File Sizes Keep Growing?


I’m a relatively new user to Audacity and I have a couple simple issues that I can’t seem to figure out. I’m using Audacity 3.2.1 on Windows 10 Home. If anyone has advice I’d be very grateful.

  1. I want to make voice recordings with my microphone and then edit them down into a better final product. My initial .aup3 file of ~30 min is about 500mb. I tried cutting portions of this recording and pasting them into another project in order to edit them into a ~10 min recording, but this second .aup3 file is much larger, at about 35gb. Why is that? Is it because there are many small ‘segments’ instead of one continuous large one? Is there a way to keep the file a manageable size? In general, it seems like every time I make a change, the file keeps growing for some reason, even though the material is the same.

  2. I accidentally messed with the ‘Recording Level’ and ‘Playback Level’ meters in the upper-right corner the application, and I don’t know what the correct level for the dials are. Should they be the maximum (0)? In an image in the online manual, they are set to -15 and -30, but that seems much quieter than what I had before.

Thank you!

If your 10 minute recording takes up 35gb as opposed to 35mb, you are definitely doing something wrong.

First, make sure that your project is saved and closed. An audacity project only gets bigger while you are editing it. This is because Audacity saves a record of any changes that you make. If you delete audio, then that deleted audio is saved so that it can be restored later with the undo command. It is only later, when you close the project and/or exit Audacity that the project may be compacted and the space released.

It is also possible that you are (perhaps unknowingly) using the new “Smartclip” feature introduced in 3.1. WIth this feature when you reduce the size of a clip by dragging the border using the TOP half of the clip, the “removed” audio is permanently retained with the clip and may be recalled at any time in the future. Moreover, any copies of the clip will also retain that “removed” audio. To prevent this from happening, drag the border by the BOTTOM half of the clip, then use the DELETE key. See: Audacity 3.1 - A Significant Audio Editing Improvement

I keep both of mine at the full scale position, and rarely ever change them.

This may be related to this issue here: Performance and file size issues when copying and pasting a small portion of a very large clip · Issue #3820 · audacity/audacity · GitHub which has been reported to the developers.