Unanticipated shift in wave pattern

I don’t know why this happens. But, it has happened several times and is quite unnerving. I will be in the middle of recording a tape cassette and all is going well. Then, suddenly, the paired wave pattern shifts to another level so that I have two aired patterns that are not connected. If I continue recording, it will continue to record on the second, rather than on the first pattern. How can I prevent this from happening? I would like to have my recording as a single paired pattern. Is there a setting that I need to make to “lock” this function in"?

If you’re in stereo, you get four blue waves linked in groups of two and they play at the same time when you get done?

That happens when Audacity Stops and Records a second time.

If you press Stop and then Record when it’s in the second set, you will get a third set of blue waves.

You can prevent that when you get to the end of one side of the tape by pressing P (pause) and then P again to pick up right where you were. If you have to go out and wash the car, Stop, but then press Append Record (Shift-R) and Audacity will pick up at the end of the first track.

You can easily fix a recording on two tracks. Select the whole show with Control-F. Select the Time Shift Tool (two sideways black arrows). Click and hold the bottom track and push sideways until its beginning matches the top track’s end (attached). Those will play one after the other and Audacity will export a stereo sound file that way.

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Time Shift Tool Instructions


It could be terrifying if it did that and you did nothing. That would be hard to believe…


Thanks. Since I am new to Audacity, this has been very helpful.

So are you saying restarting the computer has not helped?

Audacity should not stop recording of its own accord. Have you tried a different USB cable?