Dropouts

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Dropout detection

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"Dropouts" are small fragments of missing audio on recording. They can sometimes be caused by very slow processing, especially slow writing to disk or USB key, when writing data cannot keep up with the recording.
  • We have added dropout detection for this release.
Warning icon
  • You may have been experiencing dropouts and not noticing, they are not discernible while recording only on playback. So Audacity 2.2.2 could appear much worse than previous releases, when in actual fact Audacity is just alerting you to a problem that you previously would not have been aware of - or might have put down to a bad microphone or poor recording technique.
  • Audacity makes its best effort to detect dropouts as they occur, but detection may be incomplete for some operating systems and audio hosts.
Bulb icon If you are certain that your recordings do not suffer from dropouts, you may wish to turn this new option "off".

Dropout detection is controlled from a setting in Recording Preferences called "Detect dropouts".

  • When this setting is "on" (default setting) Audacity will detect dropouts (brief gaps in the recording) and will insert zeroes into the recording to keep the other good parts synchronized. These silent spans will make the dropouts more obvious, but keep the duration of the recording correct.
    • Dropouts may be caused by a disk drive that cannot keep up with the recording. This can happen, for example, with a slow USB or network drive, or if antivirus software is slowing writing to disk, or if other activity on the computer is slowing the computer down.
  • When recording stops, a Warning message box alerts the user and a label track, called "Dropouts", is added showing the lost parts, labeled with consecutive numbers.
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