Audacity file structure for transferring LPs to CDs


Windows 7 64 bit

Audacity 2.0.6 from .exe installer

My questions concern the proper Audacity project and file structure to transfer classical music LPs to CDs.

Lets say I want to produce a typical CD containing a four-movement symphony; the CD should have four tracks which will
show up in the listing in a CD player, and which can be selected for indvidual play or which will play in sequence if started at
the beginning. My approach to this is to make four Audacity files, one file per movement (all in the same project), output the
four as .WAV files, list them in order in the “Add Files” field in the CD-burning software, and have the burning software
concatenate them while burning the CD.

Two questions:

  1. Is this the (or a) proper technique?

  2. Is there a better way?

Thanks for any available advice on this subject.

Mick H.
14 Feb 15

You pretty much hit it. Arrange your work in Audacity with pop filtering, effects, if needed, etc. Place a Label at the front of each movement (including the first one) and File > Export Multiple. Use WAV format. That will give you a pile of WAV files which you can drag into your Audio CD Authoring Program. Set the program for a song gap of zero instead of the normal one of two seconds. That will make the movements flow into each other unless you stop them during the show.

Audacity default WAV format, 44100, 16-bit, Stereo, is the same quality as Audio CD. Do Not use MP3 anywhere in the process.

Standard red-book Audio CDs do not carry song titles. This is the sticking point that everyone runs into. If you play one of your CDs in a computer, the computer goes on-line and looks everything up. If you play one in your mum’s Buick, you’re likely to get Song-1, Song-2, Song-3.

There are ways to force a CD to carry titles, but then you don’t have a strict Audio CD any more. You have one of the variants.

Note above if the CD Authoring Program will not let you adjust the song gap, you probably have the wrong authoring program.


Koz - thanks much for the prompt reply, for the info, and for the advice; I believe I now have the tools to do this job.

Mick H.
14 Feb 15
1:34 PM PST

I don’t know if there are any cases with classical music where there is no silence between movements/parts, but it’s possible with some burning software (I use ImgBurn) to use a single WAV file and then position the track-markers with a [u]cue sheet[/u]. This is how it’s done with “live” rock/popular recordings where there is crowd noise and you don’t want a silent gap.

[u]This page[/u] has lots of information about digitizing LPs, including links to specialized software for cleaning-up “snap”, “crackle”, and “pop”.

Yes, it’s called attacca. Examples are Elgar Symphony 1, movement 2 runs into movement 3. Beethoven Symphony 6, movement 3 runs into movement 4. Just the place you might want a new CD track with no gap.