Adding vocals

I’m new to Audacity. That said, I’ve done a pretty good job of creating my background music for a song. I’d like to sing over the track but have no idea how. When I hit the record button it appends to the end. I have no idea how to record so that my voice comes in at the right time over the beat. Any help would be appreciated.

You want overdubbing. Play a backing or rhythm track into your headphones and record your voice on a new track.

It’s not a simple button push. There’s some setup and adjustments to get it to work.

Straight, simple overdubbing will put your voice on a second track underneath the backing track. It may not be in sync. The downbeats may be off, but you can fix that with the Time Shift Tool (two sideways black arrows). Push the voice track sideways until it lines up.

After you get tired of that, you can set Audacity Recording Latency so the new tracks line up automatically with the backing track.

You still won’t be able to hear yourself live, though. That’s Perfect Overdubbing. Theatrically perfect mix in your headphones. That’s a lot harder. You need a special microphone, interface or mixer. You can’t just listen to the computer. The computer will give you an echo and you can’t stop it. The WIKI instructions have examples of three products that work. There are many more since that was written.

Post back if you get stuck.


A note you didn’t mention headphones. Any time you have a live microphone you’re going to need good, sealed on the head headphones.

I’m not fond of earbuds or anything wireless. They can have problems by either leaking the backing track into your voice, or delivering the backing track out of sync.