Project Corruption on Export

Hi Guys,

I’d love some help with this problem, it’s happened a few times now.

I use Audacity to edit a podcast, most of the time it works great, but a few times when I finish the edit and export (as WAV), sections of the audio are all chopped up and mixed together.

I’ve had the opening 10 seconds inserted randomly over and over throughout the project, I’ve had 3-4 second sections of the audio mixed and scrambled, I’ve had clips from a separate track overlaid onto the main track. The overall timing of the project never changes, but the audio corruptions are always throughout the whole project. After the export I’ve never spotted the mistake before I’ve closed the program, so I don’t know if there was something i could have “undone” after the event.

Any help would be very much appreciated.

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Please tell us what version of Audacity you are using. See the pink panel at the top of the page. It is is best to use the latest 2.1.3 that has the latest fixes:

Is it the export that is bad or the original recordings? Exactly which export command are you using?

If it is just the export, please do COMMAND + F and COMMAND + SHIFT + F to fit the project horizontally and vertically. then attach a screenshot of the project window. Please see how to attach files to forum posts.


I was using 2.1.1. on a Mac Air running Sierra 10.12.4.

To export I went: File - Export Audio, and used WAV 32bit Float PCM

Before the export the audio is fine, after the export both the project and the exported audio are corrupted.

In the case of the attached photo, I now have snippets of audio scrambled and overlaid onto the original vocal track. Some of the musical stings from the second track have even been overlaid. Just for clarity, and because I’m not sure of the correct terminology. When I say overlaid, what I mean is that the timing of the original track is the same, but new audio is in the place of the original. You can’t hear the original under the new.

This has now happened about 3 times in the last few months.
Screen Shot 2017-04-15 at 14.36.52.png

Are all the scrambles within one Project? That is, when you experience oddball voices in the wrong places or snippets of music showing up here and there, are all those error sounds from that Project? Do you ever experience sound from other projects (that you know of)?

This is where I post the picture of the adorable cocker spaniel with his head tilted in puzzlement.

My go-to mental exercise is to think of a way to make what you got if somebody paid me to do it on purpose. I don’t know if that exercise would do any good here.

You say segments of the opening theme (for example) are sprinkled over the show seemingly at random? The same segment (as far as you can tell)?

There is the possibility that you’re funnin’ us and none of this is actually happening. That does occasionally happen.

In any event, don’t delete either the damaged WAV or the Project. The forum will only support attachments of 2MB or so—10 seconds stereo. Do you have any way to post the damaged work so we can download the whole show? How long is the whole show?

Don’t convert anything to MP3 for convenience. MP3 compression damage can hide some sound clues.


Please use 2.1.3 if you have not already upgraded.

What was the project before you exported it - those two tracks you show?

Which track is the “original vocal track” - the first track?

Was the second track in the project only a few seconds long before you exported it, so that those other snippets were added to it after export? Do these changes to the project happen before your eyes when you export, or do you only see them after you close and reopen the project?

I agree with Koz. If you can provide a project (the AUP file and _data folder packaged into a ZIP file) that breaks when you export, then we could look at it.


I wish I was trying to trick people, but unfortunately not.

I’ve now updated to the latest version of Audacity, so maybe I get lucky and don’t have any more problems.

Since the files are all so big, I’ve uploaded everything to a public Google Drive folder, so feel free to have a look and see what you think.

I’ve had different problems in different projects, but all along the same lines. In the most recent one I have some of the sting music over the top of the voices (example at 0:00:56) and voices chopped up and moved around (example between 0:02:00 and 0:02:15).

It’s always from within the same project, but often from different tracks within the project.

The 2 tracks were all of the project. A 1 hour vocal track and the second track that contains the short musical stings between the features. I don’t notice the changes happening, but normally because I walk away from the computer while it exports.

Is this project OK, but will break when you export? Or will it become worse again with the same symptoms when you export?

That is what we really need.


This project and the exported file WAV are already corrupted, but the original recording is still ok.

I don’t think that re-exporting makes it any better or worse, apart from anything else, it’s an intermittent problem, so I don’t know how often I’d have to export to reproduce the problem.

We can’t debug intermittent problems or problems that only occur on someone else’s machine.

It could be that fine details of the edits you make before you export are something to do with it. But without knowing exactly what those edits are, again we won’t be able to reproduce the problem.

Feel free to come back if you find a method to make the problem happen in 2.1.3.


Thanks guys,

I wasn’t really expecting anyone to be able to debug my exact problem, I was just hoping that maybe there was an already known correction somewhere in the settings.

Fingers crossed I don’t have the problem again on 2.1.3, and thanks again for your help, I really appreciate it.