static on playback

When playing any audio file with Audacity 2.0.5, I get nothing but static. My OS is Ubuntu 14.04 (Trusty) running on an Intel I5 Desktop computer.

The problem didn’t exist before this evening while I was recording and editing streaming audio (not simultaneously).

Audacity still records captured audio just fine. I can edit any recorded or imported audio (so long as I don’t try to listen to it) and export the audio to mp3 or wav or any other format with no problems at all. But if I try to play the audio file with Audacity, I get nothing but static and Audacity will crash unless I let it run to the end.

The speed during playback appears to be about 24 times real time. (A 4 minute audio file is swept through in 10 seconds.) On very rare occasions, the playback will slow to actual playing time and will produce clear sound with no static - then it will pick up again (especially after a track break) and produce only static.

The playback speed control is inoperative under all conditions.

I have uninstalled Audacity (complete uninstall) and reinstalled it using Synamptic and apt-get. No difference with either one. I have deleted all the info in the audacity-config file (in the .audacity-data) directory except the first line (NewPrefsInitialized=1) and rebooted the computer with no change in Audacity.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

So it is not the same issue that you had before Static during playback ?

Assuming the crash is a freeze, forcing you to quit Audacity in System Monitor, it’s probably the known issue between pulse and Audacity - see Missing features - Audacity Support.


There’s a related bug at launchpad on this.

I have also experienced the garbage out + crash in Linux Mint.

Unfortunately that is not a very useful bug report. It implies that the problem only occurs with FLAC files, but the default behaviour in Audacity is to always copy the data into the project, so the original format of imported file is irrelevant unless the user has changed the default import behaviour. Also, they don’t say whether the waveform looks normal. They don’t say whether they are using PulseAudio, Jack, or plain ALSA. They don’t say if the problem occurs with other file types.

Perhaps you could fill in the missing information.

I believe the answer from gmorehou (gordon-z) at is correct.

In other words, see Missing features - Audacity Support for the workaround.

If you receive a crash where Audacity disappears without you asking it to, then it is something else. If you have to force quit Audacity because it has frozen, it is probably the linked-to issue.


That would be my guess, but then there is no reason that it would be specific to FLAC files. I would expect the problem to occur with tracks that were imported from any supported audio file or tracks recorded in Audacity.

I’m still using the

env PULSE_LATENCY_MSEC=30 audacity

workaround in Mint 17.2. It works flawlessly with that environment variable set.

I had a similar problem.
When I would play back sound in Audacity, I would just get static. When I would play back sound in say, Rhythmbox, it would play just fine.

In my case, I had both a sound card built into the mother board, and a GPU. The GPU basically has a sound card too.

In the Audacity device toolbar there is an icon that looks like a speaker, with a dropdown box next to it. It was set to default.
To fix the problem, I had to select the correct sound card. In my case, this was “HDA ATI SB:ALC889A Analog (hw: 0,0)”. There was also a selection for the GPU.
Sound plays fine now.