Sierra error opening sound device

Hi Guys,

I have this exact same problem.

I installed 2.1.2 on Sierra (10.12.3).
I have already cleared the ~/Library/Application Support/Audacity directory.

I also checked the sound settings, but only thing I can find is that the format is at 32bit float, where as the sound setting are 24bit integer.
But changing Audacity to 24bit PCM doesn’t fix the problem.

Any logs or things I might check?

Please describe the problem. The problem is not “Audacity won’t open” otherwise you would not be able to change Audacity’s Default Sample Format in its preferences. Are you seeing “error opening sound device”? If so, are you trying to play or record?

If you are recording something, tell us what you are trying to record, using what equipment (makes and model numbers are always helpful).

There is a FAQ here for error opening:

You can attach the full contents of Help > Audio Device Info… if the problem is with playback or recording.
Please see how to attach files to forum posts.


Hi Gale,

Thanks for the quick reply.

The error is “Error while opening sound device”. It’s with both recording and playback. The difference between the two is that the text refers to either the input or output device. I’m not using anything other than de builtin devices of this (old) MacBook Pro (13-inch, Late 2011)

I read the faq and tried different settings but to no avail.

In the content of the Audio device info there is a line: “Supported rates:” it doesn’t show any supported rates.

I attached the support files to this post.

Thanks again for helping me. (4.23 KB)

Are you running Audacity by launching it from the DMG? I see in the log:

Warning: Critical Nyquist files could not be found. Nyquist effects will not work

which occurs if you launch from the DMG. It isn’t going to help.

So drag the Audacity folder from the DMG into /Applications then launch Audacity from /Applications/Audacity/.

If that doesn’t help, I suggest you try the “try out” testing build for the next 2.1.3 release planned for 20 February. It’s called " Audacity Mac 2.1.3 RC1 - DMG (RC for testing only)" and you can get it from

If the RC1 makes no difference, can you attach the Debug report again from RC1, and also show a screen shot of /Applications/Utilities/Audio MIDI Setup with the built in output device selected.