My friend's recording is different length to mine

Hi, hope someone can help, as cannot fathom this one out myself (though not very technically minded)

I record a podcast with a friend - we chat on skype and both record our own voices on audacity, then i edit the show by merging the files. We press record at the same time, and some shows, the recordings are the same length in time. And yet some shows, his recording is 10 seconds or so shorter. Occasionally it is just a few seconds.

As i edit the show, the missing seconds are spread out across the recording - a second here or there. He never touches audacity once he presses record, so cannot work out why this is happening.

Does anyone have any ideas?

The machines are used for other jobs between shows, right? My first guess is his machine is busy doing other things in the gaps. It’s probably a bad idea to leave a browser or other internet programs running during the recording. You might try restarting each machine just before the show recording starts and watch that the HDD light stops flashing and the machines are stable before you begin.

There’s another possibility. You have a solid-state hard drive and they have older spinning metal. Older drives are massively slower than solid state and if their drive is filling up, the machine can spend a lot of time looking for places to put the recording. It doesn’t take much to slow down a live performance, remembering you’re asking the machine to do four different high-data jobs absolutely in real time. This isn’t like a spreadsheet or Photoshop where if the machine takes a split second longer than normal, nobody will notice.

Find out if there is a disk optimization process or program they can run.


We press record at the same time

How do you do that? Countdown? “And one and two and three PRESS.” There’s tricks to that, too. Start the show and you count down and they temporarily hold their headphones against their microphone.

That may make it easier to find the beginning sync points in post production.


Thanks for replies.

I think the most plausible answer is that the computer is struggling to cope with the process. It is not an old Pc, but it is not very good, as he is always moaning about it being slow. We have already tried closing everything else, and he has a laptop so doesn’t use PC for other stuff. We don’t record on laptop because of a separate issue! (fuzzy noise when he speaks on snowball mic, ordered a new one).

as for recording, there is no lapse at beginning, so issue is not when we press record. The bits are lost later in recording, intermittently. So logic feels like it is a performance issue with PC.

Thanks again. Will ask him to clean up pc.