Distort existing recording with import/export

Hi all,

I’m new in Audacity Forum. I’ve searched the forum for a topic regarding my problem but didn’t find anything.

I’m using Audacity to digitalize my vinyl recording and to produce a radio broadcast for a free radio station in Germany.
Since early November I can’t open an existing flac or mp3-record without distortion of the sound. The sound is not distorted in general but there are a lot of short clicks.
In the view of the waveform it seems the sound is always scratching the peak but if i listen the same file on vlc player the VU Meter shows no distortion.

In Settings in Libraries I have selected LAME 3.1.00 (integrated) for mp3-export and for FFmpeg as follows (in geman sorry but i think the numbering is in english the same).
I’m using Audacity now version 2.4.2, but before in 2.0.xx behaviour was the same.
OS is Windows 10, last update 20H2 included.

Any hint to solve the problem would be helpful.

Thanks a lot in advance

Since early November I can’t open an existing flac or mp3-record without distortion of the sound.

Are these “existing” files known good? Do they play OK on Windows Media Player? Do they play OK on another computer (or your phone, etc.)?

Hi DVDdoug, yes they are reliable good.
I can’t show a wav in audacity because of the distortion in Audacity, but if i look to the VU-Meter in VLC Player or just listen to the file, played in a streaming client and file is stored on a NAS, they sound good.

The waveforms that you posted look like they were recorded at too high a signal level and that would cause distortion or “scratching the peak”. Once they are recorded that way, the damage is permanent, there is no going back (reducing the volume will not reverse the damage). But see https://forum.audacityteam.org/t/removing-crackling-from-already-edited-audio/59698/2

I am not clear on exactly what you are doing here. You seem to be playing the files from the network via VLC, and comparing that to a local recording on audacity.

Can you create a tone (sine wave) within Audacity? Will that play without distortion? If you save it as MP3, can VLC play it as well? Will it import back into audacity and play?