Audacity freezes recording after 3-4 seconds

I’m using Windows 7 on an Asus laptop, Audacity 2.1.0. I’ve recently acquired a Focusrite Scarlett 18i8. The interface reads the microphones and sound, the mixer is picking up the audio. However, when I record with Audacity, the recording will start, and then freeze after 3-4 seconds, sometimes less. The Record button stays “pressed” in the toolbar and the monitor levels in Audacity stay frozen at whatever they were positioned in when it froze. If I press the stop button, I can play back the audio that was just recorded with no issues, it’s just me checking the mic and counting. Sounds fine, except for the freezing. The specs on my device are as follows: 2.20GHz, 4 GB of RAM, 64-bit Windows 7.

I’m using this for podcasting and i could really use some help, as no topics I’ve found seem similar. Thank you, all.

How many tracks are you recording?

If this is using USB, try another USB cable, tightly connected both ends.

Look at buffering settings both in Audacity (Edit > Preferences… then the Recording section then “Audio to buffer”) and in any Focusrite settings.

If you are using software playthrough in Audacity (Transport Menu), try turning it off. Turn off Sound Activated Recording in that menu too.


Hi Gale,

Just one for now to test but eventually I want to do two. It is using USB. Software playthough is off and as is sound activated recording. USB is connected tightly, tried three different cables and same problem is still happening. Buffering settings are equal.

Hi Gale.

USB is connected tightly at both ends. Buffering settings match and Playthrough and sound activated recording are both off. The issue is still occurring. What’s really funny is, the 3 or so seconds that I do get Audacity to record sound great when I play that back. So I know the mic and the interface are indeed getting sound.

Try a higher audio to buffer setting in Audacity, even if you don’t match the Focusrite setting with it.



I’ve had a similar issue with that interface about a year ago on OSX. Focusrite support was extremely helpful, but in the end decided to exchange the interface. The new one worked out of the box.

There was a difference: this one didn’t record at all in some DAW’s. When we tested on Windows (7 IIRC), the behaviour was the same. That"s when we all realized it was probably a broken interface.

Right-click over the speaker icon by the system clock, then choose “Recording Devices”. Right-click over the Focusrite then choose “Set as Default Device”. Then try recording with Windows Sound Recorder.

If the problem is the same in Sound Recorder, then you should report the problem to Focusrite.