT of alteration to the sample to make it my own and it forms the compositional structure for a good chunk of the track.

Slight issue is, last night I tried cleaning it up with some EQ'ing and each sample on its own sounds good enough, but together sort of create a bit of a "popping" noise. It isn't clipping; the waveforms are nowhere near the dB ceiling, and it wasn't due to any dumb move I did in the EQ. If I can best explain it, it's sort of like there's still a very subtle vinyl-like element in the sample, like a sort of subtle crackle. Now that I think about it, the original sample sort of had that too, but I was thinking I could scoop out.

Tbf, the sample has an old-school like quality to it and definitely sounds like it was digitally taken from an analog source, probably from some years ago actually (I'm talking it probably dates back to the early '90s or '80s here), but I was under the impression there was some surefire way to clean up that sort of fuzz from old samples while not removing any of the harmonics or cutting the gain.

I can still likely go ahead w/ the track as-is; got a lot of work done on it and could play off the imperfections in the sound actually. But if there's some general advice anyone can give on how to clean up fuzzy audio samples I can implement in the future, I'd be more than thankful. Big ups always!
 
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#2
When you say there's a popping sound, do you mean like an annoying little click? Might be an obvious thing to point out, but have you checked the waveforms and made sure the audio regions start and end at 0 or 180 degrees into the waveform cycle? If a sample starts or cuts off before returning to the zero mark it'll usually create annoying clicks. If you're using a sampler, just adjust the ADSR.

If it's not that, then there are declicker plug-ins out there, but I always find it's hard to get them to work well without degrading the audio quite a bit.
 
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#3
zoom all the way in on the wave in your sound editor, and chop off the end or beginning from or to the point closest to the 0db line



zoom out a few clicks, and then select 5 or 6 other points, and choose fade out/in
 

Mason John

21st Junta
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#5
territactus, you're right I should've clarified (I still have a hard time phrasing some of this stuff as I'm only getting into the thick of real production now). It wasn't really a crack or pop so much as a lot of low end gain.

I just tried a bit more EQing and a high pass sweep and that seemed to clean the sample up a lot, so maybe that gives a clearer idea what the problem was. Waveform-wise there were a couple issues like that before but I went ahead and fixed it. Thnx!

SUCKZ I went and did something like that, was helpful.

Tomekn I checked out the plug-in on its site, that's really powerful for a sample-based synth. I'm thinking of giving the demo a try tomorrow. Cool beans.
 

DjCartel

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#6
my guess would be not creating fades for it. as suckz said, if you make a small fade at the beggining and end of the sample, it should stop it. essentially like a really short envelope
 
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#7
Let me know how it goes Mason. Personally i prefer to leave sample fuzz in the samples - it all adds that little bit of grit innit!

Obviously if it's a bit much it's an issue, though.
 

lostnthesound

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#8
I feel strongly about it and love learning more on this topic. Thanks for posting such informative content. It is extremely helpful for me.
I didn't know robots had feelings...

- - - Updated - - -

my guess would be not creating fades for it. as suckz said, if you make a small fade at the beggining and end of the sample, it should stop it. essentially like a really short envelope
^ This.

Creating fades is essential.
 

DNBA SUCKZ

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#9
my guess would be not creating fades for it. as suckz said, if you make a small fade at the beggining and end of the sample, it should stop it. essentially like a really short envelope
a few points on a normal wave will play by in less then a nano second or 2, if you want poping etc to stop, then both channels need to end on 0db, as does looping sine and other bass waves, except with bass, the start has to be coming down or up, and the end has to be opposite to the start so it loops without a click
 

Mason John

21st Junta
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#10
Let me know how it goes Mason. Personally i prefer to leave sample fuzz in the samples - it all adds that little bit of grit innit!

Obviously if it's a bit much it's an issue, though.
I'll be uploading something either Saturday or Sunday; right now I'm gonna crunch to throw in a bass and drum track in the meantime.

DNBA + DJ Cartel: Very helpful stuff. I wasn't even considering the polarity of the wave. That has been a problem for me in getting smooth basses in the past but now I understand.
 
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ajnaz

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#11
Some plugins you are using may show clipping as well which might add to the distorted sound. This doesnt show on the track meter, but it does make a difference.
 
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