2nd track speed varies

I’ve been using audacity for some time now, no particular problems that weren’t my own ignorance (I recorded my latest CD, Cadillac Dreams, using audacity–if you’re curious go to rootssongs.blog.com for a listen). I’ve got two songs I began working on yesterday, solid rhythm tracks in place, but when I recorded subsequent tracks the rhythm match is fine for the first 5 or 10 seconds, and then slows down. The tracks match up just fine when I’m playing along with the rhythm track. Any ideas? Thanks Jim

<<<when I recorded subsequent tracks the rhythm match is fine for the first 5 or 10 seconds, and then slows down. The tracks match up just fine when I’m playing along with the rhythm track.>>>

I missed the problem. Say that again and use different words.


I’ve got a nice rhythm track, tempo doesn’t change. When I record a second track using the rhythm track the playback on the second track slows down after a few seconds. It (the second track) sounds fine when I’m recording; it’s only the playback that slows down. It’s done this on two different songs (files), over a couple of days…thanks.

We see this fairly often, the best guess is that you’ve got a hardware clocking problem. Until someone comes up with a better solution, the only way to fix it is to use a different sound card.

I’ve been using audacity successfully on this computer for over a year for a variety of projects. I used it successfully the day before to record a song, and the same day to record an lp. Wouldn’t I notice if my sound card was going wonky? Thanks some more.

Well, it’s hard to say what causes this problem. Personally, I’m not 100% convinced it’s not a software problem.

But if you’ve been using Audacity just fine, and it suddenly starting acting funny there are only two options for the cause. Something you changed in software, or hardware failure.

Did you update your sound card drivers, or install some new software, or change your Audacity settings, or something like that?

There’s a chance, though small, that the hardware problem occurred between your uses of Audacity. Typically they happen during bootup, reboot, or power surges, but that’s not always the case.

These problems are tough (if not impossible) to track down. But from experience, changing the hardware tends to work (at least, I haven’t gotten any complaints for giving that advice).

Sooo, if I can’t track down any changes (I haven’t changed hardware, for instance, can’t tell about settings, yet) should I try reinstalling audacity? That would be cheaper than changing hardware (wouldn’t I be able to hear if my sound card became wonky?).

If I did reinstall audacity would that affect access to the data files I already have (I’ve had that question about downloading the unstable version–would I be able to access my old data files from the newest version)? Thanks again.

I strongly doubt that de-installing Audacity and reinstalling would affect your problem one iota. Actually there is no Audacity de-install and if you just remove it, it will leave behind file(s) of your Preferences settings - so when you re-install your previous settings will reamain extant. Access to all project files would remain as before.

As to installing 1.3.x - yes you can have 1.2 and 1.3 Audacitys on the same computer - and Projects that you created in 1.2 can (normally) be opened in 1.3 - you will get a warning message though. Just be very aware that once a project has been opened, or created in 1.3 then it can never be re-opened in 1.2 - i.e. it has forwards compatibility but not backwards compatibility.. I would recommend that if you are working on a critical project in 1.2, that cannot easily be re-created, that you want to transfer to 1.3 - then before the transfer you make a backup copy of the 1.2 project under a slightly different project name so you can revert to this under 1.2 if necessary.

I am not convinced though that installing 1.3 will solve your problem either.


Hey All,
Asked a web designer about my problem and he suggested I make an MP3 out of the project and play back it on my computer, and email it to myself to play it back on another computer. Rationale is that if it still sounded off on the computer that created it, but sounded fine on another computer that would indicate a hardware (soundcard) problem. If it sounded off on both computers that would suggest a software problem. Sounds logical. It sounded off on both computers…what do you think? If I can’t uninstall audacity should I abandon this version of audacity and install the unstable version? The only property I’ve changed is to switch back and forth between mono and stereo record for recording live and then recording lp’s.

Your soundcard effectively has two sides to it:

  1. the input side - which you will have used for your recording, and
  2. the output side which is used for playback.

Playing back an MP3 on two different computers will test onblt the output side - and try a commercially bought MP3 or one you know to be good on both computers to test too. This will give you a good idea if it is your otput side that is at fault. To test this install Audacity on the other computer - record something and make an MP3 - play on both computers - does that play ok on both the second m/a and your original m/c? If so then the output side is ok.

It is more likely though that it is the input side that is at fault - running the test above will point you to this conclusion if the “good” MP3 plays ok on both computers.

If your sonudcard is at fault, I would consider purchasing an external soundcard - the Behringer UCA202 and the Edirol UA-1EX both get mentioned favourably a lot on the forum.