Aligning time bar with actual recording time stamp?

If I make an audio voice recording and look at in Audacity, is there a way to align the top time “bar” with the audible time beep or spoken time on the recording? Say I start a recording at 6.00PM dead. When I end it in say 6 hours and look at in Audacity, can I force the top time scale to match with the actual recording time, and see when sounds on the recording occur in real time? Difficult to explain what I want, I hope this is clear enough? Thanks, a great programme!

While you can’t prevent the timeline Time from starting at zero, you can make that time be midnight. Create a new 12-hour long silent show on the timeline. Import your show and then use the Time Shift Tool button (two sideways black arrows) to shove your show into alignment.

If you know, for example that one particular sound event happened at 4AM, shove the show sideways so 4AM is over that audible event. The rest of the times should work out from there, although you can’t ever lose the blank time between midnight and your show. You can cut off the blank time after your show.

You probably need to know that you can’t make a WAV file over 13.5 hours at 44100, 16-bit Stereo.

The only other way to get Time Of Day (what you’re doing is called) is with SMPTE Linear TimeCode.


Audacity is a sucky surveillance recorder. For one thing, you can’t force it to Fold Over Record like a real recorder, and as you found, it doesn’t easily do Time Of Day. You should be Googling for Surveillance Recorder. Koz