Tutorial - Using Multi-track

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Audacity is a multi-track editor which will allow you to create and manage many different sounds or performances and have them play at the same time.
For example, you can add music to your audiobook presentation after you finish reading, and you can sing all the harmony parts of a song by yourself one after the other. You can create a good-quality mixed podcast from performers in several different time zones without Internet distortion.

Multiple Tracks

Different parts of the audio mix are on different 'tracks'. You can add and remove tracks and adjust the tracks individually or together.

Three mono tracks vocals-guitar-drums.png

Creating Multiple Tracks

You can add new empty tracks using the edit menu:

Tracks Menu provides commands for creating and removing tracks, applying operations to selected tracks such as mixing, resampling or converting from stereo to mono, and lets you add or edit labelsGenerate Menu lets you create audio containing tones, noise or silenceAudacity includes many built-in effects and also lets you use a wide range of plug-in effectsThe Analyze Menu contains tools for finding out about the characteristics of your audio, or labeling key featureThe Tools Menu contains customisable toolsThe Extra menu provides access to additional Commands that are not available in the normal default Audacity menusThe Help Menu lets you find out more about the Audacity application and how to use it.  It also includes some diagnostic tools.Adds a new trackMixes down selected tracks to mono or stereo tracksAllows you to resample the selected track(s) to a new sample rate for use in the projectRemoves the selected track(s) from the projectMutes or unmutes audio tracks in the projectPans left right or center audio tracks in the projectCommands that provide an automatic way of aligning selected tracks with the cursor, the selection, or with the start of the projectSorts all tracks in the project from top to bottom in the project window, by Start Time or by NameEnsures that length changes occurring anywhere in a defined group of tracks also take place in all audio or label tracks in that groupCreates a new empty mono audio trackAdds an empty stero track to the projectAdds an empty label track to the projectAdds an empty time track to the projectThe MenusTracks-Add NewMenu.png
Click for details
Click on the image to learn more


These new tracks 'stack up' one above the other. You can record into these tracks Record tool, or generate sound into them using the Generate menu. When you click Play tool you hear the tracks mixed together, that is, all the tracks at the same time.

You can also record directly to a new track using record to new track Record New Track tool which is obtained by holding shift down before clicking the record button.

On Mac and Linux it is possible to record more than two tracks at the same time with Audacity Multi-channel Recording. Not so on Windows, usually. Instead on windows you will typically build up a mutli track recording by overdubing.

Moving Audio between Tracks

You can move clips in one track, and between tracks, by clicking and dragging in the Clip-Handle drag-bar.

Dragging a clip.png

For more details see Audacity_Tracks_and_Clips

Listening to the Mix

TCP Track with Select button.png
  • Mute button to temporarily silence just this one track.
  • Solo button to temporarily play only this one track on its own.
  • Gain slider (with + and -) for adjusting the volume of this track
  • Pan slider (with L and R) to position the audio of this track 'Left' or 'Right' in the stereo sound stage.

Keeping Tracks Synchronized

When you select audio, you can select in multiple tracks, and then a cut will remove the selected audio in all tracks and keep the audio synchronized.

You can also lock the various tracks together so that that they stay synchronized, using Edit->Sync-Lock Tracks. Cutting and pasting audio will now affect all tracks together. This is shown by the clock icon in the selections, which indicates that Sync-Lock has selected additional tracks.

A pair of sync-locked tracks 3-3-0.png
A pair of Sync-Locked mono tracks: selection extends automatically to the second track

For more details see Sync-Locked_Track_Groups

Auto Duck

Auto Duck reduces (ducks) the volume of one or more selected tracks whenever the volume of a single unselected "control track" placed underneath reaches a particular threshold level.

The effect can be used to create voice-overs for podcasts or DJ sets, for automatic "ramping" of background music in radio productions and for turning down a voice in original language as soon as its translation kicks in.

For more details see Auto Duck