Cut and Paste Waveforms Among Different Tracks

Hi all:

Among you all, I am a major neophyte. Please forgive my naivete. I read newspapers for radio stations specifically dedicated for blind people on an agency called Sun Sounds of Arizona. We use Audacity 2.1.1. It works like a charm for those who are skilled — I am not one of those although I’m getting better. Note, all usage is for human voice in text mode only — no music, no singing, no instrucments, no double tracks for any reason – only one person reading very boring news.

Please help me with this issue:

In Audacity I wish to cut a chunk of Waveform from one track and paste it into another, just as if the two tracks were different sentences in a word processing program. In other words, I wish to create two tracks, let us say Track 1 and Track 2. I then wish to record different pieces of a program on each track and save each under a different name (if necessary). Then, I wish to highlight a portion (or all) of Track 2, copy it, and then paste it into a specific point in Track 1 (without overwriting any of Track 1 or hearing both at the same time — that is, as if I were inserting a word from another paragraph into the middle of a foregoing sentence in a word processor).

Can that be done? If so, how?

Or, while Track 1 is dormant, I can record a specific item on Track 2 which I wish to eventually insert into Track 1, save it as a temporary file name and close it. Then, switching to Track 1, is there a way to insert the entire saved portion of Track 2 into a point on Track 1, again, without overwriting any of the existing data on Track 1?

Can that be done? If so, How?

Another possibility is to record the desired “insert” on Track 1, save and close. Then, begin the main body of the program on Track 1 and at some desired point, insert the prior recorded “insert” into the desired location on Track 1 and continue with the program.

Can that be done? If so, How?

Which of these three options do you recommend for:
a) ease of transferring the insert, and,
b) ensuring that I don’t get an overwrite (hearing both tracks on top of each other which is what happens when I do a normal “word processing” cut and paste).

I greatly appreciate your time and your answer in advance.

Best wishes to all.

Yuma, Arizona

Audacity 2.1.1 has not been released yet. If you are a novice you should not be using unreleased alpha versions of Audacity. You can get 2.1.0 release here

Whenever you press Record it creates a new track for you. So you can press Record, press Stop to stop recording, then press Record again to record a new track.

If you ever need to create a new track without recording first, do Tracks > Add New > Audio Track (in Audacity 2.1.0).

You will hear Audacity tracks that are above each other in the window play together. That is normal. Press the Solo button on a track to hear only that track. Release Solo and press Solo on the other track to hear only that track.

Audacity saves projects (File > Save Project…) which saves everything you see on your screen. So don’t close tracks unless you want to delete them. Only Audacity can play its own project files. You don’t have to save as a project, but if you can’t finish your work all at once you should save a project so you can come back and reopen it later.

If you want each track as a separate audio file for Windows Media Player to play, select track 1 when you are ready by clicking above the Solo button on that track (where it says “Hz”). Then File > Export Selected Audio… . When you want to export track 2 on its own, select that track in the same way then File > Export Selected Audio… .

If you want to export as MP3, which will give small files which lose a little quality, add the LAME MP3 encoder to your computer

Drag-select what you want to cut with your mouse. Click in the other track where you want to paste. The audio to right of the paste moves along to make way for the paste.

There is a Manual for 2.1.0 here: There are often multiple ways of achieving some aim. We are not going to tell you which to use, it is better to experiment and build your own workflow that suits you. That is the best way to learn. :slight_smile:



Thank you so much for your prompt response. I will try some of the things you mentioned and will check the various versions that are on our office computers. I’m afraid I need a basic definition. In your vernacular what is the meaning of the contraction “ic”? Could it simply mean “Icon”?

It strikes me as quite remarkable that you folks have been able to develop such a complex program and that you continue to provide technical support, all without a fee of some sort. Is there a web site or even a short summary that provides the history of Audacity, how it came about, who the people are behind its development and how you all manage to maintain it year after year without apparent revenues.

Thanks to all involved for Audacity’s development and its continued support.

Best wishes,

Lloyd. Yuma, AZ

I try not to use abbreviations in my replies unless they are obvious or I define them first. Where are you seeing “ic”?


Hi Gale:

Again:, thanks for your prompt reply. As far as I can tell, “ic” appears to be used in a variety of settings including some of your forum responses. One example, “I did export a 3 minute section of a 2 hour digital recording from a Sony IC recorder and the exported file was great…”

The term appears to be an industry contraction for “integrated circuit.” Unless I hear differently from you, I’ll interprest it as that.

Best wishes,

Lloyd (Yuma AZ 6/14/15)

“Sony IC” is a range of digital voice recorders made by Sony. The range includes model numbers ICD-AX, ICD-BP100, ICD-LX30 and many others:

I have two issues:

The first is this (and I really shouldn’t really lead off with this because it’s the one that makes me furious— but I’ll get over it) . I know my forum registration and password are correct and yet after numerous tries, the system won’t let me in. Then, of all the stupid things, it wants me to post an email address that isn’t the one I loged in with. I only have one email address and that’s the one I use for everything. Why should I have to establish a new email address just fo get into the forum? This is nuts.

Second, a little less in my temper-tantrum mode. Occasionally while I am recording my wave form completely disappears. Why? And, how do I get it back. The only way it seem I can get it back onto the screen is to completely reload the program and then load an old file, zero it out (meaning that I blank all the information from it, change its name and begin re ording all over again. Thsi is also crazy. The question is simply, what makes the track disappear (with everything else remaining the same, and then, how do I get it back without losing anything?

Thanks for your assistanbce.

Best wishes to all.



My current version is 2.1.0.

My user name is Lloyd (unless the system makes me change it).

I am so frustrated I forgot to title my last post and provide you with the version number. My last post, about five minutes ago, was about my disappearing wave form. I hope you can retrieve it.

Again, Best wishes.

Lloyd (Yuma, AZ)

I have checked your account details and all seems correct.
If the problem persists, please start a new topic in this section of the forum or contact us by email (see the “bug report” section on this page:

There could be many reasons.
The location of your temp directory may not be writeable.
You may be using a computer security application that deletes temp files.
You may have inadvertently deleted a track.
You may have deleted, renamed or moved a file dependency.

If the problem persists, please start a new topic and give exact steps to reproduce the problem.

We know that - it is shown on each of your posts.
I have removed your email address from your previous post - it is a very bad idea to post your email address on a public forum as it acts as a magnet to spammers and scammers.

The usual reason for this is that you are using a password manager or form filler that is filling in the wrong address. It’s nothing to do with the Forum software.

I’m going to lock this topic now before it drifts any further away from the original subject. :wink: