When two different inputs of distinct low and high frequencies are applied to a medium, the linear responses are composed of waves of two dominant frequencies. However, microcracks such as fatigue cracks generate nonlinear waves by modulating the characteristics of the incident waves. Although this phenomenon has been observed and used to detect microcracks, the underlying principles have not been thoroughly elucidated. The hysteresis properties were introduced to describe the nonlinear relationship between the stress and strain to explain these phenomena [Van Den Abeele et al., Res. Nondestruct. Eval. 12, 17 (2000) and Nazarov et al., Acoust. Phys. 49, 344 (2003)]. The generation of harmonics was explained by superimposing stress-strain relations that vary with crack width and excitation magnitude. As the crack depth increases, the ratio of magnitudes of the second harmonic to the first harmonic increases, but the increment becomes smaller [Kawashima et al., Ultrasonics 40, 611 (2002)]. Here, we show that the waves affected by the contact motion of the crack surfaces cultivate the nonlinearity in waveforms, resulting in high frequency off-band signals. With the hypothesis that the clapping of cracks might generate nonlinear components close to the high excitation frequency, we prove that the generation of the high frequency off-band peaks is directly affected by the clapping contact interaction of the crack surfaces. The amount of energy transmitted is closely related to the size of the crack width and the magnitudes of low and high frequency excitations. Published by AIP Publishing.