Files overlap when copy-pasted into new project

When copying multiple tracks into a new Audacity project, I have found a few times that one of the tracks will “overlap” another (kind of like a layer in a Photoshop project), but in a completely random location.

I recorded this video that demonstrates the problem:

Audacity 3.1.3
Mac mini (M1, 2020) w/16GB RAM, 1TB SSD
I’m a full-time podcast editor (and have used Audacity for various things since 2000 or 2001)

The process from the video linked above, in detail:

  1. Import three recordings into a new Audacity session (podcast w/3 hosts)
  2. Save the session
  3. Drag in a snippet (only 3 seconds long), which creates a 4th track (not sure this is related, but who knows?)
  4. Position the snippet into the correct place (example above was almost to the 4min mark)
    Note: There is a piece of audio from the original 3 recordings split and moved in the timeline (in this example, about 5 seconds later)
  5. I want to copy/paste the first 4 minutes of this project into a new session project. So I Copy, File > New, paste into the new project
  6. When pasted, the separate piece of audio at the end (of the original 3 tracks) somehow sits on top of the track (in the example above, it moves from 03:57 to 00:05).

Other notes:
-The audio that was moved earlier in the timeline is what you’ll hear (it’s not like you hear them both at the same time)
-I confirmed that copy/save the original project before copy/paste into a new project creates a different but similar error
-I didn’t think to save the AU3 project with the error intact. However, here is the project after it was corrected (can’t re-create the error with this one)

So, other than “don’t do that”: How can I prevent this from happening (as I don’t realize it until I’ve already exported everything)

I think you’re demonstrating a bug in Audacity’s new “smart clips” feature.
I’ll log the bug for the developers.

Unfortunately I don’t know a good workaround other than using a much older version of Audacity (such as Audacity 2.4.2 which doesn’t have “smart clips”). Perhaps someone else can suggest a workaround.

Thank you Steve. Progress is not without its share of challenges.

Going forward, I’ll forgo the “copy/paste into new project” stage and institute a new “just make sure I have selected all the tracks when I Export Selected Audio” step.