Loud distortion on each and every track, please help :)

Hi guys,

I’ve got a big issue with my audacity.

Last year I started recording with it and a focusrite 2i4 interface. At first I installed Ableton lite wich came with the focusrite interface, but I looked too complicated so I went for Audacity instead.

As soon as I started recording I had a loud distortion on the track (see attached file), no mater the mic or the input I would use. The weird thing is, if I would open Ableton and close it, it would work perfectly. So I used this method for a year because I had to record an EP and I didn’t want to deal with it.

But I dont need Ablton and it’s taking a lot of room. So I removed it. Boom ! the problem is back !

I thaught that maybe it was a hardware problem so I send it back to thoman, they check it and said it was perfectly fine. Then I checked with focusrite, they had me do a bunch of test and told me it was a software problem.

So I went back to my old trick with Ableton but it’s really annoying. I have to start Audacity, then shut it down, then start Ableton etc… I’d like my Audacity to work normaly.

So I would be great, really great if someone could help me :slight_smile:

In general it’s a good idea to tell us what to expect. I assume this is you singing?

There was an older post of someone complaining about musical distortion and included a sample of fuzz guitar which in its natural state is 250% distortion. Not useful.

After the heroic distortion I noticed that your Audacity sample rate is 16000 (lower left corner). That will give you musical quality slightly better than AM radio. The expected rate is 44100 (audio CD quality) or 48000 if you’re doing video. Preferences > Quality: Sampling.

The clue to what’s happening is to listen to the odd room noises behind your voice. They’re all perfect. That points to Windows Processing.


I call this effect “Voice Processing” because that’s what it’s doing. Windows wants your speaking voice to be as clear as possible when you call into a conference call, negotiation, briefing or business meeting. It hates music. Any extended musical tones will be cancelled.

“Fly me to the mo-------------”

Your clip is what cancelled music sounds like.


Ok, thanks for the clear answer.

I figured since I lazyly crooned a oldie you’d know what it is, but thanks for the tip, will do next time :slight_smile:

I will try this, maybe I need a little more training on audacity, haha.

Audacity doesn’t apply effects, filters or corrections during recording. If you have recorded distortion is probably coming from Windows.