Audacity 3.4 Extreme Digital Distortion

Extreme digital distortion makes version 3.4.0 unusable for me. See attached screenshot. It doesn’t matter what input device I use. I’ve rebooted, uninstalled and re-installed 3.4.0 with no change. Version 3.3.3 doesn’t do this. It still runs clean on 3.3.3. I’m running Mac OS Sonoma 14.0, M1 MacBook Pro, with 32 GB of memory.

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On my iMac OS Monterey 12.5.1 and am experiencing the same digital distortion. Even with the built in microphone the recorded signal is overdriven and distorted. When I select Silent Monitoring it is redlined distortion.

If I drag an old recording (mp3) made from version 3.3.3 I can record on that track and the input microphone works perfectly, but if I try recording on a new track, it’s back to the distortion.

However, on my MacBook Air running OS Monterey 12.5 it works perfectly???

Try changing the bit rate to 32 or 16. That fixed my problem.

This didn’t work for me. The distortion is less with bitrate 16, but stille unworkable…

I’m a Windows guy, but…

Tell us more about your setup and what “devices” you are using, etc.

Note that Audacity gets the audio from the operating system and drivers so this probably isn’t an Audacity problem.

…Windows has optional “audio enhancements” that can foul-up the digital audio stream before it gets to Audacity and I THINK the Mac has similar options.

…Or if you are recording streaming audio, I’d GUESS you’ve created an internal feedback loop. But, I don’t know how to fix that on a Mac.

You’re right. This only occurs when set to 24-bit recording which is what I record in. It’s a definite bug! Thanks.

It’s an Audacity problem. It works fine in 3.3.3, Reaper, and Logic Pro X. It’s related to using a bit depth of 24 bits.

Same drivers? Your DAWs support ASIO drivers. Audacity doesn’t.

There are no drivers in a Mac.

I’m having the same issue. Complete distortion

How do i go back to version 3.3.3 on my Mac?

Can also confirm I am having this issue on my Mac, no matter what mic I use. It’s just ear-rape whenever I record anything. Thank god 3.3.3 is a downgrade option for me. Upgrading to 3.4 nearly destroyed my AD narration career. Guess I won’t be updating for a while…

Edit: For context, I record in 48k 24-bit

Same her on a PC. Extreme distortion on mic after updating to 3.4. Mic works fine on other recording software. No doubt its a Bug. May day is shot. Anyone know an easier/quicker way to back out the 3.4 back to 3.3.3, other than uninstalling, re-downloading and reinstalling?
Ung. You would think they would beta test and debug

before releasing and update.

Nope, only way to downgrade is to well, do exactly what you said. Fortunately on my Maac, all I had to do was replace the .app with the older version. All my settings remained intact.

I don’t do Mac installs quite the same way everybody else does. I prepare a folder first and then install in that folder.

This is me about to run Audacity 2.4.2.

So when that install graphic comes up that wants me to drag the icon, I drag it directly to Go > Applications > and whatever folder I prepared.

It is possible to scramble presets that way, but it does seem to work.


I’ve never tried putting two different Audacity versions on the dock at once. I suspect that’s just asking for trouble.


I am getting the same thing. 3.3 and earlier were fine. But I can’t make this distortion go away in 3.4. The only bright side so far is that it’s not just me.

Nothing gets the developers attention faster than the forum filling up with the same problem.


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I uninstalled the 3.4 program and reloaded the 3.3.3. Distortion went away and working fine now.

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I have a PC (Windows 11) and I downloaded 3.4 yesterday and the same distortion occurred. I just restored 3.3.3 and the microphones are working fine with no distortion. This is definitely an Audacity issue. I hope they are aware of it and repair soon.

Same issue here on Win10. Changing from 24-bits to 32 made it work correctly, although I’m not sure that’s a good solution for me