Audacity Running Obscenely Slow For No Obvious Reason

I’m running Audacity 3.4 on a brand new MacBook Pro. When I first started using the software, everything was great. I had my keyboard shortcuts dialed in and could edit very quickly. Then, for some inexplicable reason, it decides to slow down to worse than a crawl. Splitting a short audio clip takes 30 seconds or longer. Joining multiple clips takes an hour or longer. Doesn’t matter the size of the audio file. I only ever use up to 3-4 tracks anyway and the recordings are not terribly wrong.

NOTHING resolves this. My CPU levels are fine, even when Audacity is taking forever. Uninstalling and reinstalling doesn’t help. This issue has been raised by other users and no one has figured it out yet. I’m legally blind and don’t want to switch to some paid software with garbage visibility. I’ve got a podcast episode that needs to be released before New Years. I’m at my wits’ end. Does anyone know what this is about? Apparently it was never an issue before Audacity 3.

No one will admit they figured it out yet.

Are you using External, USB, FireWire, Networked, Internet, or Cloud Drives? Not the best Idea. Audacity hates those. It’s not that they fail, it’s that they don’t always work right. Developers have a phrase “Moon Phase Errors.” Every so often, on a Thursday afternoon…

Do all production on internal drives.

I know you’re going to say you didn’t intentionally connect to a cloud drive. You may not need to. I see there is a note in my system that the cloud service is down there ready to connect at a moment’s notice.

“We’re here for you, Koz, just say the word.”

Thanks, no.


Non-destructive editing was introduced in Audacity 3.1,
That means If you copy a minute from an hour long file,
that minute clip now contains the hour’s worth of audio data it came from.
This massively increases processing-time & project file sizes.

Does all that end up in the Project file? We have multiple posters complaing about enormous project files for a 20 minute show.


Yes but not if you select the option not to:


Also can be set in Tracks Behaviors preferences:


Everything is stored on the computer hard disk. I keep backups in the cloud, but I work from the hard disk. Incidentally, I used an external drive for the first two episodes, one of which was three times longer, and everything ran fast. Also loaded files from the cloud no problem. It now runs like a snail on quaaludes no matter where files are stored.

I have fewer file clips on this project than on my last one. This one has about five or six clip splits. The last one had 50+ and 0 problems.

Can you please post a screenshot of how your Audacity window looks like when the project is opened?

This topic was automatically closed after 30 days. New replies are no longer allowed.