Very strange behavior on recording


I have a very similar setup to you - I have an HP Envy (with SSD) and on onboard Realtek Soundcard and B&O sound onboard.

I do not get the same symptoms as you when recording from the onboard microphone - but what I do get is that when recording a new track it takes a short while for the mic/soundcard/computer to catch up with the levels, so the first second or so is quiet and muffled. If I record a test speaking A, B, C, D, E, F … the A, B & C are quiet and muffled - but from then D onwards the levels are correct (responding to the set level in my Audacity mic slider.

This is true for
a) entirely new track in an empty project
b) append Recording at the end of an existing track
c) Shift+Record to record on a new track below

However, if I pause for a few seconds silence during an ongoing recording after the F and then commence speaking G, H, I … they are all recorded at the proper expected levels with no onward distortion. So it’s just the startup from scratch that appears to be the issue on my environment.

This is the same whichever host I choose: MME (default) WDS or WASAPI.

If I was doing mic work (I don’t) then this would not be ideal - but I would have a ready workaround of pressing the Recording button and waiting a second or so to start spealing. I just tested this and it works fine.

Oh, and Skype has never been anywhere near my machine.

And on my Macbook Pro under Mojave I get similar but different - on the Mac it has a slight visible hiatus after I press the Record Button and before it actually stats recording. On the Mac testing with A, B,C,D,E … the A & B get cut-off.ignored and the recording starts withthe C

And no Skype on the Mac either.


I suspect it may be related to this bug (but I am not a developer):


I once needed to record sound from a C++ program, and found that the beginning of any sound was not captured correctly by the cheap standard computer sound card. I had to add a programmed delay to allow the hardware to stabilize. But that was just a fraction of a second.

In any case, I believe that Audacity or GoldWave has a preference setting for just such a delay, but I’ve just looked in both products and cannot find it. Maybe someone else here knows where the setting is. I believe I have seen it in the past.

About that reference to a bug report: strange that it hasn’t been fixed in the last few months. Does Audacity fix their bugs?

Yes we do - but that is a P5 low priority bug and as this is a purely volunteer project with very few developers - only 3 or 4 folk all of whome gift their spare time - the low priority baugs can hanfg around for a long time.

For each release our guidelines are that:

P1 bugs (usually crashes or data loss) must be fixed for a release

P2 bugs ideally should be fixed - but the Release Manager can allow them through at his discretion

P3 bugs must be Release Noted

At this moment in time we have two P1 bugs that are holding up the 2.3.1 release - and both relate to 64-bit FFmpeg libraries on Mac.

The Release Notes supplied with each release show the bugs we fixed for that particular release.



I had something similar to this - it turned out that Audacity had reverted to using my laptops own internal microphone - rather than the Condenser Mic i had plugged in via my Scarlett 18i8 interface… it confused me for a while - I couldn’t understand why turning the Mic level up on the itnerface wasn’t having any effect on the recording!

Ta :slight_smile:

I’m fairly sure that that is not my problem. I use the built-in microphones on my older Windows 8.1 laptop and get crisp, clean recording and Skype quality. After all my experimenting, including using an external microphone that was known to work, it is clear that it is a flaw in the hardware of my laptop. Possibly the microphones are out of proper position, or even disconnected, or there is a PCB flaw. It’s too much hassle trying to get something strange like this fixed, so I’ll just use my old computer when I want audio input.

I am getting convinced that this is down to the soundcrd and its driver.

As well as my HP Envy, we also have a small SSD HP convertible both of those exhibit the same recording start prblem. We alsi have an old lo-spec Samsung notebook and that does the same - as does my Macbook Pro.

We have one machine running W10 which does not do this an old Acer Aspire.

This made me suspect the soundcard/driver rather than Audacity - so I went on to experiment on the troublesom machines with Microsoft’s “Voice Recorde” - and loa nad behold the same glitch occurs on starting up recording - implying the fault is the PC/soundcard/driver.

We have two other W10 PCs in Zurich which I will be able to test on later next month when we visit - I will report back.