Recordings are slowed down

Ok, so I’m running Audacity 2.4.2 on a 64-bit laptop (I can provide more info if needed), and I’m recording drums through a BM-800 (because I’m poor) and an M-Audio M-Track. However, when I try to play it back it sounds like I have altered the speed (both tempo and pitch are slightly lower, by a factor of about 0.088, which is about 480/441, which leads me to suspect that it’s got something to do with having a bad bitrate conversion somewhere along the line).

My computer’s bit rate is currently set to 48000Hz, 24-bits on the Realtek console, and in Audacity (in the preferences section), and this is where some confusion arose for me. On the box of my M-track, it says that it has 24-bit, 48000 Hz audio processing, but the user guide suggests using 16-bit and 44100Hz on the computer. I’ve tried both of these, and the problem seems to persist no matter what I do. Does anyone have any advice?

I’m not sure if this other issue has the same cause as the one above, but if I try to record, and there is more than one audio track “open”, or activated, or whatever the word is, I just have a ludicrous amount of dropouts.

Any and all assistance would be hugely appreciated.

The sample format in Audacity should always be “32-bit float” regardless of the recording device.

Are you using the M-Track for recording AND playback? (headphones plugged into the M-Track).

Try setting both the M-Track and Audacity to 44100.

I just have a ludicrous amount of dropouts.

I think that’s the end of your overdubbing career. Your machine doesn’t have enough moxie (technical term) to perfectly play a backing track at the same time it’s perfectly recording your new work. That’s kind of the definition of overdubbing.

But I don’t think that’s the cause of your speed change. And yes, it is suspicious that your error has the same ratio as 44.1/48. Good catch. You may be able to “rescue” a recording by forcing a rate change with the drop-down menu to the left of your track.

It’s “good” that both the rate and pitch changed. That’s a simple correction. If one changed without the other, first that’s insanely unlikely, but that involves ripping the music apart and putting it back together again—as much as possible. Those are the tools that make audible sound distortion and errors.

Audacity doesn’t get sound from your device or interface. It gets it from Windows and sometimes a setting in the windows control panels can mess things up.

Another possible problem that goes around everybody is Other Software. Do you use Skype or Zoom or “other?” They’re famous for grabbing control of your sound system without telling you. Make sure they’re all closed and restart the machine.


In this case I’m going to GUESS it’s NOT a sample rate problem for two reasons -

  1. You tried both sample rates.

  2. The error is in the wrong direction. You know the file was “flagged” at 48kHz so it should be playing back at 48kHz. In order to get slow playback you’d need a file recorded at 48kHz that’s played back at 44.1kHz.

    So THIS is the critical question -

Are you using the M-Track for recording AND playback? (headphones plugged into the M-Track)?

Sometimes the clock in a regular-consumer soundcard is off and this causes problems when you record on one device and play-back on another. (No clock is perfect but some soundcards are bad-enough to cause problems for musicians.)

So when you are getting all of the speeds to line up, also check the lower left-hand corner in the Audacity main window, and the device settings in Windows. Bring up Windows “Sound” by typing in “mmsys.cpl” in the Windows taskbar (by the magnifying glass), then on the Playback tab, select your device, then Properties, Advanced, and set/verify your default format. Repeat for the Recording tab.

I hope this helps. :smiley:

Alright, so thank you everyone so much for all of your help, I did what steve suggested and changed them both to 44100, and also changed the sample format to 32-bit float (using jademan’s strategy of changing the format using mmsys.cpl), and that fixed both my speed issue AND the dropout issue! It appears that my computer was interpreting the information in a way that constantly shifted it, but all of the issues are now resolved (I think)! Thanks again for all of the incredibly useful responses! :smiley: