Adding to the middle of audio

I made an eight minute audio track using an animation program. As I doing the animation, I realized I skipped a line in the script. The tech people for the animation program had me import the audio into Audacity to edit in the extra line, but I cannot figure out how to do it. Essentially what I want to do is stop the audio at 7 minutes and either adding about 15 seconds of new audio (voice recording) or just re-record from that point on. Do I just cut our the last minutes of the audio and then start recording? It seems this is what I should do, but I’m not at all clear on how to do it. Of course, I would prefer to just add in the missing lines, since the animation is done and I would only have to edit the animation to cover the additional 15 seconds.

I’m using Audacity 2.1.0 on a Windows operating system.

Give me a second. I know this one.

Put the cursor at the place you wish to add the voice. Press record and Audacity will start recording at that point on a new track. When you finish, Stop

Drag-select the part of the original show that’s now in the wrong place and Control-X cut. Move the cursor over to the right and Control-V paste. You can use the Time Shift Tool (two sideways black arrows) to push the pasted track back and forth until it matches the end of your new work (attached).

When you export your show, Audacity will smash the two tracks into one.

I’m sure there’s an easier way to do this, but that works.

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You might want to put the “hole” into the original track first – make it bigger than you expect to need. Then you can speak the new part on queue were it belong. Then use the slide technique to get the last bit back where it goes. Also after you record the new track use the same cut command to remove any extra at the head and tail of the new track so that you don’t end up with twice the background noise.

Then you can speak the new part on queue were it belong.

That’s why this may be more amusing than it seems. You can only start on cue if the original track were playing, which means you need to have the In Point before it’s actually needed. You can only get into record by pressing the record button. Then you can’t continue in that manner because your own speech will arrive at your headphones late and drive you crazy.

Any overlap whether or not it has valuable speech is going to contribute noise.

Maybe some configuration of overdubbing…


No, if everything is set up correctly (and I think most sound drivers default to this) the audio out will not get any of the audio in. You’ll only hear the old recording. You can even monitor with speakers since the new audio hopefully lays down where the old audio is silent.

The other way is to just record the new material as a separate sound file. Then with the first file open use file->import->sound file to import the second recording as a new track. Cut the old track in the right place and either slide the new track to the right place or even cut-n-paste it into the hole.

Imagine how you would do this if it were a video rather than a sound recording.
Would you expect to be able to play your video camera up to the point of the missing scene, then “record insert” the missing scene?

The usual process would be to just record the missing scene, then “insert” it into the right place by editing after the event. The same approach can be used with audio, and that is probably how I would approach the task.

Would you expect to be able to play your video camera up to the point of the missing scene, then “record insert” the missing scene?

That’s how quadraplex videorecording was done for years. The recorder motors had to be in motion and stable before an edit was performed. A five second run-up was common.

But ignoring video for a second, you just described crash recording. I think the big Studers could do that accurately.


Wow, that’s been obsolete (in the UK) for the best part of 40 years :open_mouth:

Perhaps there’s a cross-Atlantic difference in terminology, but in the UK “crash editing” is strictly a “linear editing” technique that “appends” one recording to the end of another. It does not (cannot) “insert” a new recording at a point within an existing recording without overwriting the latter part of the original recording.

I don’t know the term “crash editing”, but technically it could be done with magnetic tape.

You can simply record over tape, without erasing. You’ll get a mix. And you can even fade the recording after it’s been made and replace it with other audio.

It’s technically not ideal. Philips had it in consumer decks, calling it postfade. And Studer and Fostex had something similar for a short while. Don’t remember what they called it. It’s been 40 years or so :laughing:

I can’t imagine it worked very well, as I would expect the bias to erase much of what was already there, starting with the highs.

In my memory the term “crash edit” comes from the video tape world, where the deck would transition from play to record during vertical sync but for the new recording start laying down all new track including the control track. As opposed to an “insert edit” where the control track was left untouched and new video was laid down with the tape motion still synchronized to the existing control track. A crash edit wouldn’t delete beyond the edit point but there was guaranteed to be a frame or so glitch at the transition. (and what got wiped would not necessarily be the same number of frames as what was inserted.) Hopefully your new video was properly sync’d up with the deck or there would be a horrible glitch at the in point as well.

BIAS frequency and current were adjusted for this application. It worked fairly well on a consumer level. I guess Philips had foreseen a big future for this “invention” with home recorders that taped from radio. It enabled them to fade the disc-jockey after recording the show. But the public never jumped on it, so it disappeared after two years or so.

I’ve never worked with the Studer version and I wonder if it was any better…

Video is an entirely different thing, with moving heads and so…