Sporadic recording on first take of podcast

I have used Audacity before but tried it on a different computer for the first time using a Yeti USB microphone and a Toshiba laptop running Audacity 2.1.1 and Windows 10 Pro.

I recorded the podcast with another colleague, and when I played it back the next day, the recording was missing significant portions of the podcast. It looks to have recorded 10 seconds of audio at a time, following by 20 seconds of silence. This pattern continues throughout the entire 25 minute recording. For the parts that are present, it seems to pan between the left and right channels with no reasonable explanation (i.e. one person talking and their conversation moving from the L side to the R, and then back to the L).

Any explanations for this? I am hesitant to try again for fear of having another recording get lost.

Thank you!


Did you notice anything wrong before you walked away from the computer? Did you ever save this as an Audacity project or did you leave it open without saving it?

If you left it open without saving it, see https://forum.audacityteam.org/t/waveform-silenced-when-stop-recording-solved/39535/5 as a possible explanation.

If you did save it, did this problem happen when you reopened the project after File > Close or File > Exit?

If there is a saved AUP project file, please attach it. Attach the contents of Help > Show Log… whether you saved a project or not.


I like to keep one eye on the Audacity blue waves and the bouncing sound meter during the show (attached). The session would not have lasted longer than about 11 seconds if I did that.

“Well, shucks. How come I’m not getting a good recording?”

Since the problem is happening so quickly, you should be able to make changes and see if they worked relatively easily. Pity the poor people that get errors after the first hour of recording.

If you can produce a good, clear show that’s 20 seconds long but it won’t play back, that’s a very different problem.