Newly edited file has lost audio when saved

Hi all,

I’m using Audacity 1.3.12-beta (Unicode) on OS X 10.8.5.

I’ve used Audacity many times on the laptop, but not for a few months.

I’ve just edited an interview, cutting down around 14 minutes to 6.

I played it back in full a few times, then saved it and exported it - the original file I imported was WAV and I exported it as WAV.

However when I played back the exported file, large sections of speech were silent. On reopening the edited .aup file I can see that those sections are indeed now silent, but just a few minutes before they were all there.

Does anyone know why saving or exporting might have basically deleted great chunks of random audio? Sentences start, then go silent, and are fine again!

If I have to do it all again, how do I know it won’t repeat the problem?



But you still have the original WAV file so you can just edit it again right?

If not, then that’s the first error. Make protection copies of all master live recorded tracks. I have original, live performances a couple of years old. If I ever destroyed an original performance (at the wrong time) I’d be shot.

I’m guessing you have Audacity set to “Reference Mode” (what I call it) where instead of making personal copies of your sound files, it references them, or goes looking for them only when needed in the show.

Audacity > Preferences > Import/Export > [X] Make a copy…

I’m guessing you don’t have that selected.

So when you Exported the WAV on top of the original, Something Happened and the WAV Export was imperfect. Then, you opened the project which obediently opened the now damaged reference file.

How’m I doing so far?

Audacity 1.3.12 set itself for Reference Mode automatically out of the box. Later Audacity versions didn’t do that because of how dangerous it was.

The latest version is 2.0.5


Thanks Koz,

I still have the original recording, it’s just the hassle of having to edit it all again that’s annoying.

I’ll update my version of Audacity tonight and copy those settings - fingers crossed that was just a one off problem.


I still have the original recording,

Is it intact?
If it is, then I can’t account for pieces of the Project being missing. Having the WAV and the Project match isn’t surprising. The damage happened to the Project first. Anything you exported would have the damage.

Your symptoms match perfectly with someone whose master file(s) are damaged or missing.

“I cleaned up and re-organized my music library and now my compilation project has big silent holes in it.”

There were way too many messages like that with the old Audacity.

You can get insanity like that if you start to run out of drive space. How is your hard drive doing? Control-Click on the drive icon on your desktop > Get Info.

Go (top menu bar) > Utilities > Disk Utilities. Select your drive and Verify Disk. This is only if the Space Remaining listing of Get Info was enough. If all that worked OK, go ahead and Repair Permissions.

Don’t glaze over the Get Info listings. More than one producer assumed they had multiple gigs of drive space available when the listing was actually 35MB not 35GB and the Mac was on death’s door.


This isn’t strictly the same problem, but a recent posting from someone who lost odd pieces of their live recording couldn’t figure out what happened — right up until the memory inside their portable recorder crashed the rest of the way and took everything with it.


The original WAV file is still fine, the one I originally imported into Audacity and edited as an .aup file. I edited it for hours, played it back, saved it, exported it and that’s when both the exported WAV and the .aup managed to lose chunks.

But thankfully I still have the original!

1.3 Beta’s were just that - Beta’s. Bugs not unlike you describe came and were fixed and reappeared in a different variant.

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