horrible crackling with multiple overdubs

i’m new to using audacity and have been having some success with recording guitar using a peavey xport interface. However, recently on some files where I’ve attempted to add 3 or more tracks, the third track has been playing back awful. There’s a terrible crackling as if the input nut on my guitar is loose (which it isn’t) or something like that. I’ve tried recording other files and the first track is typically fine. its always after two or more tracks that this happens. this is incredibly frustrating as I’ve lost some very good improv because of this etc…Any help is much appreciate. Apologies if this has been answered before

-Mitch , Illinois

Please see this Frequently Asked Question in the Manual http://manual.audacityteam.org/o/man/faq_recording_troubleshooting.html#sync .

If you need help after that, please state exactly what operating system you are on (see the pink panel at the top of this page).


Could it just be the output is clipping when you add the third track ? , if so the meter will show a red line …
Audacity red-lining (clipping).gif
If that is the problem you just have to reduce the levels on each of the three tracks, (to say -10dB),
so their combined output doesn’t clip, ( no redline).
turn down level on each of 3 tracks to -10dB.gif

Thanks, Trebor. I’ve added your point about excessive combined volume to the FAQ so it will be in the next version of the Manual.


I attempted to turn the gain down as you advised but to no avail.

Then please look at the FAQ as per the original suggestion http://manual.audacityteam.org/o/man/faq_recording_troubleshooting.html#sync . And if you need help please state your operating system. Are you on Mac OS X?


I checked the faq as you suggested earlier however it didn’t provide the information pertaining to this particular problem. again, the sound is basically a cutting out, not a clipping so to speak, but a static half in half out sort of sound (if you can envision that )

on an HP , windows 8. sorry forgot to mention that in my last pose


I still think you should follow each and every one of the suggestions in that FAQ if you have not done so already.

That FAQ addresses poor quality when overdubbing, as well as pitch and sync issues when doing so. It cannot describe every nuance of how “poor quality” would sound, but poor quality can and does arise exactly from the Windows Vista or later sample rate mismatches mentioned there, and can and does arise from running audio devices that do not have the correct drivers.

Exactly what device are you using for playback? Please look in Device Toolbar . Does that device have correct drivers for Windows 8 made by the device or motherboard manufacturer?

What are the rates of the tracks and the project rate?

Have you tried increasing audio to buffer in Audacity’s Recording Preferences? It may help.

If you solo the second or third track that seems to be cutting in and out, does it do so then?

Please make a five-second audio sample in WAV so we can hear if it distorts on other computers. Please see here for how to do that: https://forum.audacityteam.org/t/how-to-post-an-audio-sample/29851/1 .


output is speakers and input devides is the peavey xport. using windows sound instead of MME. I’ll post a clip of the file later tonight when i’m at home. i’m wondering if aucadity is having trouble with the peavey Xport interface ?

If you play each recorded track soloed on its own and can hear no problem, then presumably the problem is not with the xport.

Windows DirectSound Host will probably have higher latency than MME on Windows Vista, Windows 7 and Windows 8.