Amplify / Normalize problem...Help

Hello fine people, I am new here and have a recurrent problem with Audacity 1.2.6.

I record in stereo at a low input so as not to distort the signal, then I go through the file and amplify each song and link (it’s a radio show). Lately the ‘Amplify’ effect has been stalling during processing (the status window usually hangs for 10 seconds or so) and then completes but takes a chunk of audio out of one side of the stereo channel. This is a nightmare to repair using cut and paste, does anyone have a similar problem or suggestion how to fix it?

Thanks in advance
Danny Webb

It sounds like you may be short of disk space on your C: drive, or low on memory.

Thanks Steve, i record all data to my F drive (loads of extra space) but will the C: still be used for the cache or something? Low memory could be an issue, but it has only recently started to occur.
Thanks for your reply.

Unless you have made changes to the Audacity Preferences (Edit menu > Preferences) the default location for the data when you record into a new project is on the C: drive. You can see the exact location if you look on the “Directories” tab of Preferences.

Once a project has been saved, the project data folder is used instead of the default. However you need to be a bit careful with this as writing the recorded data to an external drive can cause problems such as drop-outs (bits of data missing) because the access speed of external drives is typically much slower than an internal drive.

It is generally best to work on your projects on the C: drive (or other internal drive) and make sure that you have sufficient error free and defragmented space to do so. When you Export your audio you can Export that to an external drive.

It is generally recommended to keep a minimum of 10% drive space free at all times on Windows computers.

Do you get very many red lines when you Defragment? I assume all the drives make it through Windows Error Check?

Audacity will not run into a fragmented drive and it will certainly not work into a drive with errors. Both can get worse over time.


This all seems fine Koz, thanks, I think Steve has probably hit the nail on the head, will report back after next usage.
Thank you guys.


We’re leery of slippery words. Did the defragment take very long? Any trouble finding the tools? Right-Click c: > Properties > Tools > Defragment and Error Check. You should certainly defragment the data drives, too. If you do much production, they’re going to be a festival of separated clusters and tracks. Each one slows down production.

We learn over on the video forums to ring bells when the operator insists that the “drives are fine” or “they have plenty of space.” That usually means they have a large, slow drive and there’s 1G of space left.


Koz you were right, they took about a week to defrag. :open_mouth:
Thanks again, just about to record my show so I’ll let you know the results, when I edit it tomorrow.

Worked brilliantly, thanks again everyone…sorry about the delayed reply…

That’s OK.

Do you understand what happens? Windows breaks up your work into little clusters and stores them on the drive wherever it can find room, first come, first served. If you remove a 1M file and then store a 2M file, Windows will break up your work into 1M to fill the recently vacated hole, and then it puts the next 1M into the next hole – and may need to break that one up, too.

OK, now let’s retrieve that file very, very quickly. Can’t be done. Windows has to remember where all those fragments are and how to play them back. Defragmenting jams all those fragments together greatly increasing the speed of the machine.