Garbled Audio


I am having an issue. I have only used Audacity 2.1.1 so I don’t know if it has existed for a while.

Anyway…from time to time I have garbled audio in my files. I have noticed it particular in long recordings, doing audio books, though not always after recording for a long time. For instance in a 30 minute recording, I may have 1 error at 2 minutes in, or maybe 30.

The best way I can describe is it’s like 2 files have been pasted on top of each other, and the result is a garbled sounding mess. The problem is, you can’t tell visually because you see the waveform, it’s just not what you were recording.

Any insight would be helpful. Right now its very hit or miss.

For the record, I’m using a Macbook Pro circa 2010, running OS 10.7 and Audcacity 2.1.1

I deleted your hitch-hiking post from the other thread. We would strongly like to deal with problems on a one-off basis. There’s nothing quite like three forum elves trying to answer two different problems in one post.

“Wait, are you the one with the heat problem…?”

Right now its very hit or miss.

But once you hit one, it stays broken? Can you go back repeatedly over the same segment and it’s broken every time? Can you drag-select the broken portion, Export it and post it here?

The blue waves come from a custom graphic file, it is possible to have the blue waves not match the sound.


How to post a forum sound clip.

Bumper sticker version:

Drag-select a portion less than ten seconds. File > Export Selection: WAV (Microsoft).

From a forum text window, scroll down > Upload attachment.

It will complain if the selection is too long.


I didn’t see the other post because I first put this in the audiobook section. Both the other poster and I were talking with Paul Licaemeli on facebook and he encouraged us to bring the issue you here.

You can delete this whole thread if you like. I’m 99% sure we are experiencing the same issue.


Here’s an export of the error in WAV.

I can confirm it’s present in the same spot in the original .aup file too.

Have you tried this possible solution:

Isn’t that just to fix playback errors? Would that imply that the error only exists when played back in Audacity? Maybe only on my machine? I can confirm that the error is still present on my editor’s machine using pro-tools also

As it says in the FAQ, the “Audio to Buffer” setting also affects playback.
I don’t use Mac OS X and I don’t have this problem, but with no other solution to hand I would have thought it worth trying.

The buffer fix primarily fixes clicky playback, but can also fix clicky recordings.

It does not usually fix large dropouts. It seems perfectly possible to me that it could cure buffer-length sections being munged together.

Do I take it that quitting Chrome as you describe in has not not solved the issue?


that is correct. I had at least 2 more files that had the same error with me making sure nothing else was sucking up resources in the Activity Monitor as suggested here.

So, does reducing Audio to Buffer help? Set it to 0 milliseconds and try to record. If recording won’t start, set it to 10 milliseconds and so on upwards in 10 millisecond increments until recording starts.

Koz had this problem once, and now you and someone else apparently have a similar issue. Whatever it the cause, it’s rare.


I’ll give that a try, thanks

Let us know when you have done half a dozen recordings of reasonable length.


Hey everybody just wanted to say I think my issue was a bad hard drive. I was having general slowness on all tasks so I got a new drive. While cloning the old drive the cloning software reported lots of errors including on some of my audio files. I haven’t actually tested recording yet on the new drive but I’m pretty certain I found the issue. Sorry for dragging everybody on my wild goose chase

Lucky you. Just in time. :laughing: