Muddled playback

Window7 Audcaity 2.

Playback is mudlded. quite clear but muddled up. How to sort this, please?

I’m afraid that’s too vague for us to diagnose what the problem is.

Check this FAQ in case this is the problem: .

If that does not help, is it possible to attach a short audio file (maximum 1 MB) of what the problem sounds like? See here for how to attach files.

Also tell us what the source of the muddled audio is. Is it another file, or a recording, if so of what, and made with exactly what equipment?


Thanks. Recording is from purchased already recorded commercial tape. I have digitised many tapes from the same series with another software
programme,including the one that I have tried (and failed) with Audacity

Still not enough information to help you, sorry.

If you want to pursue it, we need to know exactly how you are connecting the tape deck to the computer, and an example audio file to listen to.

If it’s any help, a common mistake is to connect the tape deck to microphone in on the computer. That gives you a mono, distorted recording. Connect to line-in (blue) instead. See here and the subsequent links on that page.


Thank you. I have connected the tape machine correctly. Some of my recordings with Audacity have come out properly. All of my recrodings with other software (Golden, EZ,ION) have come out correctly.

Some of my Audacity recordings are completely muddled but after about 3/4 the way through they start playing correctly.
I say"muddled" because that is what it is a complete indecipherable hash of sound. I am afraid that I do not know how to extract a part of the file.

Sometimes I get a mild “crunching” sound which is in time with the wave display. Each time it moves to the next pattern this soucnd comes across - but not always.

As previously explained, we are not able to help unless you are able to state how the tape deck connects to the computer and unless you provide an example file that lets us hear the “muddled” audio.

“Connected correctly” tells us nothing. Please give us the make and model number of the cassette deck or tell us if it is a USB cassette recorder (which means you connect it to the computer with a USB cable). It is common for USB cassette recorders or USB turntables to blast out white noise into the tracks, usually because the USB cables are loose or defective .

To give us part of the muddled recording, you can just click in the blue waves, then drag a selection corresponding to about five seconds of audio (look in the Timeline above the waves or in Selection Toolbar at the bottom to judge the length).

Then File > Export Selection and save as Microsoft WAV 16-bit.

Then attach the WAV file to your reply, Here again is how to attach files .


I have sent two files. They were mp3. I hvae tre4id to dsave a wav file but it comes out as an aup. It generates a folder and a sub folder, trhen several files.
Wich should I upload ; the folder, the subfolder or the files. As the proiblem is intermittent I would not know which of individual files to upload.

I changed the connection lead. seemed better at first, then the problems came back

The system won’t alloow more than one file. There may be 50 1000K ffiles.

Sorry - very confused.

AUP is not an audio file.
To create a WAV file, use “File menu > Export”.
See here for more details:

Remember that after drag-selecting a few seconds of audio, you want File > Export Selection and choose WAV. File > Export will export the whole track.

Is this a USB cassette deck or not? If you are not sure, Is the pin at the end of the cable (where you plug it into the computer) flat (USB) or pointed (1/4 inch diameter)?


Thank you for your input on this. I am sorry that I cannot provide more information or files. I have been travelling and will now be abroad until June.

The cassette player is plugged into a USB port. It was bought for the purpose of recording 100 or so old tapes and came witn software. I bought 2 such. One is better than the other and the latter software is better than the former.

I have been playing some of the 50 or so tapes that I recorded before leaving UK. All those that I recorded with Audacity are flawed and not really useable. All those that I recorded witrh otrher software are OK. The best are with a progamme called Golden something.

The problem with the Audacxity files is muddled play back and a rythmic crunching sound that keeps time with the wave display. When I say “muddled”, for example, piano notes seem to play in the wrong order and out of time. Orchestral can be a dog’s breakfast. The tapes may play well for a time and then go haywire. Then OK again. The crunching sound comes and goes. The backgroudn noise level is too high.

I have tried different leads. I will not be doing anymofre recordikng until July but I think that I will have rather given up on Audacity. I shall have to do all those again,

Thanks anyway. I appfeciate your attention.