Audacity Freezing Up

I am using Audacity 2.0.5 on a Windows 8.1 PC, to record. We are recording from a presonus mixer directly into the mic port on the pc. Twice now it has recorded for about 5 min and then starts to freeze, meaning the blue line will scroll but the audio position will pause a couple seconds and then jump up to the correct time. When we get to the end of the recording and try to export, there is nothing there the recording is blank.
Has anyone experienced this problem? How can we fix it?

I don’t know what the problem is, maybe it’s a driver.

We are recording from a presonus mixer directly into the mic port on the pc.

This isn’t going to help you with your current problem, but **the mic input is a bad idea!**The output from a mixer is line level, which is about 100 times as strong as mic-level. So, the mic input may be overloaded and distorted.

If you have a desktop or tower computer, use the line-input. If you have a laptop, consider getting an interface such as the [u]Behringer UCS202[/u], or Presonus makes some nice audio interfaces. Or if your mixer has a USB output, use that.

The mic input on a consumer soundcard is generally worthless for quality recording. It’s OK for gaming or communications, but it’s the wrong interface for any good stage or studio mic which will be low impedance balanced with an XLR connector. And studio condenser mics also require 48V phantom power, which a normal soundcard cannot supply. Plus the preamps built into regular soundcards tend to be noisy and they are usually mono.

The line-input on a regular soundcard can be quite adequate.

If the blue waves that you saw for the first five minutes are no longer there when you press the |<< button to go to time zero, then open Edit > Preferences… and look in the Directories section for where your temporary directory is. Perhaps you don’t have permission to write there, or it’s a network drive which has failed. Use the fastest local drive you have for your temporary directory, and use a folder on that drive that is in your own user space.

Please give the exact model number of the mixer if you need more help. If your mixer can connect via USB, don’t connect to a USB hub - connect to an empty USB port on the computer. Increase “Audio to buffer” in Audacity’s Recording Preferences if necessary.


Thanks Doug
I am kind of new at this, we are using a desktop, will that interface you mentioned work with our desktop as well or is there a better option?

If you use the blue line-in on that desktop, that may be perfectly adequate, if you can fix the problem you described. As Doug said it could be a driver problem. You may not have the correct driver for the mixer if it’s a USB mixer, or you may not have the correct driver for the computer’s motherboard sound card.

The line-in “might” be a little noisier than a USB interface. Does your mixer have a USB output for connecting to the computer?

If the problem is with the Audacity temporary directory, then you will be losing your recording whatever computer input you use.


Thanks Gale
I will try switching to the Blue mic port, and see if that is any better. Our mixer only has a firewire interface.
We were able to close audacity and restart it, after it happened and then it recorded fine. Could it be the audacity drivers that are faulty or the sound card drivers? To me it just seems odd that its sporadic. I would think if there was a driver issue it wouldn’t work consistently all of the time, but I am kind of new at this.

The blue connector should be stereo line-in like from a mixer or cassette machine. Mic-In should be pink. If you have a fancy surround soundcard then you could run into connection problems. I have one of those with five socket back there.

Our company bought a series of soundcards by accident that didn’t follow those colors and it drive everybody nuts. Most companies do.


Most times you have to start using a stereo USB adapter if you have a laptop with no blue connection.

That’s when you have to provide a little extra hardware.


There aren’t any Audacity drivers.

Driver issues are often sporadic. Do you mean your computer has no firewire input? The mixer would probably be intended to be connected to the computer via firewire so that the mixer drivers could be installed. Without those drivers the mixer could behave unpredictably.

Can you reveal the model number of the mixer? The more detail you give, the more we can help, and vice-versa.


My PC does not have any firewire ports. Our mixer is a Presonus Studio Live 16.4.2. We are recording church services and for years we used a little mp3 voice recorder to record by plugging into the main out. We bought a pc to run some media screens and to record the services as well, our setup is basically the same we plug into the main out on the mixer and were plug into the mic jack on pc, and we use audacity to record. Everything has been fine for about 8 months and about a month ago this freeze issue happened and then again this week.

Have you checked where the Audacity temporary directory is yet? Have you installed Norton? That can remove your Audacity recordings as you make them unless you turn its temporary file cleaner off. Some virus scanner merely scanning your Audacity temporary directory could cause recordings to fail.

Have the drivers of the motherboard sound device been changed? In that case you can roll them back:
Missing features - Audacity Support .

Are you sure your Audacity project rate is correct? Look bottom left of the Audacity window. If you knocked the project rate on to some high figure by accident, that could be the problem. Try 44100 Hz.

We can only make suggestions. Then we need you to try those out and let us know if they work or say what else you tried.

Whatever the problem is, I recommend you persuade the Minister to invest $40 in one of those USB interfaces. You should tell him/her that recording into the mic jack is not the way to do it. :wink: