Crackling and Popping when using ReaTune in Reaper

TL;DR – If you’re experiencing crackling and popping in Reaper when you have ReaTune on a track, check that you don’t still have the track Record Armed. .

I was recording vocals into a project in Reaper recently, and even while I was singing I knew I missed a couple of notes. These were just scratch vocals that would be replaced later by someone who can actually achieve those notes, so after a couple of takes I decided to drop in ReaTune to tighten them up so I could get on with the rest of the track.

Just running the audio through ReaTune, even before adjusting anything, I could hear all sorts of crackling and popping in the audio. WTF?

At this point I should have listened without ReaTune, but because I knew I’d missed the notes while signing I didn’t bother listening to it before dropping in ReaTune.

Hoping to narrow down the cause, I spent awhile ruling things out. I closed Reaper and recorded in Audacity. All good. Brought Reaper back up and muted all the other tracks to take their VSTs out of the equation. Crackle still there. After a few more of these types of things, I eventually tried taking ReaTune out. Bam, no crackle.

Still, I’ve used ReaTune before without this, what’s the problem? After much trawling through Reaper settings, Activity Monitor, Google and probably other places, I was no better off. I was at the point of deciding to live with the bum notes (it’s only a scratch vocal after all) when, almost without thinking, I disarmed record mode for the track.

Suddenly, all crackling and popping gone.

I’m normally in the habit of disarming record mode for a track as soon as I finish recording it, so I’d never struck this before. It doesn’t need to be Record Armed for ReaTune to do its thing, so disarm it and save yourself 30 minutes of frustration.

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