Cut or delete also adds silence to 6 seconds of the waveform

OS X 10.8.2

When I select any part of the waveform for any period of time (like 1 second) and cut or delete it, the period is deleted but an additional 6 seconds of the waveform is transformed into silence. What am I doing wrong?

The waveform went flat, but is there still music when you play it? Did that exact segment play music before you deleted the one second?

The blue waves are created by a graphics file or two and they can get seriously out of step with the performance. A wav will go flat if it represents a music file you imported, but then deleted the file. Audacity will hold the space, but the wave will go flat.


We can’t really say unless you tell us exactly what you did prior to cutting/deleting that 1 second.

For example, if you open Audacity and generate 30 seconds of noise (Generate menu), then delete 2 seconds from that track, does the problem occur?

What do we need to do , step by step, to reproduce the problem?

Thanks all for your immediate replies, here are some more details.

I recorded a vinyl LP to a MAC directly into Audacity using the record function. Recorded the first side without interruption, paused, then recorded the second side. Saved.

I then transferred the music.aup file and the music_data folder to a different MAC - both in the same folder and checked dependencies OK.

I then opened the music.aup file to edit it. First thing I did was to cut the leading silence and first part of the noisy lead interval before the music began.

As soon as I delete or cut that interval I get 6 seconds of silence that overwrites the music part to the right. I checked that the flat line was indeed silence by playing it.

I double checked by trying different size intervals within the body of music with similar results. If I cut out 10 seconds of music another 10 seconds gets silenced. If I cut one minute out I may get 15 seconds silenced - I haven’t quite figured out the pattern. I do check that the overall recording is reduced by the amount that I cut, but I am always left with a multi second silence interruption left behind wherever the cut was made.

If I generate a chirp or tone or noise as was suggested - 1- I get the correct interval length (30 secs) generated but with silence (no tone, noise etc…) and an additional 5-15 seconds of silence on either side of the added 30 second interval that has overwritten the music at that spot.

Thanks for your help all.

Alarm bells start ringing…

Was that in a brand new, clean and used Audacity session? That is, was Audacity completely closed and shut down before the start of the test? (step 1, open Audacity, step 2 generate 30 seconds… Audacity not running prior to step 1).

Hi Steve,

1- Open new Audacity session 2- New 3- Generate noise or tones - I get noise or tones

1- Open new Audacity session 2- Open music.aup 3- click at beginning 4- Generate noise or tones - I get silence instead of noise or tones

Thanks for your help


Thanks for the clarification, that’s what I thought must be happening.
It seems that somehow there is some corruption in your “music” project.

I’m guessing that this may have happened due to a copying error when you transferred it from one computer to the other. Do you still have access to the original project on the original computer? If you do, could you test to see if the problem also exists there.

Thanks Steve,

I still have access to the other computer but on the West Coast and I’m in Europe right now and will be for another month - that’s the reason I transferred the files in the first place. I transferred the files over wifi so corruption is a definite possibility… I was hoping that I was just doing something wrong. I did work on another project on my West Coast mac with no issue prior to this one.

I’ll be back in touch in a month :slight_smile: thanks!


Ouch, yes, definitely a possibility.
If I’m transferring projects I generally “ZIP” them into an archive file before sending them. Not only does this make the copying faster, but if there is any corruption the ZIP is unlikely to open, so no nasty surprises waiting.

Ideally, using a “checksum” (such as MD5 will ensure that the copied file(s) are identical to the original.