Audacity playback slower and lower pitch than original recording.

Hello! I’ve been trying to record a song but everytime I go to record it comes out slower and at a lower pitch than how I actually played. For context/background, I use a focusrite Scarlett 3rd gen 2i2 as an audio interface and a Asus ExpertBook laptop with windows 11. I’ve checked all my sample rates to make sure they’re the same, and I’ve even tried using different sample rates. I’ve tried deleting and redownloading Audacity, which worked for about a minute before the issue came back. I’ve tried restarting my laptop, and also resetting it but that still didn’t help. I have the latest driver for my interface and the latest version of Audacity. Is there there something I’m missing? I have no idea what’s going on cause I’ve recorded on audacity for years before without all these issues.

On another note, Audacity has also been randomly freezing in the middle of me recording and saying there’s been “dropouts”. I’m not sure if that’s related at all to the first issue but what should I do to fix that?

Thank you much for taking the time to read this and for any responses, I really appreciate it :slight_smile:

Are you playing-back/monitoring on your regular soundcard or on the Focusrite?

If you are mixing hardware that could be the problem. Every device has it’s own clock (44.1kHz, etc.) and no clock is perfect and some soundards are off by-enough to cause pitch or timing problems.

Dropouts (during recording) can sometimes cause the opposite problem. If you have lots of small but frequent dropouts that makes a shorter file that plays back faster and sometimes you’ll perceive a higher pitch.

Dropouts are usually related to multitasking. And your operating system is always multitasking even if you are only running one application. The audio flows into a buffer (like a long pipe or storage tank) at smooth-constant rate. When your operating system gets around to it the data is written to the hard drive in a quick burst. If some application, process, or driver “hogs” the system for a few milliseconds too long, you get buffer overflow and a “glitch” (dropout). It doesn’t have to be using a lot of total CPU time, it just has to hog it a little too long. There is also a playback/monitoring buffer that works in the opposite way, and here the danger is buffer underflow (when the buffer isn’t re-filled in time).

Try to reduce (or shut down) any other applications & background operations. Some people get better results by (temporarily) turning-off their Wi-Fi or anti-virus. And if you are recording at a high sample rate, you can try 48kHz. Less data is easier for the computer.

You an also try a [u]bigger buffer[/u] . A buffer is also a delay and a bigger buffer adds latency but that’s ONLY a problem if you are monitoring yourself through the computer. I believe your Focusrite has zero-latency direct-hardware monitoring so any latency through the computer isn’t a problem.

…The buffer setting doesn’t always seem to work “as expected” and some people get better results with a smaller buffer.

Do you mean here? https://support.focusrite.com/hc/en-gb/articles/208814065-How-to-change-sample-rate-buffer-size-in-Windows

Also check the project rate in the lower left-hand corner of the Audacity screen and run mmsys.cpl and check the properties on both the recording and playback tabs (device > Properties > Advanced > Default Rate).

I was going to suggest changing between 48000 and 44100, but I see you have already done that.

A reset during an Audacity installation can do roughly the equivalent of Audacity > Tools > Reset Configuration. Also, perhaps you have some conferencing software such as Zoom that is interfering…

What is the difference between a restart and a reset ?

As DVDdoug suggests, don’t record at a speed faster than 48000; also try a larger buffer. Focusrite has one. There is also a buffer setting here: Audacity > Edit > Preferences > Devices > Buffer Length. Disable the internet and don’t run any other programs while you are recording.