This article will look at how you can remove clicks and pops in Logic Pro.
We will look at the main process for removing clicks and pops in Logic, some alternative ways you can remove clicks and pops, and then towards the end of the article, we will look at why you might be finding clicks and pops in your audio files and what you can do to prevent them.
How To Remove Clicks & Pops in Logic Pro?
First, you want to ensure you have Logic Pros advanced mode selected. Advanced mode allows you to use a logic pro to its full potential, giving you hundreds of extra tools and features.
To activate advanced mode:
- Open Logic Pro.
- Select Logic Pro from the menu bar.
- Then scroll down to the preferences tab and select advanced.
- Then click the box labeled ‘enable complete features’.
How to remove clicks and pops in Logic Pro X.
- Select the audio file with the click/pop in it by double-clicking the audio region in the main window; this will open the sample editor.
- At the top of the sample area, you will see three options, Track, File, and Smart Tempo. You need to select the File option; you will know you’ve selected the right option when the tab option is blue and the audio file looks grey opposed to the default blue.
- Directly under the File tab, you will see two icons displaying a courser icon representing the Pointer Tool and a hand icon representing the Move Tool. You want to select the Move Tool (the hand icon), navigate to the Pencil Tool, and select it. You’ll know it’s selected when a tick is next to it, and the pencil icon replaces the hand icon.
- Now, you want to zoom in and find the click/pop within the audio file. You can do this by using the Zoom Tool, which you can select by pressing the Pointer Tool (the course icon) and selecting the Zoom Tool, like how you just selected the Pencil tool or you can use the two zoom sliders on the top right of the sampler editor window.
- To find the pop/click, you want to listen for it and then find the transient in the sample editor. Once you’ve found the click/pop via listening to the audio, you will want to make a note of it, and you can choose to make a note of the Beat/Bar or by the SMPTE Time. Once you’ve made a note of the time/beat head into the sampler editor and navigate to the View tab. Click on this tab to pull up the drop menu, and you can select either SMPTE Time or Bars/Beats. Now it will be much easier to find the exact spot where the click/pop is happening.
- Once you’ve found the general area for the click/pop, you need to find the specific transient causing the issue. To do this, look for any transients that seem out of place. Usually, they will be visibly bigger in size and shorter in duration than the rest of the waveforms in the file. When working with drum audio, this may be more difficult to identify. When sampling audio, in most cases, you will find the click/pop where the waveform has been cut off during the end or start of an audio file.
- Once you have identified the transients, you can use the pencil tool to remove or smoothen the area. Hold down the command key on your keyboard to change the pointer tool (Or the zoom tool if you selected it) into the pencil tool, then click and draw out the new waveform. It may take you a few times to get it just right.
- Once you’ve smoothened the area, you should have successfully removed the click/pop from the file.
Using the pencil tool within the sampler editor can be time-consuming. If you’re looking to remove a click/pop quickly, there are faster ways to do it, although these options are less accurate. Within Logic, there are a few alternatives for removing clicks and pops, and we will look at my favorites: the Fade Tool, Automation, and the Scissors Tool.
- Fade Tool
The fade tool is a great way to remove clicks/pops at the end or start of the audio, it’s very fast to use, but it’s tricky to use when dealing with clicks/pops present within the main section of your audio file.
- The fade tool can be used within Logics’ main window. To select the tool, navigate to the two icons under the control bar display. You will see the Pointer Tool (course icon) and the Marquee Tool (plus icon), similar to the course and hand icon from the sampler editor. Select the marquee tool (Plus icon), scroll to the bottom of the drop-down menu, and select the fade tool.
- Now that you have the fade tool selected, you need to press the command key and click and drag at either the start or end of the audio file. This is a similar process to changing the length of an audio file, but you can tell the difference by looking at the icon that appears when you hover the cursor over the start or end of the file.
- You can now change the length of the fade tool by holding the command key on your keyboard and dragging the end of the fade you’ve just created. You can also change the fade shape by dragging the fade tool up and down while selecting the fade. Changing the shape will allow you to affect how the fade sounds, whether you want a more gradual or sharp fade to help get rid of your clicks/pops.
- To make this fade permanent, you’ll need to bounce down the audio file. You can use the keyboard shortcut ‘Command + Control + B’ or ‘Right Click’/’Control + Click’ on the audio file to open up the Bounce Regions In Place Menu. Depending on your bounce settings, you may need to bypass any audio FX, Plugins, EQ, Automation, and so on if you want to keep the audio file as it was, just with the clicks/pops removed.
Automation is a quick way to reduce clicks/pops that are occurring at the same time as an important sound. For example, if you have a pop right at the start of a word in the vocal take and the fade tool or scissor tool is removing too much of the vocal, then a great way to reduce the click/pop is by using automation.
(Automation is best used to reduce the click/pop and not remove it entirely)
- To open to automation window, press the A key on your keyboard or select the automation tab on the toolbar. This will open the automation window.
- Now, instead of automating the volume parameter, you will want to open the gain plugin. To do this, head to the plugin drop-down menu on the track you want to automate, scroll down to utility, and select gain and stereo. We use the gain plugin instead of automating the volume so that you can still use the volume fader without automation stopping the fader from working as intended.
- Now that you’ve loaded the gain plugin, head back to the track you want to automate, and next to Read, you will see Volume select Volume to open the drop-down menu. Navigate to Gain, hover over it to open the side menu, and select the Gain option.
- You’re ready to begin automating your track to reduce clicks/pops. You will want to navigate to the click/pop using the zoom-in and out tools in the top right of the toolbar.
- Now that you’ve found the spot you want to automate, you want to ensure you’ve zoomed in as much as possible to make the most accurate automation.
- I’d recommend you use the Read setting for this process. There are four automation options, Read, Latch, Touch, and Write, and you want to make sure Read is selected.
- We are ready to begin reducing the clicks/pops. To do this, click on three automation points at 0db left-clicking on the automation line. Now you can move the middle point as low as you like to reduce the click/pop. You can also mess around with the distance between each point if you like a more gradual or sharp effect.
- The Scissor Tool.
The most simple way to remove clicks and pops is to cut them out of the audio file. This can only be done with clicks and pops in isolation from the main audio in your tracks. If the clicks and pops overlap with important audio, you may find yourself cutting out some key points in your track. When using the scissor tool to get the best results, I’d recommend you use it with the fade tool to avoid creating any clicks and pops.
- Select the scissor tool within Logics’ main window. To select the tool, navigate to the two icons under the control bar display. You will see the Pointer Tool (cursor icon) and the Marquee Tool (plus icon), similar to the cursor and hand icon from the sampler editor. Select the Marquee Tool (Plus icon), scroll to the bottom of the drop-down menu, and select the Scissor Tool.
- Now that you have the scissor tool selected, navigate to the section of the track you want to cut by using the sliders in the top right of the toolbar.
- Now that you can see the section you’d like to cut, you need to press the Command key on your keyboard to activate the scissor tool and click just before and after the section you want to remove.
- Once you’ve cut, you can select the section you don’t want and press delete or backspace on your keyboard to delete the audio file.
(Once you’ve removed the click/pop, its always best to use the fade tool, even in the smallest amount, to make sure no clicks and pops have been created when using the scissor tool)
Why are you finding clicks and pops in your audio, and how can you prevent them?
Whether you’re working with vocals, sampling a track, or just working with audio files in general, I’m sure you’ve seen those annoying clicks and pops in your audio files. Many different reasons low-quality files can cause clicks and Pops, corruption during transfer, bad recording environment, bad recordings, chopped-up samples, effects, and so on. The best way to avoid clicks and pops in Logic Pro is the Fade Tool.
The Fade Tool isn’t just great for getting rid of clicks and pops but can help prevent them. Every time I chop up a melody, loop, or sample, I will always at a very small fade in and fade out to ensure that when bouncing down these elements that there will be no nasty clicks and pops. You can do the same when working on vocals. I always like to cut out any space before starting the mix just for a cleaner workspace. Still, depending on the quality of the files, this can cause clicks and pops. Hence, a great way to prevent these unwanted sounds is by simply adding a slight fade in and fade out to all audio files; this way, you won’t need to spend extra time removing the clicks and pops later in the mix.
I always recommend you use the first process shown. Not only is It great at removing clicks and pops at a highly accurate level, but once you master it, you’ll be able to use the sample editor for more creative and corrective uses.
However, if you’re in a rush, any alternative options or a combination of them will be more than good enough.
I’m a Music Producer and Sound Engineer from the UK. I have been working with music my whole life and I’m currently studying Music Production and Sound Engineering at university.