Best way to record two record sides to one wav/flac

I’m digitizing a few hundred records, Win7, Audacity 2.0.2. I like using Timer Record since sometimes I’m gone for a few hours after starting a side. When I use Timer Record for the second side, it starts a new track rather than appending, and if I use Append Recording it doesn’t have the nice timer. So I use Timer Record end up with two tracks that I have to trim and then copy the second one, paste it to the end of the first one, delete the second one, and then clean up the join between the sides to clean up blank space.

Hopefully there’s a better way to do this? Maybe I’ve just missed the “Append The Second track To The First Track” button?

I’m not interested in actually breaking the albums into tracks, one big Flac file is fine.

Thanks for any pointers.

And I think Audacity is an amazing piece of software. I haven’t learned almost any of the features yet.

I don’t know… No matter what you do, you’ll have to do something where the two sides of the record join.

I’m digitizing a few hundred records,

These kinds of simple edits should get really fast and easy after 10 or 20 records worth of practice. :wink:

I’ve spent hours and hours carefully listening to digitized vinyl and cleaning-up the “snap”, “crackle”, and “pop”. So, the time I spend creating the individual song files is insignificant.

Audio (and video) recording & editing is time consuming! And, if you want good results it takes human input and human judgement.

Typically, you are going to record, listen to the recording to see what needs to be done, make your edits, and listen again to make sure the result is good. If you can finish an album in 3 or 4 hours, you are doing good. It usually takes me a full weekend to digitize an album. (I’m going to try some more-automated vinyl clean-up software next time, but I’m still going to carefully listen to the results and it’s still going to be a time-consuming process.)

BTW You can cut (Ctrl-x) and paste instead of copy and paste…

Yes, I understand that. But it depends. Let me explain a little more fully. In a year or so I’m going to retire and move a few thousand miles to a smaller house. I can’t bring all this stuff along, so I’ve been doing a little converting over the last two years.

I’ve converted 500 7" reels (almost all at 3 3/4), 100 10" reels (no, not 15ips, 3 3/4), over a thousand cassettes, at least 100 DATS, and ripped thousands of CD-Rs (using EAC). Almost all of these are non-commercial; either radio broadcasts, audience recordings, outakes, soundboards, that kind of thing. I’m now working on a few hundred cassettes that I taped live over the last 40 years.

So the quality is usually not the best anyway. These albums tend to be records that I bought when I was a kid, didn’t treat particularly well then, and probably haven’t heard in 40 years. They’ve been in boxes in the basement. I just did Cream - Wheels Of FIre, which is annoying because it’s four sides. Heh, at least I don’t have one of those turntables that stack records and drop them one after another! Anyone old enough to remember those? Hey, that’s not a bad idea, that would speed up the process.

My cousin tells me that I’m nuts to be digitizing vinyl, that they sound better than CDs. Well yes, with his system, and high quality classical recordings, I agree. For my crap? Not so sure. I didn’t even have a working turntable until I decided that it was time to begin processing the records. And I haven’t figured out how to scan or photograph the jackets and inserts and stuff. I’m thinking about buying a used professional scanner that will handle 12 * 12.

So, really, since I also have a bookcase filled with regular old commercial CDs that I’d like to rip, oh, and a few boxes of bootleg vinyl albums, I just can’t spend even an hour fixing each album. I’ll die first. In fact I attached a timer to the turntable so in case the record skips back, it will shut off before ruining the stylus, I hope. I hooked up the timer after doing just that, but I got a better stylus. 30 minutes, then cut the power.

Anyway, I was just sort of hoping that there was a simple way to, well, stick track 2 at the end of track 1. I’ll happily keep the few seconds of blank time. Really, right now, I’m selecting the second track, trying not to miss the start or end, and copying, then moving to the end of Track 1, pasting, and hoping that I got it right. Not the end of the world, but a bit annoying.

Right, thanks, I need to remember that. Right-clicking doesn’t do anything. Also, it seems that it sort of knows that I’m trying to select the recorded part of the track. Ctrl-A doesn’t just select the current track though, it selects all the tracks. Is there a way to select the recorded portion of the current track? In 2.0.3 there are a lot of options under Align and Align And Move Cursor. I’ll find an explanation for those.

When you have two tracks in Audacity (ends trimmed if necessary):

  1. Ctrl + A (select All)
  2. “Tracks menu > Align Tracks > Align End to End” (the second track is moved so that it is “end to end” with the first track)
  3. “File menu > Export” (the two tracks will be exported as one continuous track)


Click on an empty part of the “Track information panel” on the left end of the track (taking care not to click on any of the controls).

Thanks, Steve, those tips worked perfectly.

And I haven’t figured out how to scan or photograph the jackets and inserts and stuff.

:smiley: Time consuming stuff again! :smiley:

I took some albums to Kinko’s because I assumed they had a large format scanner, but they wouldn’t scan them because they are copyrighted.

The solution is to scan in sections and use Photo Stitching software to reassemble the image. I assume Photo Shop can do it, but I found a recommendation for FREE software at [u]TechSupportAlert.com[/u]. I don’t remember exactly what software I chose, but TechSupportAlert (AKA Gizmo’s) is a great place for free software recommendations.


My cousin tells me that I’m nuts to be digitizing vinyl, that they sound better than CDs.

This can become a can of worms on a discussion forum… What “sounds best” is entirely a matter of preference and taste, and it’s true that many “audiophiles” prefer vinyl. Technically (noise, frequency response, and distortion), vinyl is inferior to CD.

CDs didn’t become popular just because they are smaller than records… They became popular because they sound better.

There are many cases where the CD has been dynamically compressed (remastered) to get that modern “constantly loud” sound (AKA the Loudness War), and the original vinyl had more dynamics. In that case, it’s perfectly understandable that someone would prefer the original vinyl. Personally “clicks” and “pops” drive me nuts, especially when it’s my record and I know exactly when that nasty pop is coming… So to me, the over-compressed CD is (or MP3) preferable to the noisy vinyl.

Some people digitize vinyl at high resolution (96kHz or 192kHz at 24-bits). But, the people who do scientific blind listening tests will tell you that high resolution audio down-sampled to CD quality (44.4kHz, 16-bits) sounds identical to the high-resolution original, because 44.1kHz 16-bits is better than human hearing.

“Audiophiles” will often tell you there’s something wrong with your hearing or your equipment, or there’s something wrong with your blind test, or that blind testing simply isn’t valid.

Vinyl is obviously worse than human hearing, and a brand-new vinyl record has a dynamic range equal to somewhere around 12-14 bits due to the background surface noise. i.e. You can hear noise between tracks (or during quiet classical passages) where a CD or MP3 has a dead-silent background.

A properly digitized copy can sound identical to the vinyl… You can make a CD sound like vinyl, but you can’t make vinyl sound like a CD. :wink:

I’d recommend Gimp (http://www.gimp.org/) for any kind of photo editing. It’s free, open source and available for Windows, Linux (and Mac OS X via Macports).

Many album covers are available ready scanned (use your favourite search engine to search for images). Gimp can be used to scale the images to the appropriate size for printing, and any other image editing that you may wish to do.

I was actually looking at used professional scanners on Ebay but I haven’t researched whether they’re wide models. Or whether you can get drivers anymore.

As for downloading, I figured that with so many people doing this, the scans of most of my albums would be readily downloadable, but found that it’s a copyright violation so mostly you can only get low quality scans where you can’t read the liner notes. I’m sure HQ versions are around, but I don’t know where.

Oddly, I have no problem finding HQ scans of the bootleg albums that I have! No copyright violations there I guess.

Supposedly folks take pictures of the covers, but my crappy camera isn’t going to be much use there. Plus all that glare…

I think that’s because there are no tests (that I know of) for most of the weaknesses in CD (loss of depth and “sound stage” compared to original vinyl recordings from the 50’s to mid 70’s), perceived “harshness”, and “glueing together” of sounds that are more spatially separated (even if less clearly separated) in analogue.

A click in a recording with no real sound stage such as a 1980’s DMM vinyl is far more destructive of enjoyment than a click in a vintage 50’s/60’s recording.

Now, that is an opinion. But probably they do sound better than cheap vinyl reissues of analogue recordings.

Silent background - maybe. Distorted sound in “quiet classical passages” (if you turn the volume up) - beyond dispute, I think.

I agree with a lot of care you can make a better/more “musical” digital transfer of an LP than you will find on a CD reissue of the LP.


Gale