Pitch changes when opening project in Audacity 3.5

This update has ruined all of my recordings. Every time I close and reopen a project random clips are stretched out and tempos changed. This has ruined 100’s of hours of recordings, I used to recommend Audacity to everyone, but no way after this. I feel like this is an issue with this new auto Tempo feature, is anyone able to help?


It is disabled and it’s not even just tracks that are being imported, it’s everything…

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This wasn’t helpful at all… I’ve now also tried multiple older versions of Audacity which don’t have this problem but just keep crashing… This has actually become unusable…

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@LWinterberg Has there been any progress from Audacity on this issue?? I edit our podcast using OBS Studio files edited in Audacity. I have experienced the same issue @fraser111 has outlined and it is now impacting the release of podcast episodes. What is the solution here??? I use Windows 11. Please advise ASAP. Thank you!!

So, as a podcaster, we are just stuck with the bugs introduced with the new automatic tempo detection in 3.5.1?? My audio tracks are completely warped, two women now sound like very slow speaking men and modifying tempo percentages does not fix the issue.

Please help!! I have to release a new episode of the podcast and currently cannot do so without having to leave Audacity and learn a new editing program. I’m sad as I have been successfully using Audacity since the beginning of February and even recommended the software on our podcast. Unfortunately, the warping of previously saved work and newly edited/saved work over the past month is completely wreaking havoc with our episode release schedule. Is Audacity just not for podcasters anymore???

Older versions of Audacity are available here: Old Audacity versions download

May I suggest a version prior to 3.5.0 when the tempo detection was introduced.

If the pitch changes along the clip speed, that’s unrelated to the tempo detection. The point of the tempo detection is to align tempo without altering the pitch. If the pitch changes that sounds more like maybe the sample rate got changed? What sample rate is your track in, and what should the track be in?

What version of Audacity did you use to make these recordings that were pitch-shifted in 3.5.1?
What sample format (16/24/32-bit float) did you have when you recorded these (it can be found in Audio Setup > Audio Settings)?

@dozzzzer @LWinterberg The first files where the corruption was found were my standard intro/exit/music transitions to the podcast (that I use for every episode).The three files were created on February 23, 2024 using Audacity version 3.4.2 (installed on my Windows 11 laptop on January 10, 2024). The sample format on the corrupted files shows 32-bit float and sample rate is 44100 and using the default MME audio host (which are all the expected/correct settings). I’m happy to send you a corrupted/warped Audacity file along with the exported MP3 file so you can hear what it is supposed to sound like for comparison.

Why this is turning into a major issue, is the episode recorded on Thursday, May 16 using OBS Studios was edited by me on Friday, May 17 in Audacity (version 3.5.1 installed on May 3, 2024) sounding fine until sometime between the last edit/save and exporting to an MP3 file at 2:46pm MT on Friday, May 17. I was able to create 2 additional files for our trailer and promotional materials from this same master file (BEFORE the final edits/save on the master file) which both turned out fine and are usable MP3s for release.

As of Monday, May 20 when the warped sound was brought to my attention by my podcast partner of the 11 tracks within the master episode file, all but 2 tracks were corrupted with the warped slow speeds yet 2 tracks still sounded fine. HOWEVER, as of today, this same file cannot play in Audacity at all and neither can the two additional Audacity files created from this master!! All I get is static! This is the episode scheduled to release on Monday June 3 which is why I’m starting to get very nervous. Not to mention, I have another recording session tonight for the next episode and I need to know if I need to completely change software platform before tonight’s recording.

I checked additional previously edited/saved Audacity episode files and I am getting the same static only result on playback using Elgato WaveXLR headphones, which is the correctly set playback device in Audacity. The problem is getting worse!

Please note, I completely shutdown my laptop every night.

@jademan No luck uninstalling Audacity version 3.5.1 , deleting all Audacity artifacts and then installing the earlier working version 3.4.2. Still the completely hosed effect for me, no audio other than static on all previously saved Audacity files (most recent and from March).

What’s interesting is something is still cached after the uninstall and deleting of all Audacity artifacts as all of the my Audio Settings were preserved after the reinstall of 3.4.2.

My podcast partner had downloaded Audacity 3.4.2 back in January as well, but hasn’t used it since. I sent her the latest warped file and though she can hear it, it’s still completely warped for her. She has never upgraded to 3.5.x. So unfortunately, I think whatever got introduced in the newer releases has permanently corrupted previously edited/saved files.

I also tried importing the originally recorded OBS file after the reinstall of 3.4.2 as a new project, but it’s just static. However, when I play the OBS MP4 file, I hear our unedited audio. So, it’s not an OBS file issue.

To completely reset Audacity, you have to manually delete Audacity’s configuration files.
They are in:

  • Windows: Users<username>\AppData\Roaming\audacity\
  • Mac: ~/Library/Application Support/audacity/
  • Linux: ~/.audacity-data/

(Ensure that Audacity is not running when you delete them)

(Preferences - Audacity Manual)

@steve Followed your instructions, thanks. I’m able to hear audio again (hooray), however the audio recorded in OBS and edited/saved in Audacity 3.5.1 from last week is still completely warped using the previous Audacity 3.4.2 (two women talking sounds like two extremely slow talking men.) So, back to the original issue at hand.

I was able to import the original OBS dual track MP4 file from last week into Audacity 3.4.2 and so far is sounds good inside of Audacity (but this was also the case upon first import of this file into 3.5.1 last Friday.) Without editing, I exported it from Audacity 3.4.2 to an MP3 file and it still sounds good.

I hesitate to go through the time consuming re-editing process for fear upon the final edit/save in Audacity 3.4.2 it will warp again. You know, the whole “fool me once…” scenario. Though, I’m not sure what real choice I have but to try. :upside_down_face:

If you have installed 3.4.2 and reset the preferences and settings according to Steve’s spells above, you should be good to go. I have a question about that later.

Do Not open any sound work that has been damaged by 3.5.1. Treat those as cursed and likely to carry the curse forward.

If you have already opened some of the damaged work, go through the 3.4.2 preferences cleaning again and restart.

We are informed that Tools > Reset Config does the same thing.

Screen Shot 2024-05-23 at 2.29.19 PM

I’m perfectly comfortable going in with a digital flamethrower myself, but someone argued with me.


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@kozikowski You are right, thank you for responding! I love your use of “cursed”, great description! :rofl:

I’ll uninstall, scrub the preferences, restart and re-install 3.4.2. From that point forward, only new recordings!

Turns out my podcast partner is having “OK luck” with modifying pitch/tempo to get our voices to sounding like women again for last week’s edited/saved episode using 3.4.2. We are hopeful (but not confirmed yet) that all of the MP3 files she is creating will sound decent enough to release with a disclaimer that we had software issues that distorted our voices to our listeners. I’ll follow up on this thread with the end result. I will also scrub her Windows desktop machine and reinstall 3.4.2 after she is done with last week’s episode as a precaution.

I really hope Audacity figures this one out as this was a HUGE mess in 3.5.1. Please DO NOT CLOSE this thread as “resolved” as rolling back to an earlier version or having to modify pitch/tempo are not a viable long term fixes! I worked in software development for over 20 years and no product manager worth their salt would allow this issue to be closed without a proper fix.

Please send me the corrupted Audacity project file in PM, and we’ll look into it.

Can we get an idea or listing of the corrections applied? That can help with the systems people trying to find out what’s broken.

This is me watching this thread with fresh coffee.


@kozikowski Sorry for the delayed reply. I had to catch up on the podcast tasks on Friday and when I tried to access the forum thread over the holiday weekend, I only got the “Oops” screen and had no other way to communicate.

My podcast partner provided the attached information and included screenshots to help.

I also enjoyed your coffee comment! LOL

@dozzzzer Sorry for the delayed reply. I had to catch up on the podcast tasks on Friday and when I tried to access the forum thread over the holiday weekend, I only got the “Oops” screen and had no other way to communicate.

Sorry for being dense, but I can’t seem to figure out how to send you a PM. Would you please provide me with how to do so and I will send you the corrupted file. Thanks!

Click on the “DOZZZER” name up the message thread. Click on Message and the message window will have a file upload provision. This is where I get fuzzy. I think it’s the same heavy sideways bar and up arrow icon. Someone will correct me.