I am running a Fifine T669 mic, windows 10 on an hp desktop. Every time I log into this program there is another, different, problem. I get the problem fixed after hours of frustration and ensure that everything works fine before I sign off. The next day I sign on and it’s a whole new problem. Today, it is that the playback of track is much faster than I recorded it. I don’t sound like a chipmunk, the playback rate is just much faster than it should be. I have even tried adjusting playback speed at the bottom right. Nothing. I have tried reloading drivers, setting sample rate in the mic and on audacity to the same level, have been to the sound control panel many times, have checked mic properties, blah, blah. I have tried everything listed here on the forum that I can find. I have gone back and forth between the three hosting settings. The sound card has been tested and is fine. The problem HAS to be audacity. I am deeply frustrated and due to the problems with this program am now several days behind schedule. I am shocked at the infinitesimal and multiple potential issues with running it. This is supposedly the best program to use, free or paid for.
I misread what you said… I thought you said it sounded like chipmunks. But what I said still applies and now I’m guessing that your “cheap” USB mic and your “consumer soundcard” don’t match. And one may be a little fast and the other a little slow. So, try your built-in mic (if you’re using a laptop). A cell phone can make a good recorder (with a recording app) but for editing you’ll want to use a computer.
The problem HAS to be audacity.
If you open another WAV or MP3 file in Audacity does it play OK?
Did you export your recording as WAV or MP3, etc? If so, try playing it with Windows Media Player. (Audacity project files can’t be opened or played with anything else.)
Those experiments should tell you if you have a recording or playback problem.
If you have a recording problem and if you’re using a laptop, try the built-in microphone (just for troubleshooting).
If you have a recording problem it could be dropouts - That’s gaps in the recording caused by interrupts and multitasking. With the missing bits of audio it will play back faster and it might sound like chipmunks.
Try the Change Speed effect to slow it down. It will take some trial-and error to get it about right. (Again this is for troubleshooting… not a good permanent solution.) If it sounds OK when slowed-down it’s “simply” a sample rate problem. If it sounds “glitchy” with clicks or other noises, it’s dropouts.
If it is dropouts, try to minimize the number of tasks running on your computer (when recording). But note that the operating system is ALWAYS multitasking and interrupting, even if you’re only running one application and unfortunately it can be a difficult issue.
Sample rate problems (44.1kHz vs 48kHz, etc.) can cause speed issues but a mixed-up sample rate problems are rare with a regular USB mic or a regular USB soundcard. And since it’s usually 44.1 vs 48 that’s only a 10% error and you won’t sound like a chipmunk.
Each device has it’s own clock (oscillator) to generate the sample rate clock. No clock is perfect and sometimes a cheap USB mic or a regular consumer soundcard can be off by enough that if you record with a USB device and playback on your soundcard you can get pitch or tempo problems for musicians, but again not enough for a chipmunk effect. If you record and play-back on the same soundcard/device that problem won’t show up until you use another computer or other audio device.
This is supposedly the best program to use, free or paid for.
You can try [u]GoldWave[/u]. It’s not free but there is a fully-functional free trial. Again it could be useful for troubleshooting or you might want to buy it. If it works perfectly then Audacity is probably causing your problems. if you have the same issues, then you’ve got problems with Windows, your drivers, or your hardware.
GoldWave an audio editor “similar” to Audacity. It’s been around a long time and it’s very stable. Overall, Audacity has more features but GoldWave has a few features that Audacity doesn’t. …I’ve had GoldWave for a LONG time (I think before Audacity existed) and since you get free upgrades the per-year cost has been almost zero.
Thank you so much for these replies. I finally got the program working and it has worked consistently for two days now. I also took the simple step of defragging the computer. You never know right? I really hope I found whatever was causing the program to misbehave in so many different and frustrating ways. Phew!! I have now been able to record about 45 minutes and it sounds good. Thanks again for your tolerance of my frustration.
Good to hear!
am now several days behind schedule.
After the pressure is off…
Keep a link to GoldWave in case you need to narrow-down a problem in the future. But it’s up to you if you want to start the trial before you actually need to try something else. In the old days, the length of the trial was determined by “use” rather than by calendar time but I don’t know if that’s still the case.
Or here are some other free alternatives (I haven’t tried any of these):
[u][/u]A/V Audio Editor
It also “wouldn’t hurt” to have a spare USB microphone, even if it’s just something cheap to try when you have a problem.
…The only thing I bought specifically for audio troubleshooting is an inexpensive little USB soundcard. But I have lots of extra “computer stuff” like keyboards, mice, hard drives, and I actually have more than one computer, including one dedicated to audio/video editing. Troubleshooting usually requires swapping things around to figure-out what’s working and what’s not.
The main reason I have a dedicated audio/video computer because I was experimenting with a lot of different audio/video software including lots of free applications and tools and I didn’t want to mess-up my “office” computer. But a lot of people doing “serious” audio work have a dedicated computer for the OPPOSITE reason. They can mostly leave the audio computer alone and “stable” and they don’t have to worry about messing it up by going on the Internet or downloading unknown stuff, etc.
Related to that - Applications like Skye and Zoom often change the Windows audio settings. That’s good at the time because it makes those applications work. But then when you go back to Audacity the settings are changed and Audacity works differently, or not a all. And Audacity doesn’t mess with the Windows settings like that so it can’t fix itself and you have to figure it out and put it back manually.