No sound on playback & Audacity freezing


I have two problems. Firstly, I have no sound on playback, this is only a problem on the computer I’ll give you details for below. Secondly, I can get half way through recording a mix and audacity stops responding. It will then kick in shortly after, leaving a huge jump in the mix. This problem has been prevalent on various computers I’ve used Audacity on which has led to me having to start again several times. It once took 14 attempts to record a mix without Audacity freezing by which time I’d lost the will to live.

No playback problem is Windows 7, Audacity 2.0.6, SoundBlaster Audigy FX.

Many thanks.

Audacity will play sound to whatever you select in the Device Toolbar and it can be very different from other applications or programs.

One other oddity is that Audacity looks for new devices when it starts. So if you play to a USB speaker system that you plugged in after Audacity started, Audacity will not see it. Restart Audacity, or you can also use Transport > Rescan.

Audio (and video) production is very stressy for a computer. This isn’t like recalculating a spreadsheet which can take as long as it needs. Overdubbing means your computer has to play multiple sound tracks and record a new one absolutely perfectly and in real time. Oh, and create an UNDO as well.

So if there’s anything slow or wimpy about your machine, Audacity will tell you about it. Windows also can have driver issues. Make sure the absolutely latest drivers and device software is installed.

Close everything that has nothing to do with Audacity. DO Not leave Skype running in the background. I know you’re in Win7, but are you filling up your hard drive? Running out of room on a spinning metal type hard drive can cause all sorts of problems.

I know this is a newbie bit, but when was the last time you restarted your machine?


The playback issue is one which has just happened, it worked fine previously. Nothing has been changed in the settings nor on the machine.

With regards to it freezing, as I said I’ve used it on 3 computers now with exactly the same problem. The PC I’m using at the moment has 45GB of hard drive space free. Skype isn’t running, I know to close everything else before I use Audacity and set it as priority yet that doesn’t stop it freezing in the middle of a mix. I play vinyl btw so re-doing a mix constantly is a right pain in the A.

I restarted my machine before trying Audacity playback again and writing this post.


Do you have any Norton security products installed on these machines?

Are you recording at an extreme sample rate (see bottom left of Audacity)?

Have you tried increasing Audio to buffer in Audacity’s Recording Preferences? That affects playback and recording.


Hi Guys

Steve, there’s no Norton products on my machine, I use AVG.

Gale, the sample rate is whatever the default is set to as I haven’t moved it. I just checked and it’s 44100. I’ve also increased the Audio to buffer to 150 and still have the same problem.

The only thing I can think might have upset it is a system update i.e Windows, Java, etc. I’ll go back in time and see if I can suss it out. Thanks gentlemen.