Audacity 3.0.3 fine yesterday and SLOW today


I’ve been a happy user for nearly 2 years now, upgrading regularly as new versions become available. I have a desktop unit running the latest Win-10 Pro with plenty of RAM and storage. I create audio-only mono tracks for narration.

3 days ago, I went from 3.0.2 to 3.0.3 and things worked fine the first day. Recording, saving, closing. Then opening, editing, saving, closing, opening again, repeat.

The next day (2 days ago), I open the aup3 file, start editing again and each task begins to take longer and longer to complete. I save my work (also taking MUCH longer that before) and properly close both the file and the app.

Yesterday, after more of the same, I began to wonder if my older machine might be the problem even though it is completely up to date where Windows is concerned. So I decided to try using my newer laptop, also running Win-10 Pro with plenty of RAM and storage. I copied my subfolder for my project (under the Documents folder) to a flash drive, then placed the folder on the laptop under Documents, just like the other machine. I then went to “” and acquired “audacity-win-3.0.3-64bit.exe”. This I installed, running it “as Administrator”. Upon starting 3.0.3, I was able to open the aup3 file and edit it at the usual blazing speed to which I have been accustomed. These files, complete recordings but unedited, on average range in size from ~180 GB to ~250 GB. Yesterday went fine.

Today, I open the same file and it starts with the same slow opening, agonizing (not Responding) for minutes on end with each little step.

Needless to say (but I will anyway), this has me highly perplexed and perhaps a bit irked. I suspect, with no evidence or expertise on my part, that maybe Windows and Audacity are not playing well together because MS likes to make “enhancements” without letting 3rd party folks know in advance. Any thoughts or fixes or workarounds would be greatly appreciated.


If you wish to zip up your .aup3 file and upload it to a public file server, I’ll take a look at it. Post or PM me the link.

Thanks, jademan.

Unfortunately, the board says I’m too new (I suppose) to send a private message. I’ve been registered for some time, I believe, but this is my first attempt with PM.
Because this appears to be an open forum and this file is work-related, I am hesitant to post the link to my Google Drive ZIP file publicly. Any other suggestion(s)?

Try again now.

So Mike, this was easy; your project had 1,151,529 envelope controlpoints. You were lucky. The last project I saw had 10 times as many. Anyway, I removed them easily with my AudacityRescue program which I have posted about earlier on the forum, see: I don’t know how they got there. If you have any clues, please share - I suspect it has something to do with many punch or cut and paste operations. Do you mind if I retain your project for futher research?

Your “rescued” project has been posted. Your project should be back to its speedy self. :smiley: I have sent you a link. In the future you can download the rescue program and run it yourself, or I will be happy to assist you again, if you prefer.

Thanks again jademan!
Due to the nature of my audio work, I do a LOT of cut and paste operations on each file. There needs to be a specific dead space of about 3/4 of a second between each sentence or phrase, which is nearly impossible to achieve naturally when recording. Then there are numerous “breath marks” that must be deleted or drastically reduced. I also occasionally have to redo individual sentences which I record on the fly in a new track and then cut and paste over the original. It’s all a huge manual and tedious process, but the result is worth it. it seems odd that it has become an issue lately since I have been doing this for months now, but who knows? That’s life!
Feel free to keep the file, it is one chapter from an audiobook I’m working on. I look forward to downloading the rescue program and using it on a daily basis to avoid this from now on. And I’m REALLY GLAD it was (and is) a relatively easy fix.

I do a LOT of cut and paste operations on each file.

Do you have backup copies of all the work so you could start a job over again if you had to?

Do you ever close Audacity? Ever shut down and restart the machine?

@jademan: Given the production has enough work and backup files to start the job over, what would you do to start Audacity over?


I’m not sure what you are asking. It is always wise to have a good backup. I am just glad that Crazy Mike and others, that have invested incredible amounts of time, now have their projects back. :smiley:

I don’t know, but I believe the number of points may increase as editing continues, so that if you were able to roll back to some backup, it is entirely possible that as you reedited the file, the points would creep back in and you would be in the same place. Does that make sense?

The next day (2 days ago), I open the aup3 file

There can be two different AUP3 files. A Progression Project, where you keep piling on changes after changes and a Backup Project which is a single frozen moment in time.

Also to be clear, you did this progression to at least one project before this one which turned out fine?

This brings us back to the question of you ever shutting down Audacity or restarting the machine.


Does that make sense?

Yes, but I sense a common thread of people doing complex editing on multiple shows without ever restarting Audacity or the machine. Eventually, their luck runs out. Something fills up.


Hi guys,
Replying mostly to Koz, I had never until just today created a Backup Project file. I would simply record a chapter, which would always involve stopping and starting, sometimes deleting a badly executed sentence and starting again at that point. I usually do a Save Project as I complete each page in the chapter. Once the chapter was done, I would use Save Project As and add “backup” to the end of the file name. Then the next day I would open the original file and begin my edits.
I had no idea the edits were cumulative, although in retrospect it makes sense, and hence the file size would grow as well.
Does this mean that all those control points are eliminated when you create a Backup Project file, since it is a “frozen moment in time”? If so, I could save the Progression Project, create the Backup Project, rename the Progression Project as a backup, then move the Backup Project into my working folder and resume work on it as the new Progression Project. Does that make any sense?
Also, I always close Audacity when I am done for the day, and I regularly shut down or restart my computer at least once a week. So at least for me, I don’t think that is an issue.

Also, I always close Audacity when I am done for the day, and I regularly shut down or restart my computer at least once a week.

That was the actual question. Are we looking at the accumulated trash from multiple shows one after the other without restarting Audacity. No. Probably not.

And no. Changing the Project type is probably not going to help. Projects traditionally do not save UNDO, so that’s not a valuable possibility.

So somehow, Audacity is remembering edits you didn’t do. I’m glad I don’t have to sort this out.



Do you use the type of cut/copy/paste that tries to gently fade between old and new work? I think that’s an option as opposed to hard cutting which can cause clicks and pops at the edit points.


When I cut and paste, I have two tracks open, the main one where the original recording is and a second blank one. I mute the first track, record the new segment in the second one. I then select a range around the new segment, press Ctrl-C for Copy, then select the range around the old segment in the main track and press Ctrl-V to paste. After that, I delete the second track and continue editing the main one. Depending on how well I was doing any given day, I might repeat this process many times.
Before a few days ago, I had done dozens of chapters this way. I have 2 complete audiobooks already on the market that were created this way, both with an average of 30 chapters. As you could probably tell, I already finished 22 chapters in this book before any problems appeared, all using my same process of work. That is mainly why I think maybe there was some little change in a fracking Windows update recently that might be gumming up the works. I spent 40 years as a CAD drafter and designer using Autodesk drafting and design suites, so I’m no stranger to using sophisticated software. But I’m not a coder, so I can only “wonder out loud”.
That being said, I also noticed that when I copied the “problem file” from one computer to the other via a flash drive and then installed 3.0.3 and opened that “problem file”, I was able to edit it just fine that first day. It was the next day that it started with the problems again. As I said, I always shut down Audacity when I am not actively working with it.

and press Ctrl-V to paste.

That sounds like plain, ordinary cutting and pasting, not the fancier fades mentioned in the manual. You always do the cuts at room tone or silent points in the performance so they’re not obvious?

And you do it while you’re in the swing of the performance so there is no difference in the acting.

So the question then becomes where are any envelope control points coming from. If you use the Audiobook Mastering Suite, the first step, Low Rolloff uses 7 or 8 frequency definition points. I wonder if those count.


Those should not be relevant - different kind of “points” - they are within the effect code and nothing to do with the audio track, so only a superficial similarity.

It has been established that when a project contains envelope points, applying edits or effects may corrupt the envelope points. I believe that two of the developers have been looking at fixing this issue, but I don’t know if they have succeeded yet.

I just wanted to add that this recently happened to me too, using Audacity 3.0.2.

I had recorded 100 minutes in 32-bit-float 96kHz and left the project open overnight, just quickly saving the project into a 5GB aup3 file. The next day I started cutting the audio, using “Generate silence” and CTRL+L about 100 times. 50 minutes into the file Audacity started to become unresponsive from one moment to the other. I tried restarting the app and my computer, and updated to 3.0.3 hoping it would help.
Ultimately, the repair tool fixed it for me by removing some 600k envelope points.

Thanks for the positive report. :smiley:

My standard workflow is to start a new, blank chapter file (they usually run 15 to 20 minutes long when finished) and record 2-3 seconds of dead space or room tone before I start speaking. When I finish the chapter, including all the starts and stops, (which can carry on over more than one day if I start late), I use the Noise Reduction effect to sample the initial room tone and apply it to the whole file. Next, I use Save Project As to make a backup copy in the same folder. I have discreet folders for all my chapters. Then comes all the other editing I mentioned earlier.
I completed an entire audiobook and was more than halfway through a second one before discovering Noise Reduction and it has saved me a LOT of time since. I also use the Amplify effect with a value of -20 to drastically reduce most of my loud breath intakes. Ctrl-R helps afterward to apply that effect to the next selection.
Going forward, one of my next tasks it to research envelope control points. I am such a noob for not doing more homework and exploring more features before now. I wonder if I am doing something unknowingly to engage envelope effects.
Another task is checking out Audiobook Mastering Suite, and I am figuratively kicking my own bum for missing that!


research envelope control points.

The slowdown problem is a certified bug. Undocumented evil program behavior experienced by many different people on many different machines.

You’re not supposed to know what an envelope control point is. That’s like being concerned about the critical fuel/air mixture in your car’s engine. You can worry about that if you want to, but it doesn’t pay very many dividends.

checking out Audiobook Mastering Suite

That was the research project while sitting in the audiobook forum and gazing at the explosion of different processes people dreamed up to master their chapters. The original formula had separate plugins to get the right tools. Most Audacity tools ignore loudness and that’s at the core of chapter processing. Later Audacity versions published all the right tools and also ACX-Check. ACX-Check is a cousin to ACX Audiolab. “Am I loud enough and where are my peaks?”

ACX-Check also checks Noise. That’s the test all home readers fail.

I bet you’re wondering if Mastering is now a simple go-to-completion process with easily available tools, why hasn’t someone created a one-step Macro.

Audiobook-Mastering-Macro.txt (498 Bytes)