Slowdowns and lag after 15-20 minutes of editing

Hi all,

The issue I’m experiencing (and have been since the .aup3 format was used) is that after I edit for around 15-20 minutes, my audacity really slows down and has several seconds of lag between actions. Currently, the only way I can fix this is to save, close, then reopen the file. This seems to refresh things.

I’ve done some reading and have heard that due to the aup3 format, the undo/redo history builds up and can make it chug. Not sure if this is the issue, but it’d be my guess. I’ve been editing like this for several years and never used to have this issue with earlier versions.

Just wondering if anyone had experienced, or heard of this issue and had a fix? It’s not preventing me from editing, but it’s annoyed me enough now to post here.

Might be a hardware thing, so, just for a bit of tech side I’m currently running Audacity 3.3.3 on Windows 11. My hardware on laptop is a i7-10750H, 16gb RAM. I edit a podcast with 5 mono tracks recorded in .wav, and they can be up to 2hrs long each.

Thanks everyone!

Yes, I agree. :grinning:

I’m a complete noob, but I have been really struggling with this.

It began with the Envelope tool slowing down. I was using it to edit pops - as I’d seen on tutorials. Then squillions of Envelope points started to appear in my audio in the wrong places which made the volume go up and down wildly. The file also slowed down to a crawl while editing as the OP describes, and started to quit erratically, I had to recover the file a few times.

Saving and reopening didn’t work: nor did saving to a new project.

I went through and painstakingly removed all the envelopes, and instead used Silence on tiny sections of the track to remove all the pops and lip noises, saved, and then saved as a new track for good measure.

It was still very slow. Kept quitting mid-action. And I found that my NEW track still had all the envelope points in. Thankfully the saved version with the old name didn’t - so I went back to that one, but it was still painfully slow.

I used Mix and Render and then opened a completely new file, copied across my newly mixed audio track and pasted it in. Bingo - I could save the new file and editing was smooth and quick.

However, when I exported it to MP3 I discovered the volume starts going up and down suddenly in the section where the envelope points problem started. I had listened back to various sections in Audacity, and I was reasonably confident that the volume was consistent. And the same problem is affecting the last section of the audio, which I know for certain I never put envelope points into and which definitely didn’t have volume variations while I was editing it last night - but now that it’s saved, volume variations are everywhere, in the complete file, the backup, and the MP3.

Coming to the conclusion that I’m going to have to rerecord the whole 55-minute audio and start from scratch. I would really like to know why it happened and how I can avoid it happening again as it’s been ten days of work on this project and it seems the whole thing is fit for the bin.

There are pre-existing Envelope Point issues, see here: Issues · audacity/audacity · GitHub

You can remove all envelope points with View > Extra Menu, then Extra > Scriptables I > Set Envelope > Delete (check Delete twice, uncheck the other options).

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Thanks @jademan I really appreciate your answer. I’ve tested removing the envelope points via that method now, but everything grinds to a standstill. In case it’s useful to anyone reading this thread, here’s an image of the envelope points that created themselves on my track. You can clearly see a pattern repeat (getting slightly faster) from the 20:00 mark and then repeating at the 29:00 mark.

image of Audacity envelopes

Clearly your project is “corrupt”. If the procedure you are running fails to deliver, let me suggest looking here: Corrupt or Otherwise Broken Audacity Project Recovery

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I have this kind of problem since I installed Windows 10. First with a AMD FX 6300, 8GB RAM, 750 Ti with 1TB HD. Than plus one SSD for the OS and the HD for the audio files, what really sped things up, but not enough.
Now with Ryzen 4100, 16GB RAM, 1650 GDDR6 and guess what? Same performance in any version of Audacity. The solution for me is to use two SSDs with Windows XP SP3 in a virtual machine, like this:

The Audacity version is 2.1.2, is one version before the last version (2.1.3) with official support for Windows XP SP3.
I use a secondary SSD with virtual 50GB because sometimes I edit so much audio all a once, that the cache folder reaches 40GB. Rare, but it happens.
It’s so good to use Audacity in Windows XP! Run so smooth.

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