tricks for eliminating pops on ID starts in montage

got a pesky clicking montage this morning. it’s a single audio file split with a half dozen ID splice points. they sound fine when playing from WaveLab, but when i make a DDP and audition in a DDP player a couple of them have clicks at the beginning.

same with iTunes and other players, but sometimes different tracks have clicks depending on the playback program.

beyond “quantize cd markers” and manually moving around and trying different spots, is there a tried-and-true method for finding spots that won’t cause clicks?

it’s a pain to nudge a marker, quantize, export DDP, play, repeat… and i don’t seem to be anywhere closer to eliminating the clicks…

thanks for any tips!


It’s very difficult to know your audio and where and why it clicks
but if’s a CD track start then if it start at zero crossing and not to short
200-400 ms before audio starts then it should not click!
but if the CD track start audio is not at zero crossing and to short start up time
yes it likely to click and this depends on player(s) soft or hardware

but its hard to guess if you don’t have the CD/audio to hear and see in the DAW

someone else…

regards S-EH

Have you checked your rendered DDP back in WaveLab or a DDP Player? Or checked your rendered WAVs in a new montage when butted up against each other with no space added between the clips? Do you hear the clicks there?

I think the best you can do is make sure your master WAVs (and DDP of course) do not click when playing from one song to the next. Anything beyond that is coming very player dependent now.

Are you running any plugins when rendering your master WAVs? I’ve found that many plugins are not sample accurate at the start of renders so what I do is render the entire montage as one file in a single pass. So in other words, render the Whole Montage as a single file. Use the render settings to have WaveLab create a new montage on the resulting render to carry over all your marker info etc. so everything else is the same.

Then when I insert a dither plugin and render WAVs as each track, I can get seamless transitions.

When I try to render gapless/seamless tracks as WAV from the montage with any plugins (other than dither and light duty stuff), usually plugin processing (3rd party EQ, compressors, limiters etc.) will cause little clicks and pops but you can avoid this by doing a single render to print all the FX to a new file. You could print the dither too if you don’t plan to make any more changes to the audio but I do not print the dither because I often have to produce different sample rates and dither after that.

imo It’s a continuing issue with no perfect solutions except trying in different cd players (which will all play slightly different). Finding zero crossings in both channels exactly at automatic quantized cd frames is a chore at best, and then is often negated by the different cd players playback anyway. Maybe settle for the best compromises. I wonder what they did about zero crossings before music computers, when zero crossings didn’t exist. Just plain old audition, I guess. There were certainly live continuous cd’s and cd’s with track crossfades before that.

You could try micro fades creating zero crossings exactly at cd frames, like one user in the past. Not sure how effective that is in all cases though, or when it becomes audible.

thanks for all the feedback and help… a few replies:

  • no, no plug ins on the render, except for the dithering to 16 from 24

  • i haven’t tried re-importing the renders into a new montage to see if they click when i line them back up

  • the DDP player is clicking two of the cuts… so i’m still hesitant to send to the client … i am aware that different playback devices may click or not… but if my own DDP is, then i don’t want to send it.

sounds like i need to keep moving the splice points around to try different places…!

You should be able to produce seamless WAV renders from the montage, especially if no plugins are used. I haven’t tested with all dither plugins but even with Goodhertz Good Dither I can do it. When I introduce other more intense plugins, then the problems come in which is why I do a full render before dividing up into tracks. I got this idea when I was troubleshooting a similar case and the DDP didn’t have the clicks but the WAVs did. This is because a DDP render is technically one long render so I realized that if I process my WAVs in that way, the problems went away. The “Create Montage From Resulting File” option makes quick work of all this.

Are you using CD Tracks Splice markers at these points to ensure there is no space between the end and start markers? I never using anything other than CD Track Splice Markers other than the very first and very last marker of the project of course.

Maybe also try without your dither plugin just to rule that out.

yes, i’m using splice markers… and just the built in wavelab dither…

i’ll try without it now…

Strange. I can pretty reliably get smooth gapless transitions on my master WAVs and of course DDP when doing this.

Have you tried loading the WAVs and/or DDP back into WaveLab to verify and visualize what is going on to produce the clicks at the transition points? There are also some recent reports of the Steinberg DDP Player not playing nice with gapless tracks so I’d check by loading back into a new WaveLab montage, and make sure you’re using a trusted DDP Player like HOFA or Sonoris when checking outside of WaveLab.

Bumping this because I’ve been bumping my head against the desk for most of today trying to figure out, in vain, how to stop pops clicks ticks whatever from being introduced when rendering from a montage. This is happening in a file that has some crossfades in them, fade-ins on the new parts. I only have one plugin, DMG Limitless, on Effects>Output, no other plugs anywhere. All Track IDs are Splices. If I render the tracks from the montage as individual files, I get a pop click tick at the beginning and end of some resultant files. If I render a single full track, create montage from resulting file and carry over markers, I get no pops in the single large file. However, I still get the pop introduced when rendering individual tracks from this new file.
There is no significant DC offset (RX shows it to be < +0.023 on either channel). The track IDs are quantized to CD Frames. I’ve searched for zero crossings. As previous threads have pointed out, there are rarely good places where both channels are at a zero crossing. I’ve tried a variety of options, redrawing one or both channels from a variety of locations, to be at zero at the Splice. It will happen on the same tracks, regardless of rendering format (wavs, mp3s, or aacs) at native Fs and float bit or with Resampling and MBit+ dither.

Is there any solution for this?

It’s maddening, and I’m hoping there’s something better than the microfades (orangesomething, forget username, sorry) tried. That seems like a crazy workaround; it would be nice not to have to silence the audio by hand to resolve these ticks introduced by the IDs!

Also, Feature Request! Boy would it be nice if the ‘find nearest zero crossing’ function was expanded - e.g., I could click it and continue to move forward or backward in time to each next zero crossing. Unless I’m missing something, I have to move cursor from present zero crossing to a spot that’s closer to the next one, which isn’t convenient to say the least, given I’m asking the program to find the zero crossing. You see the catch-22, right? I get that it’s useful for just refining to exact point, but I think it would be far more powerful and helpful to have an expanded function with this.

Does anyone have a useful shortcut for checking each file in RX (or WL, spectral or wavelet view), where one can drag a batch of files in, and they all open to a zoomed in beginning or end of file, in order to easily/quickly see if a tick has been introduced?

This issue isn’t exclusive to WaveLab but I guarantee this will solve your problem, it’s how I render every montage, overlaps or not, just to be safe. You don’t have to do any micro-fades or anything weird. I don’t think you have a zero crossing issue. While zero crossings are ideal for when skipping to a track, you can put the track ID in the middle of the biggest kick drum ever and avoid a glitch when played straight through if rendered properly.

When you’re happy with the sound, marker placement etc, render the Whole Montage as one long file to lock in all plugin processing. I personally save it as a floating point WAV to account for additional sample rate conversion and other flexibilities but either way, render the Whole Montage as a single file.

There are render options that will create a montage from the resulting file, and copy over all the markers, CD-Text, etc. Everything is the same as the source montage, but the processing is locked in so no plugins (other than dither) are needed.

From here, you can render seamless WAVs of each CD Track. I can even do this with a dither plugin inserted, I’m guessing because it’s less CPU demeaning than a limiter.

What I can’t account for is if you’re using the Resampler in the global master section but as long as there are no plugins involved with the track by track render, it should be OK. Even Goodhertz Good Dither is OK to use here.

If you do need to get to a lower sample rate, I suggest using an external program to downsample the continuous render with the processing locked in, resample to the desired sample rate, use the Custom Montage Copy feature to create a new montage from the resampled file, and all is good.

How I double check for gapless/seamless WAV rendering is to make a new montage, load in the WAVs with 0 seconds spacing between them, and play the files. If you don’t hear a tick or pop as it plays from one WAV to the next, all is good.

Let me know if any clues in there help to get it sorted out.

This happens using your workflow of rendering with the output plugin into a new montage copying all IDs CD-Text etc. (and like your idea for a few reasons, faster rendering of individual filesets vs. each individual fileset having to run through limiter plugin, less load on processor for fileset = greater peace of mind, etc.). Unfortunately, the tick is present on the renders of tracks from either the old or new montage. Yet it is not on the continuous wav created by the initial montage where the final limiter is. So I think it’s the Splice IDs that are at play, and the ticks are at the beginning and ending of tracks that have xfades in the initial montage. In theory, there’s no xfade on the new montage, as it’s just one file at 32 float. But nevertheless, tick is still there. This is the first time I’ve experienced this in years of WL, where I imagine I’ve placed Splices at non-zero crossings at some point without issue…

As for resampling, tick persists regardless of Resampler in global master section on or off, and the off via bypass of just resampler or global master bypassed. I’ve not tried sample rate conversion via external app like RX< but tick is occurring without any resampling.

It’s a headscratcher. Headbanger. Thanks Justin, as always.

Does it happen if you remove Limitless, or replace it with something else? You say you can see the tick in the rendered files? (it’s more than just a transient playback problem?).

I’m going to post a sample session here to hopefully help you but in the mean time, it’s a long shot, but do you have this setting turned on?:

OK, here is a little sample session I came up with:

There is a READ ME file in the zip with all the audio but I’ll post it here too for easy access.

Hopefully it helps you get to the bottom of what’s going wrong on your end, but gapless/seamless render is possible in WaveLab, or I wouldn’t be using it.
Seamless Render READ (1.99 KB)

Thanks for session, I’ll check it out today. As for reset of plugin, and to this issue more in general, I want to make sure you understand that:

This isn’t the problem.

If I render a single full track, create montage from resulting file and carry over markers, I get no pops in the single large file.

I’m not having an issue rendering a single file from a montage with crossfades etc. But when I use that new file in the new montage to render all regions / CD tracks, I get the same result as if I did so in the original montage; a tick in the same place, which is indeed visible in RX spectrally in addition to audible playback.

This shouldn’t be the case though, that’s why I’m hoping my example montages, files, and render presets help you out.

As you can see and hear in the rendered test files of each CD Track which simulate what would be the final master files, there is no tick audible or visible.

Just another thought, but is that with all plugins removed (not just bypassed) when rendering from the single file montage (remove limitless, dither, src, whatever), you still get the ticks in the regions/tracks renders?

And these are cd track splice markers (not start and end markers), and the montage verifies ok with the check conformity button? Because if so, I’m with Justin, that should never happen, and I’ve never experienced it.

Correct. It’s a 48/32F single file, rendering as individual files 48/32F still get ticks. Nothing in Effects, and everything master section (just SRC and dither), either individually bypassed or render options > bypass master section. All same outcome.

Yes, all splices other than of course very beginning and end of montage. Check conformity won’t OK because it’s at 48k. But that’s never been at issue in past in not getting pops for file sets.