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Avoiding Audio File Clicks and Pops with Crossfading

Written by Scott R. Garrigus - 2006, Scott R. Garrigus. All Rights Reserved.
Someone recently asked me why every time they tried splicing two pieces of audio together they kept getting clicks in their audio. They also wanted to know how to eliminate the problem. Well, the reason this happens is because most of the time the two different audio waveforms don't line up with one another at the splice point. Waveforms should be spliced at a point where they both line up with the zero-axis (a point at which no sound is occurring).

[Note: If you have one of my Cakewalk Power or Sound Forge Power books, you can find a more detailed explanation by looking up zero-axis in the index.]

One way to make sure your audio waveforms line up at any spice point is to use crossfading. This procedure smoothly fades one audio waveform into another, thus eliminating any potential clicks or pops. You should be able to find a crossfading function in most good audio editing applications, but here are the steps to take when using Sound Forge:

1) Open audio file A and audio file B.
2) Select all the data in audio file B.
3) In audio file A, place the Current Position Cursor at the splice point (the point at which you want to insert audio file B).
4) Choose Edit > Paste Special > Crossfade to open the Crossfade dialog box.
5) Choose the Normal Crossfade preset to have audio file A fade out slowly and audio file B fade in slowly. Or choose the Fast In preset for a quicker fade. You'll usually want to use a quicker fade if you don't want the listener to hear the transition between the two files.
6) Click OK.

[Note: If you are piecing two different songs together, you can do the crossfade at a point in audio file A (usually the end) where there is silence.]

Following this procedure, your two audio files should now be one file with a smooth transition between them. No clicks, no pops, or other annoying noises.

For more information: Sony Sound Forge Power books

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