Troubleshooting Recordings

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Peter 2May14: ToDo-206 Post Wiki-split this page is a potential candidate for just deprecation, in favour of the Manual's FAQs
This page explains how to troubleshoot common recording problems by identifying the symptoms of the issue then fixing its cause.
For more general advice and information on all aspects of recording, see our Recording Tips.

Contents

No waveform recorded behind the cursor

If the red recording cursor moves across the screen but no waveform is drawn behind it (only a flat line), you need to start from the beginning and set up your recording device and input source properly. See this page in the Audacity Manual's FAQ section.

Red recording cursor stuck

See this page in the Audacity Manual's FAQ section.

Distortion due to excessive volume (clipping)

See this page in the Audacity Manual's FAQ section.

Small pieces of recording missing/silent or recording jitters

See this page in the Audacity Manual's FAQ section.

Left/Right channels of stereo recording are not equally loud

See this page in the Audacity Manual's FAQ section.

Click at start or end of track/waveform not centered on the horizontal line at 0.0

See this page in the Audacity Manual's FAQ section

Periodic noise every 6 - 12 seconds

See this page in the Audacity Manual's FAQ section.

Overdubbed recording drifts out-of-sync, or produces error or poor quality

See this page in the Audacity Manual's FAQ section.

Stereo channels swap over, or errors jump from one channel to the other

This is occasionally reported by people using Linux who have ALSA installed natively, but are using a version of Audacity that only supports OSS. See Linux Issues for details on ALSA support.

Speed variation while recording

This is rare, but if you have this problem, it's definitely not an Audacity issue, rather the audio hardware or its drivers. See Improving Recording Quality and Updating Sound Device Drivers.

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