Audacity crashes every day on my iMac M1 2021 desktop

I save my recordings on audacity. Sometimes I leave them open for the next day. The next day I get a crash report. Every day more and more “recovered” blank files open each time I try to reopen Audacity. Those blank files are not ones I opened and I do not know where they came from. This hasn’t happened with previous versions of Audacity on this computer.

Also sometimes if I don’t use audacity I have gotten a similar crash, which doesn’t make sense to me.

I have a 2021 iMac with an M1 chip
16 GB Memory
Mac OS: Sonoma 14.0
800 GB remaining in space currently

Audacity version is 3.3.3

If anyone can help, I would really appreciate it. I am at my limit with this annoying situation happening all of the time.

If there is any other info required to solve this, please let me know and provide instructions on how to find the info.

Apparently I can only attach one image as a new user on this form.

Thank-you in advance.

And that was a step up. You usta not be able to post anything. We are a SPAM Magnet and allowing everybody to post everything is just asking for trouble.

Audacity 3.3.3 is one of the reputed more stable releases. So that’s a good start.

Are you doing all your work on the internal drive? I know my Mac really-really-really wants me to click that iCloud tag. Bad idea. Audacity only works according to the rules on the internal drive. It’s not that it fails. It becomes unstable and unpredictable.

What is the show? Are you reading an audiobook? We like it when we can recreate your production in our heads. It makes troubleshooting vastly easier.

I am horrified.

Koz

Alright.

Everything is saved on my folder on my Mac directly not on an external drive.

I record voice overs every week for my YouTube channel. I record in Mono. I also drag some video clips to edit recorded audio as well. I edit the audio from the videos separately from the stand alone voice over. The video is recorded on a Samsung A52. The video is 30fps H.264 and the standard setting. I use a Boya clip on mic for the on screen component. For the separate voice over it is a Blue Yeti Mini.

My latest crash report says Exception code 0x1
GPU: Unknown
Crash reason: EXC_BAD_ACCESS / KERN_INVALID_ADDRESS

Is there anything else I can provide to figure out what is going on?

I appreciate any help and guidance.

I was greeted with another crash report with a slew of recovered blank files that didn’t exist in the first place. The saved files from before didn’t pop up this time and they were closed after saving them. The crash report is the same.

44100 Hz is what the sample rate is. Sample format is 32 bit float. Buffer length 100. Latency compensation is -130 milliseconds.

The mono files that were exported and edited from the video audio come out as 48kHz for the sample rate. Whereas the audio recorded from the Blue Yeti Mini comes out as 44.1 kHz.
They are all exported as wav files.

I am not sure if this additional info helps to resolve this, but I’m trying. I’m not a tech witch.

Thank-you in advance. :lady_beetle:

I don’t know that I have any further ideas…

Do you remember exactly what you were doing just before the crash? Recording your voice? Selecting portions of the timeline for cutting later?

44100 is the sample rate for an Audio CD. It is generally considered the plain, ordinary sample rate for most audio production. Everything supports 44.1.

48000 is the rate for digital video. They got a later start than audio CDs, so they had a little more elbow room to play with at slightly higher quality.

Most video editors can switch back and forth between the two sound standards without even breathing hard. Include an Audio CD in your video show? Sure. Throw it in there.

Maybe not so much with audio editors. Someone else may post with notes about that. But even if it doesn’t work right, I would not expect Audacity to Hindenberg on you

So post if some part of the editing process is more likely to cause problems than others.

When machines fall over like yours, they may wake up with damaged bits and bobs and be more likely to fall over again. Do you Shut Down after a failure? Let it settle, and then do it again and go make coffee while it comes up the second time.

Koz

Thanks for your response Koz.

It normally crashes the next day. I closed all of the files yesterday. Today I clicked on Audacity and get the crash report before I can proceed:

Operating system: Mac OS X
14.0.0 23A344
CPU: arm64
8 CPUs
GPU: UNKNOWN
Crash reason: EXC_BAD_ACCESS / KERN_INVALID_ADDRESS

Thread 14 (crashed)

I do try to close the files when I’m finished exporting them as wav files. Occasionally I have left them open for the next day in the past which I know isn’t the best habit. I’m trying to be better about that.

I only have two active files open at most usually (nothing too crazy). Each has one track. Sometimes another track is added below just to be able to easily find a spot easily for the purposes of noise reduction. After I do the noise reduction using that reference track, I delete that track and continue.

My flow is:
-Change the view to spectrogram
-Noise reduction (often using a second uncut track below that has more space in between)
-Delete second track below
-Filter curve EQ
-Spectral Delete or spectral edit multi tool (for the occasional click noise or whatnot)
-Normalise
-Compressor
-Normalise
-Export as wav to a folder located on my desktop

Normally the crash does not happen while I’m working, but rather if it has been left for a long time. I thought that getting into the habit of closing everything would help, but I’m just getting a crash report right away when I try to open Audacity. I shall try to shut it down and see if that is helpful. (I may have tried that once before with this issue).

If this problem gets resolved, I shall add an update or if I think of anything else that my be useful for troubleshooting. Of course I welcome more ideas from everyone if they come up.

Thanks once again. :+1:

Here is my update.

Since I opened Audacity fresh and was greeted with a crash report, I closed all of my programs and browser tabs. I shut down the computer, turned it back on. I went to open Audacity and got another crash report. Again it wanted me to recover a bunch of non-existent bank files. I didn’t even do any voice over recording or editing yet today.

I opted to “discard selected” this time.

I am going to update Audacity and see if that helps.

I think it’s still true 3.3.3 and 3.4.2 are the least unstable. The versions between those two had…problems.

Do you use the “Dock” or bouncing bar on the bottom of the screen to manage applications?

Screen Shot 2024-01-09 at 1.29.47 PM

Depending on version, there is some marker to tell which applications are active. This particular version has tiny black dots. Reveal the Dock and see if the applications you have open and active are the same ones you think should be. Or that you recognize everything.

There’s another way to look at machine activity. The Activity Monitor. Go (top of the screen) > Utilities > Activity Monitor. You can click and drag that down to the Dock and it will stick there as a handy shortcut.

Launch it and it will show you, oddly enough, machine activity.

You don’t need to know what most of that means, but you should know that nothing should be taking up, say, 99% of the Central Processor Unit (CPU) for example.

There is a selection called Disk. That is an obsessive listing of all the stuff going into and out of your drive. The interesting part of the display is the bottom graphic.

DiskActivity_2024-01-09

Open that display just after you start your Mac from a cold start. It will show you all the data sloshing back and forth between the machine and the drive. But it should eventually calm down with little squiggles here and there.

That might be interesting to see when Audacity crashes.

That’s pretty serious. I believe it means Audacity (or something) tried to step on a portion of of the computer that either didn’t exist, or was being used by something else.

I saw pages and pages of programming and development commentary on this error.

Can you force Audacity to crash? Generate > Noise > Pink > 60 minutes. Now do it again on a fresh track. And again. Can you get up to four or five hours before anything messy happens?

Koz

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I know your goal is to have a perfectly operating recording system, but for troubleshooting, it’s insanely handy to know if you can make the trouble worse or change it. That’s why I suggested generating multiple 60 minute time lines.

In video services, it’s not unusual for someone to have a perfectly working computer and have it Hindenburg the first time they try to edit video. That’s also the first time they tried to use all the memory and other services of their machine. Video and audio editing is stressful.

Koz

Thank-you Koz for all of this information. My video editing software does use a lot of power as well. I try to minimise what is open on my computer. I know this about the dock and I was told that it is best to have less applications showing in the dock as well (regardless of whether or not they are being used). The activity monitor is a good thing to have in mind.

I updated to Audacity 3.4.2 and just to be naughty, and to test things out, I left two voice over files open overnight. This time there were no crashes, so perhaps the update resolved the issue. :+1:

With respect to Audacity stepping on a “portion of of the computer that either didn’t exist, or was being used by something else.” Some of the audio files are also used in my DaVinci Resolve video editing program. This is because, I replace some raw audio in there with what I edit in Audacity. The files are on the desktop not on any thumb drive or external drive, so don’t know why it would react as if they don’t exist. :woman_shrugging:t2:

I appreciate the help and shall keep in mind the info that you shared should any further issues arise. For now, I’m happy and relieved the update seemed to fix things. :slightly_smiling_face:

That’s the kind of thing that might cause problems. It’s important that you know this condition is there and can intentionally change it at will. Again, being able to force a failure is valuable.

The best you can do in programming and development is stick to known good practices and hope everybody else did, too. When someone posts on the forum that “Audacity doesn’t work with my Frammis-Stat program,” No developer can check the work with every application. There are always surprises.

Koz

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