Audio Quality Drops With Another Program Open

I’m using Windows 7. Audacity 2.0 of course.

I’m using turtle beach x11’s. I recently reset my laptop due to a trojan. For some reason my recording differs from time to time when I have a program open. For example, Sony Vegas and ArcSoft Biz. This problem never occurred before.

To go further, I’ll do a quick mic check, everything will be fine. But as soon as I open the program, my voice comes out terrible. The quality drop is very noticeable.

Example = Good audio (where I want to get back to)

Example = Bad Audio

Any thoughts or fixes? I’ve tried giving audacity priority, resetting the drivers, disabling the stereo mix (didn’t work), playing with the exclusive mode, nothing works. As soon as I open any of those two programs my recording dips.

Edit: Fixed the links

Your two links are the same, but I think I know what you mean. The problem is simple, but unfortunately the solution is not so clear cut. When the other program is running, your computer is failing to deliver a continuous stream of audio data to the hard drive, so tiny bits of the audio are missing. This literally makes the sound “break up” and sound terrible. The solution may be as simple as defragmenting your hard drive (a fresh install of Windows will often produce a large amount of fragmentation), or you may just need to update your drivers. Ensure that Windows and all of the hardware drivers are fully updated, then defragment the hard drive and reboot. If the problem persists, see here for some other suggestions:

There is some distortion in the “bad example”. Something is being overloaded - either the recording level is too high, or you are too close to the microphone, or you’re getting excited and talking too loud, or you have pushed up the level too high when editing, or …
See the flat top to the waveform in the selected area - the top / bottom of the waveform is cut off:

Prior, I had my input volume set to 0.4, now I have it at 1.0 just simply because 0.4 since I removed the trojan is way too quiet.

And sorry I didn’t understand the image, could you dumb down your suggestion to me?

I have downloaded the Prison Island video and imported the audio into Audacity.
Zooming in really close at about 3 minutes 17 seconds:
See how the waveform is so big that it does not fit in the track - the top and bottom of the largest peaks are being “chopped off” (clipped) and this causes audible distortion.

So I tried lowering my input, issue came up again today if I open up Sony Vegas or Arcsoft Biz. Like I’ll record 5 seconds, it’ll be fine, then open up either program and the audio comes out a lot more hallow and drops the next 5 seconds. There must be a solution to this.

I tried moving the mic away from me, issue came up still.

You will need to try the list of suggestions in the link Steve gave .

What did you do when you reset the laptop? A System Restore? A reinstall of Windows may be a good idea (back up your data, but you should be able to reinstall Windows to keep your program and settings as per ).


I used window’s repair. I just updated my drivers and found the same issue was occurring again. I tried of solutions on that list none of them seem to work. I uninstalled and reinstalled audacity, problems still there. The recording is fine until the moment I pulled up one of those two programs.

So you’re saying that it looks pretty clear that those two programs are causing the problem?
What programs are they?

Sony Vegas and ArcSoft Biz. I’m sure other programs with sound (perhaps even listening to a youtube video) would conflict with my mic input.

I don’t see that Audacity can do anything about this. If you can find out what changes those programs are making to your sound system settings, then you can probably change them back manually to the way that you want them for good recording in Audacity. The only other alternative that I can think of is not to run those programs when you are recording with Audacity.

In your position, I would still reinstall Windows.

Sony Vegas and ArcSoft ShowBiz appear to be video editors.

What are you doing in those programs - for example are you trying to play part of a video and record that?

If you are processing video edits while recording, this is very resource intensive and may well impair recording.


I am having the same issues, when I open anything that makes noise regardless of what program it is my audio quality drops just like his. I haven’t found a fix yet. but I want it to be fixed really bad. I have noticed it does it for fraps as well.

As stated above, this is nothing to do with Audacity - it records the signal that is sent by Windows (assuming you are talking about a recording problem).

See this page for ensuring you have correct drivers for whatever audio device you are recording with (you didn’t say): .

See here if you are on Windows Vista or later and you want to record game audio and your microphone: .

You will probably need to turn down the volume of the in-game sound so that your microphone can be heard.

Again without more information about what you are trying to do and your version of Windows, no-one will be able to suggest Windows or audio device tweaks.


I think you are misunderstanding what I mean. I am having the same issue as the original poster. I have tested to see what causes the problem by playing youtube on mute while recording my voice. My audio quality drops drastically. I lose a lot of the base in my voice and it sounds way different. If I turn off whatever sound producing program, the quality goes back to normal. I have tried it with programs that aren’t making noise, but does have noise in game like the minecraft menu and it drops everytime.

Windows 7.

The original poster said

For some reason my recording differs from time to time when I have a program open.

Is that your issue or not?

Exactly what are you trying to record, and with what applications are you doing that?

If you are recording in Audacity, what are your chosen playback and recording devices in Device Toolbar ?

It is possible you just need to record whatever you are trying to record in a different way or with different programs.

Have you looked at the solutions suggested? Which ones did you try, in detail?


Mine is a constant thing, but i meant that my audio quality drops when I open other programs. Yes I have tried a lot of the suggested things. I have lowered and sometimes muted the other program, I have checked my computer settings, everything is connected and setup properly and optimally. No solution I have found has worked to fix the problem. I wouldn’t post on this thread if I didn’t already try many solutions and have not fixed it yet.

Nevermind, after rechecking my sounds settings I realize that something I had did was not applied or was undone by a program. I had to re turn off my sound effects on my realtech and my voice fixed. Sorry to waste your time and thanks for your help.


I’ll lock this topic now as I don’t think it is an Audacity problem.

If anyone needs to post about a related problem, please start a new topic and state exactly what you are playing or recording, using exactly what devices. We cannot even try to help without that basic, essential information.