Audio dropouts on playback

I’m not the only one. I reported this in the discussions threads, and at least one other user is experiencing the same thing;

“First day of using the “upgraded” version, and I’m getting audio dropouts on playback, which were not a feature of the previous version.

I’ve changed nothing about my setup apart from updating Audacity. No Windows updates, nothing.

I know the dropouts are not in my source audio, because when I hear one, I backtrack and play over the section again, and there’s no dropout. Then I get another one, a few minutes later, backtrack and replay that section, and there’s no dropout.”

I’ve tried to time them, and they appear to be occurring at random, sometimes within a minute or so of each other, sometimes longer intervals.

I’d like to revert to the previous version. How do I do this?

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Previous thread

Version 3.2.1, Windows 10

There is a certain consistency to this - I often pause playback, and restart. Whenever I do this, there is always an audio dropout within 10 seconds of starting (un-pausing) playback.

Seems to be between 7 and 9 seconds on average.

Older versions of Audacity are available for download here: Old Audacity versions download

As new features come out and fixes are made to Audacity, Windows, Virus-Protection, drivers, and other seemingly un-related programs, software tends to bloat, requiring more memory and more disk resources. This can result in noticeable slow-downs. The point at which this occurs is likely unique to a particular machine configuration.

It may help to increase your buffer length setting by, say, 50 or 100msec. (Edit > Preferences > Devices)

See also this thread:

Doubled the buffer setting to no avail…

To what?

Some people are experiencing project bloat beginning in 3.2 when they copy trimmed audio into a New Project. What is the size of your project? How many minutes of audio is in it ? Stereo or mono ?

Do you have any other programs, e.g. a browser, open in another window?

“to no avail” - without any success or any effect.

No success in removing the symptom. No effect on my user experience.

The project is roughly 2h45m duration, at 16/44, mono.

I have Chrome open, with roughly 30 browser tabs. A couple of Windows File Explorer windows, a couple of notepad documents, one Word doc, a couple of small spreadsheets, and that’s about it

Win 10, 3.20Ghz processor, 8Gb RAM

So, in my experience, this is a large file. To find out if it is bloated, we need the .aup3 project file size after you exit Audacity. As a reference, a simple mono one-hour show would be about 28MB at 44100Hz. (Edited: This should read 628MB)

So that is enough to slow down your computer even without Audacity running. Are you gaming me?

------- Edited by jademan -------

“Are you gaming me”

I’m being deadly serious about this. The previous version of Audacity did not exhibit this behaviour, and I have not changed my browsing habits. This number of open browser tabs has persisted since long before I updated Audacity to 3.2.1. They’ve all been open for months, and the PC rarely gets switched off. Even when it has shut down, I’ve reopened Chrome with the same open browser tabs.

I worked with similar large Audacity projects in the old version, and had nothing like this occured.

If the previous version worked fine, and the new version shows the problem, and nothing else has changed around it…

“a simple mono one-hour show would be about 28MB at 44100Hz.”

The size of my current project is 1.56Gb. It was created by importing two stereo WAV files (16/44), of 477Mb and 1.85Gb, combining them, then reducing to mono by removal of one stereo track, and editing thereafter.

A previous project, completed in early 2020, long before 3.2.1, has an AUP file of 404Kb and a data folder of 2.58Gb. That was created by importing a stereo WAV at 16/48 and editing that. I can’t locate the file size of the source WAV at the moment.

To try and narrow down the cause of the issue, try Audacity 3.1.3 and see if the problem still occurs there (I’m guessing that 3.1.3 won’t have the problem).

Oops, typo. That should have read 628MB.

So that would exclude project “bloat” here.

And that leaves Steve’s suggestion…

I’ll finish off the current project, save my output FLACs, then re-load it again as I would have done, importing the WAV files and see what happens

Any updates on this thread? I’m having the same issue after the last update… plenty of space… plenty of pc… random 3-5 second drops on playback, if I reset the playback it’ll play through where it dropped before and then eventually do it somewhere else. Project is only a mono track 3 minutes long.

Having the same issue. I just noticed the dropout is actually because playback momentarily pauses.
This is very annoying, especially when playing back a 60 min + DJ set

I also have the dropout failure on V3.3. with very similar observations written before from other users.
Recently I had some discussion in the German support forum of Audacity, see: Aussetzer bei V 3.xx - Audacity allgemein (plattformübergreifend) - Audacity-Supportforum . The German moderator encouraged me to place my error report to the audacity developer. So I am here.
I will not complain the memory usage of the latest Audacity, wich also is discussed in this record, but the playback dropouts are very ugly.
In short detail: In June I updated Audacity from V3.0.0. to V3.3.3. (German version) on my windows 10 PC. Since that time I observe this dropout behavior. I’m using Audacity in playback and overdub modus with 2 to 12 tracks and an audio length from 0.5 min to 5 min and my sampling rate is 44.1 kHz only. And these are my observations:
• It happens nearly independent with the number of tracks used
• The dropouts are unpredictable.
• The dropouts accumulate after opening of an existing project, when I start overdub of a new track.
• The dropouts accumulate at points where clips are ending and starting
• When repeating the failed overdub recording, the first dropout of the second take will appear at a later time than at the first take.
• Continuing so the repeating, you will reach the end of the song without dropout. From this point you can continue playback/overdub with mostly no more dropouts.
• During my recording phase I do not use any real-time effect of Audacity V3.3.3. During the finalizing phase often I add the real-time effect reverb. I do this at the entire tracks and wonder that no additional dropout is present throughout the song.
• The dropout time is between 50 and 300 ms. I can measure this, because at the dropout point the overdub track is shifted to the right side by this value. This also says that the recording has no interruption during the playback dropout.
Is there a chance to get this dropout behavior thrown out without changing the user hardware?
By the way: I like V3.3.3. with the real-time effects and the easy clip handling. Many thanks to the developers.

I’ve had this problem as well. My fix is to mute the audio, play all the tracks while I do something else and come back after the project is done “playing”. No stuttering or drop-outs after that. Always works for me. I thought it had to do with memory paging or something but can’t confirm it. I’m running win7 pro using version 3.2.2.

Obviously I would have to do the same workaround as described from kentone. Indeed, it’s not the howler. But I agree it will work as an intermediate workaround. So I hope that these problem will be solved at next release of Audacity. Thanks so far.