Copy/Paste tracks between projects, losing quality

Hi everyone,

I have reviewed the FAQ and many threads to no avail. I hope somebody can help, or at least explain why I am having trouble.

I am producing a podcast series and using Audacity 2.0.5 for Windows. I have several professionally recorded intro segments, as well as music, in a project with host/subject recording. The first episode turned out great. However, now that I am editing the second episode, I am running into quality issues.

For instance, take the intro, which describes the show. When I copy the track to a new project, it loses substantial quality. I likewise lose quality when I copy/paste the music into the new project, though that quality is slightly more tolerable – but just slightly.

Perhaps related, but are there best practices for handling all of the static and somewhat static elements of a podcast episode? I’m still figuring out the most efficient project management techniques, and I don’t want to reinvent the wheel.


There should not be any such issues in 2.0.5. Make sure you have obtained Audacity from .

What do the quality issues sound like? Are there dropouts in the playback, if so what sound device are you using for playback?

Are the projects you are pasting into at a very low sample rate? Check that at bottom left of the project window. A loss of high frequencies is inevitable if you paste into a low sample rate project.

If the track and project rates are very different (higher or lower), you could get playback problems because you are requesting live sample rate conversions.


Thank you for the reply, Gale.

I can’t be totally sure, as it’s been many months, but I believe I got it from SourceForge.

I am using external speakers (Altec Lansing) to listen, but the problem is obvious on my basic laptop speakers too, as well as in my car (Bose system in an Audi).

Here is a link to the two intros, if you want to listen: You will also see a screencap of what the tracks look like in their separate projects. As you can see, I’ve pasted into a track that matches the properties of the source track.

You can’t do anything else - the sample rate of the paste is respected, whatever the project rate of that project window.

What exactly is the complaint? Is it that the intro_2 sounds worse? That is totally expected if you have young enough ears to hear high frequencies. Intro_2 is only 16000 Hz sample rate, so can only carry audio up to 8000 Hz. Intro_1 is 44100 Hz, so can carry the entire range of human hearing.

If you exported Intro_2 from the project window it was in, that proves that the rate of that window is set to 16000 Hz. The project rate determines the rate the audio plays back at, and the rate it’s exported at.


Yes, the complaint is that intro_2 sounds worse.

So you’re saying that the issue is that the project as a whole is too low quality to handle the tracks copied from the source project. I suppose the only solution is to create a new project that isn’t too low quality, and go in reverse: Add the lower quality parts to the new, higher quality project instead of the higher quality parts to a project with lower quality.

I’ll give it a shot. Thanks.

Actually, is the mere presence of a track that is 16000 Hz going to stop me from ever pasting something higher quality in?

The project sample-rate (shown on the bottom left corner of Audacity) determines the highest possible quality of the show when it is saved [“exported”] as a WAV file. If project sample-rate is 16000Hz then any 44100Hz parts in the show will be reduced to 16000Hz quality when saved , ( however any parts of the show below 16000Hz will not have their quality improved by resampling to 16000Hz ).

If you use a lossy format like mp3 there is generation loss : like a photocopy of a photocopy of a photocopy … each generation is poorer than the last. To avoid this degeneration use WAV or FLAC format, which are lossless formats, when editing the show, only use mp3 as a delivery format to supply the final show to the audience.

Answered in another way, if you set the project rate to 44100 Hz (even if it says 16000 Hz now) then you can add other tracks underneath at 44100 Hz and those tracks will have full quality.

The 16000 Hz track can never have improved quality so that it sounds as bright as the 44100 Hz track, whatever you set the project rate to.