Exported MP3's are coming up silent

I just downloaded Audacity last week, Version 2.1.2, and I’m trying to submit audio files for some voiceover auditions. I have downloaded and installed Lame 3.995, and FFmpeg, they are both showing as installed in the Library preferences area. However, when I export a file as an mp3 and try to open it with any program other than Audacity, it plays with dead silence (it shows the correct running time), if I play it with Audacity, it sounds exactly like my saved project file. What am I missing here?

Is your other program playing other files correctly?

Yes, I went to a voiceover workshop several weeks ago and they emailed me mp3s of my recordings from the session, they play fine with the same VLC media player that is giving me silence on my newly recorded tracks. Also getting the silent treatment from windows media player.

Perhaps you could upload one of the “silent” MP3s online somewhere so that we can check it out. If you make a very small one (just 10 seconds or so) then you can upload it directly to your forum post (see: https://forum.audacityteam.org/t/how-to-attach-files-to-forum-posts/24026/1)

I have no clue what happened but when I did the 10 second excerpt and saved it, it played fine, I went back and tried the original again, and it played through VLC as well with no problem.

Are they stereo (two blue waves)? There is an error you can get by wiring professional or broadcast microphones wrong. It drives everybody nuts because it seems magic. Sometimes the work plays perfectly and sometimes it doesn’t.

If it is stereo, try mixing it down to mono with Tracks > Stereo Tracks To Mono. You can Edit > UNDO it later to get back to the original.

I expect it to sound almost identical except possibly a little “flatter” and less deep. If the work suddenly vanishes or greatly reduces in volume, then we have a phasing problem and there are tests and repairs that can be done.

Koz

It is an Audio-Technical ATR2100 USB mic, when I exported to MP3 format it did say something about combining the stereo recording into a single track

If it is stereo, try mixing it down to mono with Tracks > Stereo Tracks To Mono. You can Edit > UNDO it later to get back to the original.
I expect it to sound almost identical except possibly a little “flatter” and less deep. If the work suddenly vanishes or greatly reduces in volume, then we have a phasing problem and there are tests and repairs that can be done.

What happened when you did that?

Koz