why is audacity recording sound at faster rate and distorted??

I’ve been using Audacity for years on my old laptop. Never had problems. Now I just upgraded to a new Lenovo Yoga laptop running latest Windows version, I downloaded the latest version of Audicity, plugged in my AKG microphone and started recording. But regardless of what I do, change, tweak, etc, it records my audio at a faster rate and with major overmodulated distortion. I’ve downloaded older versions, etc. and it does the same thing. I’ve updated the driver, changed the sample rate, etc, and still no luck. Any guesses out there or anyone with similar problems??

Fast playback usually means the performance was recorded too slow. That can be a sample rate cross somewhere. 44100Hz is the sample rate of an audio CD and is a generic rate supported by everybody. 48000 is the sample rate for video. Studios can use rates as high as 96000 to leave room for extreme production and editing.

Sometimes microphones come out of the plastic wrap announcing they can run at some silly high “Professional” sample rate, but will work at far slower rates if you ask them nice.

Audacity gets its sound from Windows, not the microphone. So you get to inspect the signal pathway and make sure the sample rates match the whole way.

I’m not a Windows elf, but I think you can go into Windows Control Panels > Sound > Recording and inspect the settings and preferences. You should do that with Audacity, too.

Audacity does not have Get Info. Once a sound performance is inside Audacity it loses its original characteristics. The best way to inspect sound files is one of the variations of Media INFO.


All that is assuming nothing else is running on your machine. Skype, Zoom, Meetings and others take over your machine sound and you can’t stop them. Make sure they’re completely shut down when you’re not using them.


I don’t know what’s causing the distortion, but it’s probably a good idea to solve the speed thing first—that’s kind of low hanging fruit—and see if the overload solves itself.


There is one note about posting on the forum. We live on fine details.

Let me read your post back to you.

“I’m using a version of Windows and some version of Audacity. I have one of the hundreds of microphones AKG makes and I’m not sure how it’s connected.”

There is no “Latest” version. For a while there during the change from 2 to 3, Audacity had a different release every fifteen minutes. Some of them didn’t go well and it’s good to know exactly what you have.


Windows 11…running Audacity 3.1.3 and the mic is an AKG-C44 USB microphone.

I’ve messed with the sample rate. Windows is set for 48000 and Audacity is 44100. I’ve switched them both to match, at both levels, and nothing changes when I record. Same issues. I go back and use the same mic with Audacity on my older laptop and it works fine. I’ve downloaded older versions of Audacity on to my new laptop and still no luck there.

You might be getting [u]dropouts[/u]. Dropouts are missing bits of the recording which cause glitching/distortion and since there is missing bits of audio it will play back faster.

Dropouts are related to multitasking. The audio data flows-into a buffer (like a storage tank) at a smooth-constant rate and when the operating system gets-around to it, the buffer is read in a quick-burst and the data is written to your hard disc. If the buffer isn’t read in-time you get buffer overflow and a glitch (dropouts).

You can try increasing your [u]Latency/Buffer Length[/u] and you can try to minimize the number of background tasks running on your computer (but the operating system is always multitasking even if you’re only running one application.)