Automatically/Smoothly lower volume when combining tracks

Hello - sorry, the title doesn’t really give much away.

I’m making a podcast that’s mainly music based. I’ve recorded a mix of music, and want to add speech. The music is in one stereo track - and i’m recording the speech that i’ll add to a second stereo track.

Is there a way to set Audacity so that when I place my speech parts in the second stereo track, the music in the first stereo track automatically gets quieter?
If that explanation is unclear then let me know! I’m new to audacity and trying to describe it.

At present, i’ve just been highlighting the section in the music track and lowering it with amplify. It sounds a bit clunky, so wondering if there’s an easier/cleaner way to do this.

Any help would be much appreciated.


Audacity has Auto Duck.

You do want to be careful about using that. Constant pumping background music can get annoying after a while. If it’s really background music, leave it in the background. Reserve special effects for beginnings and endings.

If you really are talking over the music like describing a video game “Here comes the crescendo!” then you may have a specialized audience of music producers.

There can be problems with using Auto Duck, too. It works perfectly assuming you have a quiet, echo-free voice environment. If you don’t, Auto Duck may try to follow your echoes or refrigerator kicking on and off and be hard to control.

Audacity also has the Envelope Tool. That produces guide lines above and below the blue waves and lets you "draw’ the volume and transitions over the course of the show. That lets you gracefully fade in and out of voice segments much like a radio DJ would do at the mixer—and no pumping.

But it is manual.


Thanks, i’ll look into those solutions.

I am trying to create something like this -

It’s a dance music podcast/radio show so the music is continuous in the mix. I’d be talking for 30 secs to 1 min at a time over the mix as one track ends and another begins.

I’d be talking for 30 secs to 1 min at a time

Then you definitely don’t want Auto Duck trying to follow your words or sentences.

Envelope Tool.


Check out the manual here:

You can use Auto Duck but you’ll want a semi-fast “Outer fade down length” (aka the attack) and a slow “Outer fade up length” (aka the release).

This will make it so the music ducks fairly quickly (not too fast or it’ll sound weird) as you start to talk and stays ducked for a while before trying to fade back up. This way if you take a breath or think for a second, it won’t “Pump” the music like the poster above is talking about.