No waves after seeing waves while recording

I am recording a narrative, and can see wave forms while I record. However, when I try to listen to my recording, there are no waves, just a straight line and silence. I have recorded other sections of the text without this problem happening. What to do, and why has this problem occurred?

It would help us if you could provide the necessary information requested in the pink panel at the top of the page.

Have you installed Audacity correctly so that you are not running Audacity directly from the DMG?

Did you export the recording as WAV or AIFF, import that file and it is that imported file that has no waves? If so, did you move, delete or rename the file?

Or did you save an Audacity project containing your recording and that project has no waves?

If none of that describes the issue, you may have problems writing to your hard drive. Please open Help > Show Log… and post what it says inside there. If necessary you can drag in the Log window from top to bottom, COMMAND + C to copy, then paste here.


Thanks, Gale!

I am not running Audacity from the DMG, and I am using the latest version of Audacity on OSX 10.6. The phenomenon occurs when I record a section of the narrative and, immediately, upon trying to listen to it, it has turned into a straight line with no sound.

I would appreciate greatly any help.

Thank you,

Please, give us all three Audacity version numbers like we asked (look in Audacity > About Audacity…). The latest Audacity 2.1.1 supplied by us can be obtained here

I did ask you to attach the log:

Did you save an Audacity project before recording? If not, you are recording into Audacity’s temporary folder. Look in Audacity > Preferences… then the “Directories” section for where that temp folder is and how much space is on the drive.

If you are recording audio books like it sounds, make sure Directories Preferences says you have 200 GB of space or more. For stereo recording Audacity takes by default 20 MB of space per minute. So 10 hours is 12 GB. Apply an edit to the whole 10 hours, then Audacity takes 24 GB, then 36 GB for the next complete edit.

If you have enough space, then perhaps you don’t have permission to write where you are trying to write to. If you look in the log, or attach it for us, it might show that.


Sorry for the lack of information: my carelessness. I am using Audacity 2.1.1. The file is attached below:
log.txt (2.99 KB)
I’ve been saving the project sections after recording and listening to them; Eighteen sections have been saved successfully, but subsequent ones have not. I had no idea I was supposed to save the track before recording it.
The Directory reports that I have 45.3GB of space to work with.
I am trying to create an audio book of my own mss., “Majoorie’s Blues,” by making tracks of its various sections, and I gave myself permission to do so. :slight_smile:
After your comment, I am going to save each section before recording it (although I haven’t had to previously) and see if that technique solves my problem. Just the same, I would appreciate any comments you could make that might help me.

Thanks, Gale

When you say “save”, do you mean that you save a project (AUP) or that you export an audio file (such as WAV or MP3)?

You do not have to save a project before recording. Projects take a lot of disk space, so it may be better to export sections as MP3 (small files, lossy) if you are sure you will not make more changes, or as WAV (larger files, lossless) if you might make more changes.

If you do save a project first, you will very likely look where you save it and save it somewhere in your own user space, in which space you “should” always have permission to write to the disk. You do have problems (for whatever reason) reading some files in your own user space - see below.

If you do not save a project first then by default you will be recording into protected system folders where your permissions to write are more fragile and could theoretically get “messed up”. If that happens, you can use “Go > Utilities > Disk Utility” in Finder. In Disk Utility, select your system drive and Verify Disk. When that’s done, Repair Permissions.

See above for the file system permissions I am talking about.

How long are the books? That is not much space for what you are doing.

Make sure you use COMMAND + W after you export the finished section as an audio file. That will clear out the temporary space.

That will help if you have problems writing to the Audacity temp folder. Where is that folder? Does it say something starting with /var/folders/?

What were you doing at 11:38 o’clock which time your log refers to? The log shows that Audacity could not read various “AUTOSAVE” files in “/Users/amyelder/Library/Application Support/audacity/AutoSave/” such as “12. Annie - 2015-09-07 17-28-01 N-2.autosave” and “16. To Herself - 2015-09-22 16-58-14 N-51.autosave”.

Had Audacity crashed at some time? Are “12. Annie” and “16. To Herself” AUP project files, WAV files or some other kind of audio file?

The “/Users/amyelder/Library/Application Support/audacity/AutoSave/” location is not your Audacity temp folder (where the temporary audio data for never saved projects is) but the location Audacity writes its AUTOSAVE “unsaved changes” project files to. Those files tells Audacity how to string pieces of audio data together.

Audacity writes those AUTOSAVE “unsaved changes” files while you are recording or making edits, even if you have already saved a project. When you save/resave the project, the AUTOSAVE files should get deleted. If Audacity cannot read or write to the AutoSave folder this will create issues. Running Repair Permissions as above “might” fix the problem noted in the log if it is a file system or permissions error (I think it is quite likely to do so on Snow Leopard).