Echo on playback of imported files.

New user here. Aud. Version 2.0.5, on a Mac 10.6.8. Recorded a voiceover with a Sound Devices 552 Mixer/Recorder. The original file is an mp3, 192kbs, 44.1. I imported this file and hear a weird echo on playback. A sampling problem ??? The waveform looks normal. I converted this mp3 file to a 44.1, 16bit WAV file to see if that would help. No difference, same echo. Both files play fine in iTunes and in WaveAgent (Sound Devices app.)
Any suggestions and help greatly appreciated.Thanks.

Sound Devices 552.

Can I have one? I’ll take yours if you’re not using it.

How did you get the presentation into the Mac and which Mac? I’m typing on a MacBook Pro 15", specifically purchased because it will interface directly and perfectly with an analog mixer. Newer Macs won’t do that.


I use the 552 often, great machine for the right job. iMac desktop, simply copied the files off the Sd card. No wired connection. Now, any thoughts as to my issue ?

Me no speak Mac, but if the file plays OK on a ipod-type player , but only has the echo when played on the Mac,
unbeknownst to you the sound-card-device on your computer may be applying an echoey surround-sound type “enhancement” … which can be switched off.

Converting a file from one audio-format to another isn’t going to remove problems or increase sound quality, e.g.
converting a voice-mail recording into a 192KHz 32 bit WAV will still sound like an answer-phone message, it won’t be converted into a studio quality recording.

Thanks for your reply, but I never said anything about an ipod. I played the files back directly on the iMac in iTunes and WaveAgent, so there is no “sound card” issue or maybe I would have heard that when playing back in the other applications. The conversion to the Wav file was done purely as an experiment to see if they would play in Audacity, since the manual indicated that Audacity prefers a WAV file. I do realize that going from a compressed format to an uncompressed one is not going to result in a quality increase. And it was a “voice over”, not “voice mail”, and the specs were not 192khz 32 bit WAV.

It’s very possible that because of my inexperience with Audacity, I have set something up incorrectly. Looking for answers and help form Audacity veterans who may have experienced this situation.

The Agency requesting the Voice Over specifically asked for the 192, 44.1, mp3 file, which they said was broadcast quality for their needs. The files were recorded with a good machine and a high quality condenser mic.
I believe that something may have occurred during the import or my setup.

Audacity prefers a WAV file.

Audacity will manage many different file types. It likes to deal with WAV because WAV files are acceptable to all three major computer types and it’s a “perfect” format. No compression.

I’m in my fourth read-through of the symptoms and nothing hits me.

You made a recording on the mixer… Let me read it again.


MP3, 192 quality, 44100 sample rate, Mono should sound perfect. Audacity default is MP3, 128, Stereo, and that’s considered very good. The practical limit bitrate for mono is 32.

So that’s probably not it.

Download and open this short soundtest. It’s 40 seconds. It has, practically speaking, a perfect voice. Does it sound that way in Audacity?


Is this a single MP3 in one track? If you are playing a duplicate of it underneath it could sound “phasey”.

Otherwise there aren’t really any settings that will affect playback except “Audio to Buffer” in the Recording Preferences and the “Real-time Sample Rate Converter” in Quality Preferences. That Converter only applies if the track and project sample rates are different - if audio playback breaks up, try the “Low Quality (Fastest)” setting.

I definitely suggest you try changing “Audio to Buffer”.

If that doesn’t help, try 2.0.2, 2.0.3 and 2.0.4 from . Do all those versions of Audacity have the same issue?


This was my clue.

Pilot error and inexperience with Audacity seems to have been the cause for my issues. I imported all the “takes” (files) into Audacity of the voiceover. When selecting a track to play ( putting the yellow band around the control panel), I assumed I would be listening to just that track. I did not realize that ALL the other tracks would be playing simultaneously. Having selected just one for playback, it never even occurred to me that could be happening despite the phasey, echoey sound. I went thru and muted all the other tracks, and it sounds perfect.

Koz- Thanks for sending the link, but I was never able to import that into Audacity. It just opened in a webpage, but I could not extract the file itself.

Thanks everyone for your help and understanding. My learning curve will continue. Cheers.

File > Save Page As.


You can play one track of a group on its own by clicking on the “solo” button on the left of that track …

Thanks Trebor. It seems so obvious now…duh

Koz- it didn’t like the “webarchive” extension when I tried to save the page the first time, but I have since figured it out. It plays perfectly and is a very good file for running tests.