Latency and Sound Problems

I’ve been using Audacity 2.0.6 for several months now for home studio recordings. I hadn’t used it for about a week but today, when I tried to start using it it began to shutdown after I would press record, told me that my files were recoverable but that it was experiencing a latency issue, and is now only recording on the left channel of the Meter Toolbar. I haven’t changed any of my settings since the last time I used the program, and when I check the log under the help menu it mentions a number of errors, such as image not found, and unable to open FFmpeg libraries.

At this point I don’t know what to do but it is still experiencing a latency problem and my sound quality is uneven. I’m using a Mac, OS X: 10.9.5. Believing that my version of Audacity may have been corrupted I deleted the application and re-downloaded it, but nothing has changed.

I’m only using 1 recording channel, not over dubbing. Basically, I just need the program to run smoothly and with even sound once I hit record; just like it has for the past several months.

Then please open Finder, choose Go > Go to Folder and type:

~/Library/Logs/DiagnosticReports/

Attach the latest two or three Audacity crash reports from that folder. Please see here for how to attach files: https://forum.audacityteam.org/t/how-to-attach-files-to-forum-posts/24026/1

That is a separate message from crash recovery. You can get a message about latency if recording stalls when you record one track over another one. If Audacity only records a few milliseconds of audio before stalling, all the audio is pushed behind time zero by Audacity’s latency correction (which is meant to align a new recording with previous tracks).

We can’t see your machine. What are the exact make and model numbers of your recording equipment and how does it connect to the computer?

If you are recording into one channel of an interface that has left and right inputs, and you set Audacity in Device Toolbar to record in mono, then you would expect to only see one channel recording in Meter Toolbar.

Unless you want and have installed LAME ( http://manual.audacityteam.org/o/man/faq_installation_and_plug_ins.html#lame ) for MP3 encoding and FFmpeg ( http://manual.audacityteam.org/o/man/faq_installation_and_plug_ins.html#ffdown ) for export and import of extra audio formats, those log messages do not matter.

Please describe more fully what you mean by that and say exactly what you are trying to record.

Reinstalling Audacity does not change its settings.

If you would like to start with fresh settings, please see http://manual.audacityteam.org/o/man/preferences.html#stored then scroll to the bottom of that page.

If you are seeing the latency correction message you do have Audacity set to overdub. Resetting Audacity settings will turn overdub on. But even with overdub on, the latency message only appears because the recording stalls. The stall is what you need to fix.

Try Audacity > Preferences… then look in the Recording section. What is Audio to buffer set to? If it is on zero or a very small number, try changing it to 50 or 100.


Gale

Attached are the two crash reports that I experienced from Audacity shutting down on its own.

I’m not recording over a previous track, but I am using Audacity to record a take, then, if necessary, mute that take and record a new one, which has worked without incident for the months I have used Audacity. The problem I’m experiencing now, with Audacity now staying open, is that I will press record and it will stall for a second or two before beginning to record. For that second or two, Audacity is not recording, but the cursor/selection tool (or whatever the proper name for the scrolling vertical bar that indicates the position of the recording is) will appear to flicker back and forth around the 0 second mark before finally recording.

I’m recording with an Audio Technica ATR2020 microphone and an Yamaha MG10XU sound mixer. The microphone is connected to the MG10XU, which is then connected to my computer via USB cable/port.

I did install LAME so that I would be able to convert my recordings into MP3 files. Since these problems began however, I have not exported any new files.

As for my sound quality, Audacity has preformed playbacks that are filled with static, even though my cables are secure and undamaged. This problem has occurred randomly, with one take being filled with static and the next being clear. Most takes are clear, but I cannot be sure of their quality until I have stopped recording and listened to the file.

Under Audacity’s Preferences – Recording section, the Audio to Buffer is set to 100 Milliseconds. Latency Correction was previously set to -130 Milliseconds, which I adjusted to 0 in the hopes that it would correct the problem. As Audacity is still stuttering at the beginning of the recording session, as mentioned above, this does not appear to have had an impact.

Thank you for your assistance.
Audacity_2015-03-10-220748_Thomass-MacBook-Pro.crash (43.3 KB)
Audacity_2015-03-10-221003_Thomass-MacBook-Pro.crash (47.2 KB)

Thanks for the reports and the good descriptions. I will pass the reports on to a developer to look at.

Have you reset Audacity preferences yet? If so has that fixed the complete stalls or the crashes when you start to record?

Since you are not overdubbing, turn off Transport > Overdub. Turn off Transport > Software Playthrough.

Then try experimenting further with Audio to buffer in Recording Preferences.

Are the glitches in the same place every time they play, so you can be sure the problem is in the recording?

Do the recordings have dropouts when they finally start? Any problems apart from the static?

What sample rate are you recording at? Set Audacity to 441000 Hz or 48000 Hz bottom left. Open /Applications/Utilities/Audio MIDI Setup then set the mixer input and output to the same sample rate you chose in Audacity.

If you still cannot solve the problems, you could try a pre-release build of Audacity 2.1.0 from the top of http://www.audacity.homerow.net/index.php?dir=mac/&sort=date&order=desc.


Gale

We’ve just noticed that although you said you have been using 2.0.6, you’ve actually been using 1.3.13, which is very old now.

As 2.1.0 should be out very soon I would suggest you use this 2.1.0 pre-release which should be very stable http://www.audacity.homerow.net/index.php?dir=mac%2Faudacity-nightly-2015.03.12-03.15%2F.

If you don’t mind using a slightly slower “debug” version, please try this 2.1.0 pre-release:
http://www.audacity.homerow.net/index.php?dir=mac%2Faudacity-weekly-debug-2015.03.08-04.15%2F. That will give us more information in the crash report if Audacity crashes again.

Thanks


Gale

My apologies, I noted Audacity 2.0.6 by mistake after that was the version I downloaded after attempted to fix my initial problems by deleting my version of Audacity and reinstalling it. I must have installed 2.0.6 and subsequently replaced version 1.1.13.

I have attempted to download the updated version of Audacity you posted links to, but unfortunately, having tried both links and downloaded the contents, the version of Audacity posted will not open. Instead I receive a message stating that Audacity cannot be opened because the identity of the developer cannot be confirmed. As such, only my version of 2.0.6 is still available to me.

Have you reset Audacity preferences yet? If so has that fixed the complete stalls or the crashes when you start to record?

Adjusting the Audio to Buffer setting to 50 appears to have helped reduce the problem of Audacity stalling when I press record, so thank you for that suggestion. Currently, Audacity will stall the first time I press record and then run just fine afterward. However, if I leave the program to sit for a short time or switch between one program and back to Audacity, it will once again stall for the first take.

I will have to run a more extensive test with my recording equipment to see if the problem I had with unexplained static is resolved as well, but for now, basic recording functions are working smoothly. I have not however, found or preformed a complete reset of all Audacity preferences. Is this something I should look into doing, or should I continue to try and make minor adjustments?

Are the glitches in the same place every time they play, so you can be sure the problem is in the recording?

Do the recordings have dropouts when they finally start? Any problems apart from the static?

What sample rate are you recording at? Set Audacity to 441000 Hz or 48000 Hz bottom left. Open /Applications/Utilities/Audio MIDI Setup then set the mixer input and output to the same sample rate you chose in Audacity.

As for the sound issues I was experiencing: I was not having sound drop out, but rather would experience static throughout a recording, even though none was picked up through my headphones or could found from any other source. I am recording at 44100hz. As far as I could tell, the static was the only sound problem to occur. I did not continue to record once I started having problems with Audacity shutting down and stalling, so if there were further problems I am unaware of them, but as of right now, do not have any to report.

There is no such thing as Audacity 1.1.13.
The current version of Audacity is 2.0.6.
The latest version is always available from the official Audacity web site: http://audacityteam.org/download/

That one time security warning is expected. Please go ahead and right-click or control-click over the debug version of Audacity, then choose “Open” and “Open”. See http://manual.audacityteam.org/o/man/faq_installation_and_plug_ins.html#mac_launch.

See how the debug version of 2.1.0 performs with respect to that. Further tweaks of Audio to buffer might help.

Also are you on a Mac Book Pro or portable Mac? Those aggressively try to save power in later OS X as soon as they think an app or service is doing nothing. Try right-click or control-click over the debug version of Audacity > Get Info then put a checkmark (tick) in “Prevent App Nap”. Note that setting is per application, so won’t affect other versions of Audacity.

Reset is done using the procedure in this link I gave you before: http://manual.audacityteam.org/o/man/preferences.html#stored.

On the basis of what you are saying now, I would make minor adjustments if necessary.


Gale