Unknown Damage to Audio

I have a new problem with Audacity, so I have attached a sample of the problem. I’m hoping it sounds familiar to you all.

I’d appreciate your help with this.

Sara Bartlett

P.S. I just tried to attach the audio, but I got this message, “File too large: Damaged Grid.wav.” I hope this message is familiar to you and that you can tell me how to attach this audio. It’s only a few sentences, so it can’t be that the file is too large.

IIRC the limit is about 10 seconds of stereo or 20 seconds of mono.

Alternatively, you could post the file to Dropbox or Google Drive, etc., share it, then post a link.

I’ve never shared an audio file before in Google Drive, so this may not work, but here’s the link:

Thanks so much,

So you also need to share the file. Otherwise, only you can access it.

Okay, I’ll try again. I thought I was sharing it with the public but I guess I wasn’t. Sorry I’m messing up on this. I don’t use Google Drive enough.

I’ll keep trying.


It’s asking for people I can share this with. What link should I put in there so it will get to you?


I need to sign off for tonight. I will contact you tomorrow.


Share with everyone or with “Anyone who has the link”.

Okay, I changed my share to “Anyone who has the link.” Here’s the link:



OK, so I am able to download your audio now. To me it sounds as though you have an echo in some places, almost as though you somehow edited it in. I am thinking this is not the original recording.

There are others here who can help you better with the audio.

Thanks for checking on my audio. I appreciate it.

I recorded this audio in my studio, and nothing was different with the sound, no echo. It is definitely an original recording. I also don’t know how to edit something in. Hope this helps with the next person.

Thanks again,

Terrific presenting voice. I’d have no trouble listening to a story in that voice. That’s the good news. Have you ever had troubles like this before?

I have an odd trick that I do when serious problems appear. I pretend somebody paid me a lot of money to make that damage, intentionally. Then work backwards.

So far I got nothing. I’ve never heard that distortion before.

That’s not to say there’s nothing to be done. We can start from basic machine settings and work up.

Shut down your Mac. Not Restart. Dead Shutdown. Watch for messages, errors, and little spinning daisies as it goes down. It should not take a killer long time, either.

Wait a bit and Start. Do Not let any applications start.

Do you use iCloud? Can you turn it off for a while? That’s one of the services that Audacity doesn’t like very much.

Run Audacity and see if it’s still creating problems.

If there are still problems, describe your microphone and recording system.


Do you connect to the internet with this machine? WiFi, cable network?

This is where I’d ask you if you’re filling up your machine, but this doesn’t sound like drive problems (I’m probably going to regret this later).

Do you have a way to connect to the forum if you shut down the internet on your production machine?


Hi Koz,

I always appreciate your kind words. Wish you were my manager. . .

I hope I’m answering this correctly. (I’m a really great actor but a beginner engineer.)

I have never had this happen before. I like your odd trick for a fix :>)

I have a MacBook MacOS Mojave. Since it’s a laptop, I depend on the WiFi in our house.

Am I filling up my machine? I haven’t gotten any signal that I am. I have a very few Word docs on it. Otherwise, it’s only Audacity and my audio files that are on it.

I’m connecting to this forum through my desktop PC.

I will dead shut down and see what that does. I don’t use iCloud, but I don’t know how to turn it off. I’ll see if I can.

I will get back to you when I figure this all out.

Thanks so much,

You’re a genius, Koz, as usual. I just tried reading something, and it was clear and fine.

I don’t know why taking out iCloud, which has been on my MacBook since I bought it, would make the difference — and I don’t want to know. That’s engineer magic. Not for me.

Thanks ever so much!


How are you getting the work out of the MacBook Pro and to the client or manager? That’s one connection you still have to maintain—although you only have to establish it when you need it.

I mean there are other methods of transferring stuff around. Does this machine still have big flat USB ports you can plug USB Memory Sticks into? You could use SneakerNet and walk the files back and forth to the Windows machine. That’s Desperation Method, but it does work.

That’s engineer magic.

Maybe sloppy engineering. I started to be suspicious about cloud drives a while ago and now I’m finding there are a number of people having data and accuracy problems with cloud drives and not just with Audacity, either.

Do you have that cute picture of a hard drive in your screen upper right?

Screen Shot 2022-08-04 at 5.06.33 PM.png
Right Click or Control+Tap that drive icon and Get Info.

Screen Shot 2022-08-04 at 5.10.49 PM.png
The important readings are Capacity, Available, and Used. We used to advise people in the dark ages to maintain 10% of free space for reasonable stability while they were working. That’s not a terrible rule of thumb even now.

A TeraByte is 1000 GB.

I have 670 GB left on this machine out of 1000 GB when it was new.

So I have, what, 67% left.