All audio suddenly and mysteriously corrupt!

Hi windows xp with the newest audacity 2.0.5 with .exe/install -not zip. Seems I have a bug. My audio (All audio on my computer—which i listen to with windows media player and audacity when creating) sounds off if audible at all and the balance is not balancing (except songs with low volume moving balance out of center actually increases volume) Some songs missing vocals, some barely audible or missing parts. Not sure what it is. But it became obvious after I removed Microsoft’s silverlight then received their final windows update for XP.

Also—The night before I had started using a new mic (a usb karaoke mic i found at a thrift store) as well but the only thing off then was I had to have the mic volume all the way down to 0 for it to work (and it did well).

I’ve since restored my windows xp all the way back with the recovery disc to original factory condition and then had to upload 138 updates to bring it back to where it was and still the audio has the bug! I’ve checked and rechecked all the settings. After I restored system I reinstalled audacity. So I don’t think it’s a setting unless the OS or the program retained the bad setting even through the restore. Please Help! Thanks.

except songs with low volume moving balance out of center actually increases volume

Download and play my test sound clip. Make sure your head is centered between your two speakers when you play it.

I’m betting your sound system doesn’t pass and segment three and four are reversed or damaged.


Seems I have a bug.

Probably not. A “Bug” is unintended, evil behavior experienced by thousands of people on different computers. One thing that regularly kills Audacity is evil behavior that was intended. That’s not a bug. That’s a Feature Request.

Most likely a broken ground wire between your computer and your speakers. If the cable is removable, try another cable. Or try some headphones, or different speakers, or whatever you have handy. Wiggling/bending the cable near the connector (whichever end is broken) may temporarily bring it back.

A broken ground wire between the computer & speakers (with the left & right grounds still connected together at the speaker-end) will result in left-right subtraction, which works like a center-channel vocal remover. The bass is normally centered, so it will also be removed along with any centered instruments. (Without a ground, you can also pick-up noise.)

If you move the balance either way, the centered vocals should come back (because you are subtracting silence). And, no matter what you do with the balance control, you should get “mono” (the same sound from both speakers).

–The left was in both headphone speakers --oh also it’s only corrupt out of the headphone audio, the notebook’s speakers seem okay. The right was in bothe sides, the center was barely audible, on “3” the volume went back up.

This sounds pretty acurate per my problem! --I have tried several different headphones to no avail. So if it is an internal connection bad – then should I be able to replicate the headphone quality with usb headphones or a usb to headphones converter/adapter?

Thanks guys – I think that’s it, maybe I’ll get some tools and attempt to get in there myself and look see! It’s an Asus notebook. Or if not I guess it’s a toss up between paying for a repair or aquiring usb headphone capability. --Thanks again, you all are geat!

That test clip falls apart immediately if you have something wrong with your speaker or headphone system. Without sitting down with a cup of tea and analyzing it, yes, you have something very seriously wrong.

The first three segments should only change left-right location. Segment three should appear a little louder and centered. The fourth segment is intentionally damaged to simulate bad or inappropriate speaker wiring. A very common problem is the normal segment three vanishes and damaged segment four sounds fine. That’s obviously a problem — usually with wiring, but as you found, not always. But it is broken.

On a large, healthy speaker system, sometimes segment four will sound like it’s coming from behind you.

the notebook’s speakers seem okay.

That tends to indicate that it’s not a software or configuration problem… It’s hardware… Probably… You never know for sure what the problem is/was 'till it’s fixed.

I have tried several different headphones to no avail. So if it is an internal connection bad – then should I be able to replicate the headphone quality with usb headphones or a usb to headphones converter/adapter?

You should be able to REPAIR the problem with USB headphones or a USB soundcard. :wink:

You can find USB soundcards online for a couple of dollars. I wouldn’t recommend buying the cheapest one you can find, but but I have one that I paid about $18 for (just to have around as a spare for troubleshooting) and it works just fine.

While not necessarily a recommendation, I have a Startech ICUSBAUDIO which, in one little box, simulates a normal Windows Laptop connections: Mic-In and Headphone Out.

I use one for my telephone recording system.

Their quality control isn’t the best and I have had to can one of them for bad electrical performance and there’s another one on the maintenance shelf waiting testing. Someone noticed it didn’t sound right.


thanks, that startech little usb converter thing for $20 looks perfect --cool :sunglasses: --we’ll see… :unamused:

Update: Ordered an iLuv brand usb to headphone and mic jack adapter (connecter?, device?)($10 at bestbuy). Had to order, not a popular item/no one stocks… now have to wait 2wks/–for delivery. “the show must go on!” …Also, I attempted to open/take apart this Asus Eee PC/notebook, 4 little philip heads/on bottom but nothing seemed to want to budge(open/come off and I didn’t want to force anything so cancelled that idea. :nerd:

UPDATE So far so good–the adapter works fine. A little what seemed like grumbling from my computer at first (and making sure sound preferences all set right) but accepting now fine. It’s a fix! Problem Solution Fix! Thanks again. Glad I didn’t go with the cheapy cheapest adapter. This one (iLUV) seems decent and adequate w/value and quality… playback same or better or should I say true/proper not altered, just a proper device to deliver the true sound unaltered. Because some adapters boasted of preset EQ’s and what not, which I did not want.