Issue: Closing the Preferences dialog resets project sample rate to default

Linux: openSUSE Tumbleweed
Audacity: 2.2.2
Installed from distribution packages (package version 2.2.2-1.6)

To reproduce:

  • Open Audacity
  • Set project sample rate (bottom-left corner) to something other than the default rate, e.g. 16000 Hz
  • Either:
    • Create a new track
    • Switch the track’s visualization to Spectrogram
    • Open “Spectrogram Settings” from the track’s popup menu
    • Click OK
  • Or
    • Click Edit->Preferences
    • Click OK
  • The project sample rate is now set to the default sample rate specified in the settings.

Yes, that is intentional. All of the Preference settings are supposed to be applied immediately, though there are still a couple that don’t take effect until Audacity is restarted.

The way you describe it, the behaviour does sound a bit surprising, but looking at it another way; If you open Preferences and, say, change the Export options, wouldn’t you expect them to change immediately?

If you open Preferences and, say, change the Export options, wouldn’t you expect them to change immediately?

Yes, but only because I explicitly changed the Export options. Simply opening and then closing the preferences dialog should not change the current project’s sample rate in my view. Same goes for changing any other setting without navigating to the Quality settings page.

This is especially surprising when editing the Spectrogram settings for a track because there is not even a way to access the default project rate settings from that dialog. This was where I first encountered the issue, and I spent quite some time wondering why playback sounded differently after editing in Spectrogram mode, until I figured out that Audacity had silently reduced the project’s sample rate from 96 kHz to the default of 44.1 kHz when I changed the track’s spectrogram settings.

Finally, the documentation for Quality Settings states: “This panel sets the Default Sample Rate and Default Sample Format (bit depth) which will be used each time Audacity is launched, or each time a new project window or track is opened.”, which sounds like a more reasonable behavior and probably also the intended one.

P.S. I see now that the behavior is indeed documented (at the page I linked to):

If you set the project rate, using the Project Rate dropdown at the left of the Selection Toolbar to something other than the default rate, then open Preferences and click OK (without necessarily going to the Quality section), the project rate will immediately change back to the default rate.

Still, I find the behavior very surprising for Spectrogram settings.

Well yes there’s a few strange things about the Spectrogram settings, but are you aware that you can set them per track from the track context menu?

are you aware that you can set them per track from the track context menu?

Sorry if my wording was unclear in this regard – that’s what I did, and doing so resets the project’s sample rate as described.

Sorry, I’m not sure what you mean. Are you talking about sample rates or spectrogram settings?
If you set custom spectrogram settings for a specific track, those settings are no longer affected by the settings in Preferences.

Sorry again if I was being unclear. Performing the following sequence of actions will reset the value of the “Project Rate (Hz)” combobox in the bottom-left corner of the Audacity window to the value specified in “Edit → Preferences → Quality → Sampling → Default Sample Rate”.

  • Open the track context menu of an audio track by left-clicking on the downward pointing triangle next to the track name
  • Click “Spectrogram”
  • Open the track context menu again
  • Click “Spectrogram Settings…”
  • In the window that appears, click OK

Ooh - so it does - I just tested it on the released 2.2.2 and the latest alpha for the upcoming 2.3.0 - I’m just gonna log that in our Bugzilla database.

Good catch jpr :sunglasses:


Logged on Bugzilla:


You will be glad to know, jpr, that we have fixed this for 2.3.0 (I just QA tested it)

It’s also led us to tidy up the behaviors with regard to Rates - there were a few rough edges …

Revised fix for Bug 1977 - Using Spectrogram Settings in TCP causes Audacity to reset Project Rate to default 44100 Hz
This revised fix:

  • No longer attempts to drive “Default sample rate” from the selection toolbar.
  • No longer drives ‘Project rate’ direct from prefs. It’s usual it comes from the project.
  • Instead ‘Project rate’ in the project might change if ‘Default sample rate’ pref is updated, but ONLY if the project has no tracks.
  • When ‘Project rate’ in the project is updated, that is now always signaled to the selection toolbar. Previously it wasn’t.
    2 hours ago by James Crook

Many thanks for finding this and taking the trouble to report it, much appreciated :slight_smile: :sunglasses:


Just tried out the current master and can indeed confirm the issue is competely fixed. Many thanks for changing this so quickly. This will make the already awesome spectral editing tools yet a little more productive for me to use.

Thanks for the testing jpr (as a QA bod this is much appreciated)

I’m glad we’ve been able to nail this down for 2.3.0