rasely wrote:So what y'all are sying is that there isn't a way to punch in on the original track. I realize that Audacity is a somewhat limited program (although I am amazed what I AM able to do), and this is apparently beyond the limits.
Not really - it's not so much a "limitation" as a "different way of working".
The "punch in. punch out" method that you are asking about goes back to the days if tape based recorders - if you have only 4, 8 or 16 tracks available then "punching in" and overwriting a previously recorded track is often the only practical option. However with Audacity and modern computer hardware, the number of available tracks is enormous, so there is no longer the need to be frugal with track usage.
Lets do a simple "punch in / punch out" with Audacity 1.3.4 (note that if you are not familiar with the shortcuts (hot keys) all the commands are also available from the menus):
- Record track 1
- Let's say we've messed up a section approximately 1 minute into the track.
- We find a sweet point just before the mess to "punch in" and a sweet point just after to do the "punch out".
- Click on the track info box to select the track.
- "Ctrl D" to duplicate the track, mute it, collapse it, and drag it up or down out of the way - this is our backup track (we can also use "Export Selected" to give us a proper backup).
- Click & drag from the punch in point to the punch out point
- "Ctrl B" to label the region - type "bad bit" as a name for the label.
- "Ctrl Alt K" to "split delete" the offending bit
- Click a few seconds before the punch in point
- "R" to record - play and re-record the new bit on audio track 2 - press "stop" at the end.
- If you mess up again, "Ctrl Z" to undo and try again.
- When you have got it right, click on audio track 2 to select it, then click on the name of the label (bad bit) to select the labeled region.
- "Shift Click" on the track info for the label track to deselect it
- Go up to the right hand edge of the selected region of audio track 2 and drag the selected region to the left so as to include all of the recorded section prior to our "punch in" region and "Ctrl Alt K" to "split delete" it.
- Repeat this method to delete the trailing region of the new track after out "punch out" point.
You now have a perfect "punch in / punch out".
This may seem like a lot of steps, but I've put in all the details - once you are familiar with the short cuts it's as simple as
1) mark it
2) delete it
3) re-record it
4) trim it.
Using labels to mark the positions, you can also use cross fades between the old and new recordings - brilliant if there are no good punch in / out points (and something that is just not possible with traditional punch in punch out), and of course we've also got that back-up in case we really screw things up.