2.4.2 on Catalina 10.15.7: no sound on recording

Thank you steve.
Yes, I am using 2.4.2… and I have uninstalled and reinstalled fresh versions several times. Nothing works!

A possible solution was posted here: https://forum.audacityteam.org/t/problems-getting-sound-into-audacity/60358/4

Success!! After weeks of frustration. For others in the same boat as me, I would like to offer a glimmer of hope.

Who is in the same boat? Those unable to play, or record audio in Audacity 2.4.2 on Catalina 10.15.7. Those who are never asked to grant “microphone” access to Audacity. Those who see screeds of inscrutable messages like the following when running Audacity from a terminal.

||PaMacCore (AUHAL)|| Failed to open AUHAL component.||PaMacCore (AUHAL)|| Error on line 1263: err='-50', msg=Unknown Error

The clue was that Audacity behaves properly when run from a fresh test account. Therefore, the problem must lie somewhere in my (dauntingly large) Library folder. The penny finally dropped that I should pay attention the letters “AU” and the word “component” in the error message. I simply archived everything below


, then deleted it all. Audacity then behaved itself nicely.

I saw nothing untoward in that subtree; for example running gnu “file” on the executables under MacOS subtree directories showed no 32-bit executables, or anything else suspicious. I may yet have to reinstall some components I use in Garageband (which has always behaved itself properly, asking for “microphone” access, making use of my favourite effects, etc). But AT LAST I know where the problem is – if not exactly why it has caused me such grief over so many weeks.