I am also having this problem and extremely frustrated. Other than playing audio and selecting, everything else I do prompts the dreaded rainbow beachball to appear, taking anywhere from 15-30 secs to complete the task. I had been using Audacity (I believe version 3.1.3) on my Retina 4K, 21.5-inch, 2019 iMac (currently on Monterey 12.6) for the last few weeks without issue. I upgraded to version 3.2 and have had nothing but issues since, to the point where now Audacity is practically unusable. Things I have tried:
uninstalling new version of Audacity (including manually removing associated “buried” files) and reverting back to Audacity 3.1.3
changing the info.plist resolution code from true to false
Ok, I opened a different project file and did some simple edits (e.g. deleted a silence), and Audacity was working fine (no lag in executing anything I did). Then I opened the previous project file I was working on and the lag started again. Any ideas about what could be wrong with my file? At one point, I may have closed Audacity before it completely saved (before I upgraded my OS but after I upgraded Audacity), but that’s the only thing I can think of. Is there a way to tell whether the file has been damaged or corrupted?
For reference, I use Audacity to edit my podcast, so the Audacity files I work with usually contain a mix of 4-7 voice (mono) and music (stereo) tracks, ranging from 45-70 mins long.
The file that’s potentially causing problems is currently 2.67 GB. The other file I tested yesterday (and worked without issue) is 3.11 GB. Both files currently have three voice-only mono tracks and are about 40-45 mins long.
I looked back at some older files I edited with Audacity (see above) and they are all under 2 GB; curious why these are suddenly larger files.
In Audacity 3.2.0 and 3.2.1 if you copy a selection of a track, apparently the complete audio information from the original track is referenced ala “smart clips”. This happens behind the scenes - you just don’t see it, but it magically re-appears if you drag the edges out. This doesn’t normally cause problems, but if the selected portion is copied to a new track, the entire referenced audio now gets copied. This was an unannounced and I believe undesirable feature somehow introduced in 3.2. See here:
I don’t know if this is the cause of problem you are having, but if so, billw58’s solution should work for you, regardless.