Distorted voice and recording cutting off, help!

Hi all,

I have only installed Audacity yesterday from an .exe installer. Because I’m completely new to all the home recording business it took me a while to connect all my stuff up and actually learn how to record.
I have Windows Vista 32bit and an Alesis io2 Express interface. I’ve connected my Shure microfone to it via XLR. To be quite honest I don’t know what are the right parameters to set on the actual interface for recording voice, would anybody know?

Anyway, it all worked fine yesterday, I recorded a sample vocal track to an imported audio intrumental yesterday, that was fine, the imported track played clearly and you know, fluently.
Today I’m opening Audacity, importing my track again, ready to make the first proper recording and this is what happens: when I record with the background track playing on my earphones, you can hear the track sort of jamming and stopping and suspending momentarily. Also, when I go back to the voice track recorded, my voice is distorted, it’s a totally wrong pitch, too low (like you got sometimes with old cassettes when they got jammed - ah, those were the days!). Also, the recorded track is crackling and sort of cutting off as if I went and cut bits of it out and then put it back together.

Would appreciate any help greatly! Sorry if there was a topic like this already.


Suttering, clicking, popping, and playing off pitch are all symptoms of a computer that can’t keep up with the work. Is this a new computer, or did you upgrade your computer multiple times?

One single sound performance is stressy enough, but when you overdub, the computer has to keep track of two performances at once: the playback sound and the new recorded sound. Older computers aren’t up to real time work. They can’t stop and take a breath like they can when you’re recalculating a spreadsheet or blurring a Photoshop picture.

To read the posting again, you got the whole thing to work once but not twice? Stop me anywhere.

Since You’re on Windows, have you defragmented your hard drive recently? Audacity will not work into a highly fragmented drive. Start > My Computer > C: > Properties > Error Check and Defragment.

Are you doing anything else that could possibly slow the machine down? Do you use Skype? Can you suspend it for the time you’re recording? Virus Protection programs can interfere with recording, too. Disconnect your network and suspend that.

Etc. You get the idea. A full hard drive will cause problems, too. While you’re in there, get the capacity and used numbers. You need at least 10% free space for live performances and production.


Yes, I managed to record properly once , then I got all these problems. After that I found a relevant article in FAQ and amended the Sound settings in Control Panel and it worked again - but started causing problems after recording one track.
I use a 5 year old Fujitsu Siemens laptop, never done any upgrades and tried to keep it in check, but I think now’s the time to really treat it to some maintenance works :wink: Hope it’ll help.