Software to modify waveform of tape recording converted to mp3

Many, many years ago, I digitized some vinyl records I had. I used iGrifin 's iMic to as an intermediary between my record player and my Mac.
I remember I used a free audio software to digitize the music. I also used that software to clean it, as on could "draw the waveform and thus eliminate clicks and other obvious noises.
I can’t remember the name of that software and I am in need of some such software.
I offered my sister to digitize old tape recordings she made many years ago. They are conversations with Native Americans in Northern Argentina, persons that speak softly, and with noisy backgrounds, and in other cases there is loud hum.
Can somebody recommend some free software to do that? I am using an old box connected to to the iMic and Quicktime to record them.
Thanks in advance for any help.
I am using an iMac running the latest version of Monterey

I use the free Audacity app for my audio editing work.

It includes filters for removing clicks, pops and noise. If you don’t trust the automatic filter to do what you need over the entire recording, you can select an arbitrarily small segment of audio and just run filters over the selection.


YES! That’s the program I was looking for.
Thanks a lot!

Audacity is great! I’ve been using it to digitize old reel-to-reel tape. In addition to filters for removing clicks and pops and a noise reduction filter, it has “Normalize” effect that can balance the amplitude on two stereo channels if one is much fainter than the other.

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I’m using an Audio-Technica AT-LP120XBT-USB turntable, which is excellent, to transfer some vinyl records to my iMac or my MBP to create MP3s. It has an output to directly connect the unit to a computer and the turntable has a built in pre-amplifier for that purpose. The recommend the use of Audacity, which I have used with some regularity but it was years ago.

My problem is the MBP (which is easier to access than the iMac) give no indication of a signal of any strength and so Audacity doesn’t show anything present.

I am looking for something like the iGrifin iMac to help amplify the signal. Does anybody know where I can get a reasonably priced piece of equipment to perform this task? Any help appreciated!

You say it’s a USB turntable, which to my knowledge should not require a pre-amp (external to the device, that is). But you’re saying that when plugged in and operating, you have selected the turntable in System Preferences > Sound > Input, yet the indicator at the bottom of that panel shows no signal?

I use a Behringer U-Phono UFO202 interface for digitizing my cassettes. It includes a ground lug and a phono pre-amp, in case your turntable needs them.

It’s a pretty inexpensive device. Under $20 from Sweetwater Sound (no business relationship other than a satisfied customer).

It doesn’t include any software, but you don’t need any. It shows up on your Mac as a generic USB audio interface, which you can use to record or play audio. I rip my cassettes by playing tapes into it, with Audacity recording the digital audio.

As others have stated, you should not need any additional equipment since your turntable is USB. Are you sure you have the USB device selected under the Input section which looks like a microphone? Also, you sometimes have to give the software permission to use that device the first time.

Regarding the iGrifin iMac, from various reviews and comments I read in the past that device is inferior to many out there but is OK I suppose if price is an issue. The built-in chips in the Mac are better and produce decent/excellent quality.

I have almost the same USB turntable (earlier model), and I found it a lot easier to upgrade to Rogue Amoeba’s Audiohijack (there might be a Tidbits member discount)


Also, which version of Audacity are you using and which OS? There were some issues with older versions and Catalina for example:

While Audio Hijack is a good choice and I used it a long time ago, I don’t recall if it shows the waveform while recording which is nice to see how high or low the levels are. Also, I don’t think it is known whether it records bit perfect or not.

Yes, I did select via System Preferences but there was no signal of strength.

The problem with Catalina wasn’t an issue because I was using my MBP running High Sierra. The turntable would not have liked my crooked desk lol. Thank you for the info though. Grrr Apple - I hate Big Brother companies.

That looks like a perfect interface. Thank you! I see I can buy it at no interest too :wink: Will be ordering one and hope it solves my problem

BTW the album I am trying to transfer is recordings performed by the organist of my second church; he was a world renowned organist and the church had one of the first computerized organs that was hand made! I loved that man and he was such a great person. Unfortunately, he was murdered the night before we were to recognize him for 50 years service and he was retiring shortly after that. The world lost a great musician and I lost a man I treasured. Thus the desire to retain his great music. Long story but I think it emphasizes how important music can be to us in our lives. Being able to hang on to it is important!

Audacity is now at 3.1.3, which I have been able to run on Big Sur and Mojave.

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In general, you should keep Audacity up to date. I’ve found that over time, macOS updates tend to break it, but ongoing development work keeps the latest versions compatible.

When I replaced my hardware last year (from a 2011 mini running Sierra to a 2018 mini running Catalina), my (migrated) installation of Audacity ended up massively broken. I downloaded the latest version and that worked fine.


I usually agree about using the latest version of Audacity but in the past, I had some issues with newer versions. For example, I could hear clicking noises in the recordings which previously were not there. Going back to the previous version, all was well. So currently, I’m using 2.4 with Catalina even though it is up to 3.1.3 at the moment. There are many issues with some Monterery users on their forum page using the current version so sometimes you have to go back and give a previous version a try.

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I use CD Spin Doctor that removes clicks and noise.

The clicking noises I was referring to were not from the original recording but extraneous sounds as a result of that version of Audacity not being compatible with the system at that time despite them saying that it was. I generally record silence first using two different inputs from a preamp when trying a new version to see if something like noise creeps in that wasn’t there previously. What you’re talking is for vinyl records that have noise issues. While I do digitize vinyl, I tend not to overdo the filters like clicks and noise since those can degrade the original recording depending on the parameters utilized.

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