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Mild Crackling in some songs

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 



This is my first post here so im new.


I have this issue when listening to music on my PC with AKG K550, In some parts of certain songs there appears this mild crackling alongside with the music, they are mostly very bass heavy parts always. The sample rate is correct. Tried to re-install sound card driver, tried different sound card, tried different PC. tried with different file types (320kbp mp3, flac, even 128kbs mp3) Its always the same parts of same songs. I listen music with Winamp and I use its EQ and I also use EQ from sound card. sound cards I tried were Asus Xonar DG 5.1 and onboard RealTek sound card. I noticed that most of the songs that crackled were FLAC files. I get the flac files from ripping CDs with Winamp flac encoder.


What this problem might be?


Thanks for your time.

post #2 of 11

When you EQ, are you EQ'ing the bass up without lowering the preamp of the EQ?  Not doing so will result in digital clipping of the music.


If you turn EQ off and/or EQ the right way, and you still hear the crackling, then it's probably just clipping within the song itself.

post #3 of 11
Thread Starter 

Hello. Thanks for fast reply. I tried with all EQs off and I still heard the crackling in these same songs.


So its just clipping on the songs? I dont get it how it is possible since most of it is done by professionals.

post #4 of 11

A product of the loudness war.  Often times people who master a song brickwall its information by dynamically limiting the peaks of the recording, and then digitally amplifying the rest of the music to make the song as loud as possible for general purpose, modern day consumer stereos.  What that can do is digitally clip some of the information within the song, leading to the soft crackling you hear.

post #5 of 11
Thread Starter 

Cool, thanks for the information!


Case Solved :)

post #6 of 11
Thread Starter 

One more question, is there a way to eliminate or reduce the crackling/distortion coming from these kind of recordings? Would an external DAC help me?

post #7 of 11

don't think there's any way to eliminate that, often higher quality headphones are more revealing of such mastering faults. Having good quality external DACs tend to reveal these faults even more.


I'm of the opinion that quality mastering of songs are far more important that the compression rate! A badly mastered track is still going to sound terrible even in FLAC or lossless formats.

post #8 of 11
Thread Starter 

So basically theres no point in buying high quality headphones/headphone audio gear?

post #9 of 11
Well rather say than there's no point getting good headphones, aim to get good quality tracks to match your headphones! And like you said, the clipping only happens with some songs, so you still enjoy all your other songs. Quite extreme to just conclude that there's no point getting good headphones.
post #10 of 11
Thread Starter 

Well, most of the albums I have bought recently have been this way. I thought I would get good experience from buying these headphones and the albums but they all have this mild crackle. Metsatöll - Karjajuht, Gamma Ray - Empire of The Undead, Behemoth - The Satanist. They all have this problem.

post #11 of 11
Old thread, but a persisting issue, I guess. Check out e.g. Carcass - A Congealed Clot of Blood at around 2:50 into the song. Mine is google's 320k download, spotted on Philips L2. Comes away with the worst earplugs I own...
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