Audacity 2.1.2 issue on Windows 10

Recording music for my mp3 player.
Doing basic things like crossfades, cutting out loud applause, etc.
Worked great for about 1 month. Three days ago, sounds like the playback is through a tunnel.
Also seems to fade in and out; sounds horrible.
Tried uninstalling and reinstalling using chrome and firefox several times.
Tried installing each with “resetting preferences” both checked and unchecked.
Yesterday I completely reset my two month old Dell laptop which was loaded with Windows 10.
That is, wiped everything off and reinstalled audacity without any AVG or Avast antivirus software.
I’m really getting toward the end on this one.
Any help on this would be awesome.
Russ D.

See here:
Also, ensure that you don’t have Skype or similar programs running in the background.

Thanks for your reply.
Did not find either of these settings after using the device manager.
“Noise Suppression” or “Echo Cancellation”
The Dell technician updated my bios and new drivers.
Says it may be an issue with Audacity.
Audacity records my voice and sounds great.
But a music recording from YouTube or Spotify has that horrible tunnel quality to it.
Thanks again in advance for any help.
Russ D.

Anti-virus software could cause clicks or dropouts if the stream is interrupted. Anti-virus software won’t cause tunnel effects.

You should keep at least some other anti-virus software installed but not running, to do periodic scans, as backup to the protection Windows Defender offers.

Audacity does not modify the signal while recording. You need to look elsewhere for the problem.

“Recording Enhancements” are not in Device Manager. They are in Windows Sound or in the control panel for your sound card, which will be in the classic Windows Control Panel.

How exactly are you recording computer playback, assuming you have copyright holders’ permission? Have you tried the Windows WASAPI (loopback) method: ?

As regards YouTube, you can download the videos, install FFmpeg, then drag the videos into Audacity to get a perfect copy of the audio.