Some audio files are blank with no waveform!

Audacity 2.3.2
Windows 10

I recorded an audio book a couple months ago. I used a USB microphone. I have one separate audio file for each chapter of the book and separate audio files for the opening, closing, acknowledgements,etc.

Finally found an sound engineer to edit my audio book to meet Audible requirements and went into Audacity to convert the aup files to WAV to send through Google Drive. The Opening, Intro, Chapters 1-4 were fine and exported just fine. When I opened Chapter 5, nothing. A straight line that is the length of the chapter (~40min) and the file shows 134KB as if there is data there. But no sound. Just a blue straight line. Chapter 5 through 10 ARE LIKE THIS! I lost more than half the book.

I did not receive, nor have I ever received an error message of any kind.

I YouTubed and Googled for 5 hours last night.

I have downloaded the newest version of Audacity. I have checked the LAME and FFMEP thing (I even paid $19.99 for this FFmep whatever it is… I was desperate) both downloaded and located. I have tried to amplify over and over. Data and aup files are together in the same file.

Oh my goodness please help me.
Audacity LOG

11:00:27: Audacity 2.3.2
11:00:27: Error: Couldn’t find symbol ‘AudacityModule’ in a dynamic library (error 127: The specified procedure could not be found.)
11:00:29: Trying to load FFmpeg libraries…
11:00:29: mLibAVFormatPath (‘C:\Users\Lisa\Documents\avformat-55.dll’) is not empty. Loading from it.
11:00:29: Looking up PATH environment variable…
11:00:29: PATH = ‘c:\Program Files (x86)\Intel\iCLS Client;c:\Program Files\Intel\iCLS Client;C:\WINDOWS\system32;C:\WINDOWS;C:\WINDOWS\System32\Wbem;C:\WINDOWS\System32\WindowsPowerShell\v1.0;C:\Program Files\Intel\Intel(R) Management Engine Components\DAL;C:\Program Files\Intel\Intel(R) Management Engine Components\IPT;C:\Program Files (x86)\Intel\Intel(R) Management Engine Components\DAL;C:\Program Files (x86)\Intel\Intel(R) Management Engine Components\IPT;C:\WINDOWS\System32\OpenSSH;C:\Program Files (x86)\Calibre2;C:\Users\Lisa\AppData\Local\Microsoft\WindowsApps;’
11:00:29: Checking that ‘C:\Users\Lisa\Documents’ is in PATH…
11:00:29: Warning: FFmpeg directory ‘C:\Users\Lisa\Documents’ is not in PATH.
11:00:29: Temporarily prepending ‘;C:\Users\Lisa\Documents’ to PATH…
11:00:29: Checking for monolithic avformat from ‘C:\Users\Lisa\Documents\avformat-55.dll’.
11:00:29: Error: Couldn’t find symbol ‘avutil_version’ in a dynamic library (error 127: The specified procedure could not be found.)
11:00:29: Error: Couldn’t find symbol ‘avcodec_version’ in a dynamic library (error 127: The specified procedure could not be found.)
11:00:29: avformat not monolithic
11:00:29: Loading avutil from ‘avutil-52.dll’.
11:00:29: Loading avcodec from ‘avcodec-55.dll’.
11:00:29: Loading avformat from ‘C:\Users\Lisa\Documents\avformat-55.dll’.
11:00:29: Returning PATH to previous setting…
11:00:29: Actual avutil path C:\Users\Lisa\Documents\avutil-52.dll
11:00:29: Actual avcodec path C:\Users\Lisa\Documents\avcodec-55.dll
11:00:29: Actual avformat path C:\Users\Lisa\Documents\avformat-55.dll
11:00:29: Importing symbols…
11:00:29: All symbols loaded successfully. Initializing the library.
11:00:29: Retrieving FFmpeg library version numbers:
11:00:29: AVCodec version 0x373466 - 55.52.102 (built against 0x373466 - 55.52.102)
11:00:29: AVFormat version 0x372164 - 55.33.100 (built against 0x372164 - 55.33.100)
11:00:29: AVUtil version 0x344264 - 52.66.100 (built against 0x344264 - 52.66.100)
11:00:29: FFmpeg libraries loaded successfully.

Did you make these “flat-line” recordings with an older version of Audacity?

If so, did you use “Save As” rather than just “Save” to save the projects.

We had a nasty bug in a version of Audacity a couple of releases ago whereby the use of Save As would corrupt the project in this way.

This is now fixed in the latest versions of Audacity.

Tip for the future - don’t just rely on projects - also export as WAV files (best of all 32-bit float) as safety copies
a) immediately after making your raw recording
b) at key stages in the editing cycle.


a) LAME is now built-in into Audacity - it is only needed for exporting as MP3

b) FFmpeg is for import and export of addition audio formats - not neede for WAV exports

c) If you get FFmpeg from the site or documentation recommends it is entirely free - so I’m afraid you wasted you $19.99 - I would try ang get my money back if I were you.

You can get the free FFmpeg from our links here in the Audacity Manual:


I did “save as”. So what you are saying is these files are lost forever right? Corrupt means no way to get them back? I need to re-record?

Sorry, yes - I think that sadly that’s the case.

I recall that the issue was present in 2.2.0 and 2.2.1 and was fixed after that as an emergency as soon as that was reported and we could trace the bug.


This is not going to help you now, at all, but this is exactly the kind of reason you want to export your audio and back it up on more than a single device. Toss your working files up into the cloud, onto a thumbdrive, etc. Losing your audio, even if it’s just a minute let alone chapters of work, is really the worst.