Making Changes to an Existing Track - Corrupts File


I am hoping to get some help with an issue that I am having when I make changes to an previously recorded voice track.

When I import an existing track and try to make changes to it, the changes sound different than my original recording. It sounds somewhat robotic / muffled. You can noticeably hear the difference between the original track and the track that I have made changes to. Sometimes the entire new track sounds completely robotic and other times, it is just certain pieces of the track (maybe a 30 second clip of a 1 minute track).

I am going to re-install Audacity and see if that makes a difference. I just recently started having this issue, so I am not sure what has changed?? If you have any suggestions on how I can fix this issue, I would be so happy to hear them.

Thank you in advance,

First off, you should be in Audacity 2.1.2 from here:

And the Windows installer has provision to reset preferences and settings. When that option comes up, say yes.

More in a bit.


when I make changes to an previously recorded voice track.

What changes? Describe in painful detail what the show is and what changes you were trying to make.

Are you trying to live announce new words and phrases?

Are you using WAV or other uncompressed files for storage or are you in MP3?

Distorted voices can come from two main places: You could be experiencing sound file compression distortion. MP3 files don’t edit well. They are designed to be an end product…full stop. The distortion can also be caused by noise processing or echo reduction during recording or during transmission from, say, a Skype transmission.

So this is where knowing what you’re doing is good.



Thank you for your response.

I am trying to edit a MP3.
The changes that I am making are as follows:

  • I am changing (re-voicing) a sentence or word in an existing track.
  • I am adding a sentence to an existing track.
  • I am removing a sentence from an existing track.

You mentioned that the MP3 files do not edit well. Should I be saving these as a WAV file until I am done editing the file? Or, is there a better file extension that I should be saving these as until they are my final tracks? The program (Brainshark) that I am loading these tracks into need to be exported into a MP3 file to get loaded properly.

Hope this helps. :slight_smile:

Appreciate all of your help.

You should do everything in WAV until you get to the posting or deliver to the client. And that’s only if the client wants it that way. Your archive of the final edit should be in WAV. You can make a WAV into anything. Also, save WAV clips of existing live recordings so if the show crashes in the middle of the edit, you won’t have to read it again.

There is no “open MP3 for editing.” The second you do that, perform changes and make a new MP3, the new one is going to have double the compression distortion of the original. Worse, if you inserted new work into the original MP3, that new work will not have the distortion increase. So no matter what you do, new work or patches are not going to match the original show.

I know somebody is going to post that you can intentionally damage the new work and then add it to the show. That’s correct. You could do that.

It’s certainly possible your computer is recording your voice that way. Windows has preferences and settings which can cause honky distortion.

This is the manual entry for when people have distortion trouble with simple recording.

You are on good headphones during these readings, right? Trying to run speakers and a microphone in the same room can also cause distortion.

Did you just recently start using Skype or Chat?



Thank you for the info. Your post totally makes sense. I will use WAV files moving forward. I have always saved and edited my files as MP3s, but just recently started to have this distortion problem.

Yes, I am using good headphones. My original recordings are fine; it is just when I edit them that makes them sound wonky.

Thanks again for everything :slight_smile:


just recently started to have this distortion problem.

Did you just start to use Skype or Chat?

The post was a little scrambled as to what exactly had the distortion…and how are you editing? Describe an edit where you add a short sentence to an existing performance.