The all-new "HELP! I have an Audacity problem" thread

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TriciaG
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Post by TriciaG » June 28th, 2012, 12:22 pm

My SOP is to use the .aup files. Once I'm done editing, I'll convert it to FLAC for backup storage. But usually I use the .aup for editing.
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Post by Darvinia » June 28th, 2012, 6:38 pm

Peac, do you use Windows? Is your hard drive fragmented?

Edited to add: I just checked and I have 1GB only of RAM and I consistently edit large files over 45 minutes of recorded time with no lag.
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Post by knotyouraveragejo » June 30th, 2012, 11:51 am

I always save my work as a wav file until the final export to mp3. The data file folder that the .aup file is linked to gets really big if you do a lot of editing especially if you save a lot, whereas the size of a wav or flac file is determined by the length of the file and original recording settings. Take a look at the size of an audacity_data folder sometime before and after an editing session and you will see what I mean. Also unlike opening a compressed mp3 file which has to imported and converted to an editable file, an uncompressed file (wav or flac) is almost as quick to open as the corresponding .aup. For example a 15 min mp3 takes about 15 seconds to open in audacity, and the same file in wav format opens in just over a second.
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Post by peac » June 30th, 2012, 12:57 pm

So, here's some stats:

Audacity 2.0
Windows Vista SP2
2.5 GHz dual processor PC with 4 GB of RAM 8-)
(defragged! :thumbs: )

Loading a 58 minute .aup file takes 1:18. If I delete 1/2 second of the file it takes 1:09 before I can continue editing.

If I cache the entire 58 minutes piece into RAM it takes 1:14 for the file to load and another 2 minutes to copy the file into RAM. If I delete 1/2 second of the file it takes 1:09 before I can continue editing.

In other words, caching the file in RAM does nothing to help with editing and I actually lose time during the load.

Comparatively:
A 9:58 file takes :15 seconds to load and :15 seconds to recover before I can continue editing if I delete 1/2 second.
A 25:00 file takes :45 seconds to load and :39 seconds to recover before I can continue.

(Length of the edit doesn't really matter. I get the same lag if I delete a minute as I do if I delete 1/2 a second.)

Conclusion: there appears to be a nearly 1:1 relationship between how long it takes to load the .aup file and how long it takes to recover from an edit.

Following the suggestions above I saved the file as a FLAC. The FLAC file imported in :50 seconds and recovery from the edit was essential instantaneous.

This reinforces my gut feeling that, once I've saved a file, Audacity is reloading the file after an edit, but I really don't know what's going on. At any rate it's clear that, at least for me, the best thing to do with large files is to export as a FLAC and edit that in subsequent sessions.

p.s. I posted on the Audacity board too, so if they have any suggestions that work I'll let you all know.
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Post by peac » July 1st, 2012, 12:25 pm

Well, it turned out to be trivial, but there were a number of suggestions of things to check, so just in case someone else has this problem here's some things they suggested checking:
What's the hard drive light doing while you're waiting for the Audacity Project to load? What's the screen doing? During the wait, could you go off and check email?

How big is your hard drive and how much room do you have left? The video people have a rule that at least 10% of your drive should be free at any time.

Opening a project is more complicated than it looks. The aup Project Manager File opened up the _data folder with the thousands of sound and data snippets and then opened up all the attached and associated music files you used. [Not likely at Librivox, but something to keep in mind for other projects.]

Which Virus Protection do you have and does it make any difference if you disconnect your network and suspend the Virus software? Will your machine pass a Microsoft On-Line Virus search? [People thought Antivirus was especially likely to be the culprit.]

http://www.microsoft.com/security/pc-security/malware-removal.aspx

Did you buy many, many filters and effects and are they all in the Audacity Plug-Ins folder?

Your drives are internal, right, not USB or FireWire drives?

Instead of launching Audacity, what happens if you double click on one of the aup files? Does Audacity take minutes to launch and then the show takes more minutes?

If you don't have too many custom settings or favorite adjustments, we can try to reset Audacity. "Reinstalling" Audacity generally doesn't do anything because most of Audacity's personality is in the preference system. The actual program is decorative and dumb. You have to critically edit the preference file and restart Audacity. [I actually did this, just to clear out all the weird things I'd attempted and get Audacity back to the "factory defaults."]

http://wiki.audacityteam.org/index.php?title=Audacity_Preferences
And the winner was...

My "My Documents" folder is mapped to a NAS drive. As soon as I moved the files to my C: drive the lag disappeared.
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Post by Sue Anderson » July 21st, 2012, 4:13 pm

Hi, I just installed the new version of Audacity . . . The first thing that has gone wrong is when I close the recording window, another blank window is still on the screen, and I have to close it too--as if there are two windows up at the same time. Then, just now, I started having a "shadow" screen (about 1/2 as deep as the original recording) appearing above the recording, with little lines, blue, green, etc. dropping down from it into the original recording; very interesting? certainly disconcerting. Anybody got any ideas how to eliminate these things? Thanks,

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Post by JohanLiebert » July 21st, 2012, 5:19 pm

Sue Anderson wrote:Hi, I just installed the new version of Audacity . . . The first thing that has gone wrong is when I close the recording window, another blank window is still on the screen, and I have to close it too--as if there are two windows up at the same time. Then, just now, I started having a "shadow" screen (about 1/2 as deep as the original recording) appearing above the recording, with little lines, blue, green, etc. dropping down from it into the original recording; very interesting? certainly disconcerting. Anybody got any ideas how to eliminate these things? Thanks,
Have you tried uninstalling and reinstalling it again? I had that kind of problem when I installed Aud 2.0... Reinstalling it again removes the blue and green lines. Might work in your case too ...
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Post by Sue Anderson » July 23rd, 2012, 3:22 pm

April, thank for your suggestion. I did find a partial answer to my question about the red lines in the Audacity Frequently Asked Questions Forum: http://manual.audacityteam.org/help/manual/man/faq.html. There it said:

"Why do I see a lot of vertical red lines in the track I just recorded?
This happens when you have an oversaturated recording, where clipping has occurred, that is, the signal has exceeded the maximum allowed level. The vertical red lines show where clipping has happened. The clipping indicators can be turned on and off (Audacity's default setting is "off") by selecting View > Show Clipping."

There is some good infomation in this set of questions and answers.

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Post by TriciaG » July 24th, 2012, 12:23 pm

What you're talking about doesn't sound like the clipping lines, though. :?
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Post by Penelope12 » July 28th, 2012, 2:26 pm

I am using a pretty cheap headset, and I think that because of the nature of it being a headset, I have very ugly "S" sounds everywhere that are blown way out of proportion. I have tried re-positioning the mic all of the way around, but the S's are still horrendous. Is there a way to fix this on audacity without having to go through every single "S" ? Also, I have a lot of sounds from when I open my mouth. If fixing this problem requires buying a better microphone that is not a headset, that's fine. :help: :hmm:

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Post by J_N » July 28th, 2012, 2:46 pm

Penelope12 wrote:I am using a pretty cheap headset, and I think that because of the nature of it being a headset, I have very ugly "S" sounds everywhere that are blown way out of proportion. I have tried re-positioning the mic all of the way around, but the S's are still horrendous. Is there a way to fix this on audacity without having to go through every single "S" ? Also, I have a lot of sounds from when I open my mouth. If fixing this problem requires buying a better microphone that is not a headset, that's fine. :help: :hmm:
Not exactly sure how your S sound, but you could try using the compressor - it should bring any spikes you have to a normal level...
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TriciaG
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Post by TriciaG » July 28th, 2012, 3:00 pm

You can either use the low pass filter, or the de-esser.

The Low Pass Filter is already in your effects folder. Here are settings to start with, then tweak from there:
Rolloff - 6 dB
Filter quality: .7071
Cutoff frequency: 3000-4000 Hz

A lower cutoff frequency affects the rest of the recording; a higher one affects only the sharper S sounds.

Here's information on the de-esser:

http://wiki.librivox.org/index.php/De-Essing_Files
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Kastor
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Post by Kastor » July 28th, 2012, 4:39 pm

I keep getting,

'Error opening sound device. Please check input device settings or project sample rate.'

when I try to record.

I have no idea what to do.

TriciaG
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Post by TriciaG » July 28th, 2012, 4:48 pm

What version of Audacity are you using?

I used to get that message; I'm not sure what stopped it.
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Elizabethan Poetry: The Psalmes of David
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Post by JohanLiebert » July 28th, 2012, 5:26 pm

Kastor wrote:I keep getting,

'Error opening sound device. Please check input device settings or project sample rate.'

when I try to record.

I have no idea what to do.
Hi Kastor,

I receive that kind of error message when I accidentally open Audacity first before plugging in my mic.
Will you try plugging it first? If you've already done that, then disregard this post :)
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