Distorted recording of audiobook at 6 hours 45 minutes

Audacity 3.1.2 on Windows 10 Home 64bit version 21H1 build 19043.1586
Recording an audiobook that runs for about 10 hours. Recording is fine up to 6 hours 45 minutes and 48 seconds. From there on the recording is distorted. Sound in the headphones is fine, but I can see the distortion in the wave form, and hear it on playback. When I then re-record from the point of failure onward, the new recorded segment is fine, even while continuing to record on the same track in Aucacity. Is there some value or counter running in Audacity that hits a limit after 24,348 seconds? I tested three audiobooks, and the distortion began exactly at this point in all cases.

There’s no hard limit for the size of a project, but very large projects are more demanding of computer resources than smaller projects. There will come a point where the computer can’t keep up. It seems that for your computer, that point is at around 6 hours 45 minutes.

If you intend to publish your audiobook through a publisher, the book will need to be split into chapters. It is a good idea to have a separate project for each chapter.

It is a good idea to have a separate project for each chapter.

What he said.


They used to have a file size limit as well, but I see they dropped that requirement.

There are some ordinary problems with huge sound files. Audiobook Mastering and Noise Reduction (if you need it) can take between now and next Thursday. Start it now and come back next week.

That and any filters or effects are likely to crash or damage the computer—like you have now.

Chapter breaks are good.


One other note. Your Archive Edit Master should be a WAV (Microsoft) 16-bit sound file. NOT MP3. The MP3 file is only for submission. MP3 has built-in sound damage and you can’t edit or change it.

You can’t make a WAV from a super long show. So that’s another problem with a 6-hour show.


To clarify: WAV format has a maximum file size of 4 GiB (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/WAV#Limitations)