Editing a spoken presentation?

Could someone plz point me in the right direction, with a spoken presentation editing.
Newbie to Audacity here. I have version of Audacity for Mac OS X 10.8.4. I’ve searched thru many of the tutorials and FAQ’s but can’t seem to find an explanation appropriate to what I’m doing.
I have a .wav recording consisting of multiple spoken takes of sentences explaining a product for a sales presentation that will be synchronized to visuals. It will be about a 2 minute long presentation, the sort of presentation where the viewer gets “walked through” explaining features synced to moving visuals. Do I copy, cut, paste the sentences I want into a new blank recording and create appropriate spacing between the sentences and save this? Or do I do a delete type function of the sentences I don’t want from the existing recording of the multiple takes, or? How do I create the needed spacing between sentences. Any help would be appreciated. Thank you. P

You missed the music bed. Straight speaking is sterile and not very entertaining particularly if there’s no continuity of visuals for any reason. It’s a grand way to lose an audience, so a background instrumental music bed is usually played along with the voice

Who says what the timing has to be? The producer of the show has to provide you with everything including the timing expected. Are you expected to race through the show or can you take your time with slow, graceful fades between the pictures? Is the show expected to take 2 minutes whether or not it fits?

No informational show (including your wedding video) should last over three minutes. Past that, you have to start producing theatrical hooks like a hero, villain, plot, setting, etc. etc.

Given you got all that licked, you can start with the completed vocal bed and both delete and add gaps as needed with Generate > Silence. However, without the music bed you can’t just drop dead silence into the show and get away with it. You should use “Room Tone” instead. Room Tone is the sound of the room that the narrator was using when the vocal was produced. Unless they were in a studio, there is always some live sounds in the background and you should make a separate track of those and drop them into the needed gaps instead of dead silence.

I would probably produce the show in ten or fifteen second (correction) chunks instead of all-in-one. The problem with all-in-one is if you change your mind in the first minute, everything after that is going to shift out of time. If you do it in chunks, only that chunk will shift and the rest of the show will stay put.

Each chunk can be on its own timeline one above the other. They will all play in sequence unless you mute them with the tools to the left of each track.

Drag-Select any part you don’t want and press Delete. If the part you don’t want is very long, you can either delete it in chunks, or insert a label at the beginning and end and use the labels as sticky markers for your drag-select. Click anywhere in the show and Generate > Silence: duration to add gaps.

Remember that UNDO only happens in the order you created each action. There’s no going back three effects ago and just UNDO that.

Given how long this is going to take you, you should probably investigate how much trouble it’s going to be to announce the show live once and record that. In Hollywood this is called “looping.” It’s far and away easier to correct a single mistake or two than do the show from a basket of parts like you’re doing.


This is the first chapter in the “How To Edit” tutorial.

Also see tutorials on the right here:


This is a TED talk that uses special effects as the “music bed.”

I’m trying to use delete to delete an unwanted clip but in Edit > Remove audio or labels > Delete, but “Delete” is un-selectable. Am I doing this right. Is this the path to delete a selected clip?

Audacity will not edit in Pause. You have to be in Stop.

You can use the zoom controls to make the place you’re trying to edit much larger rather than trying to view the whole ten minutes out of which you have to carve two minutes.

Drag-Select a portion of the show and then zoom into it with Command-E.
Zoom back out to the full show with Command-F.
Zoom out just a little bit with Command-3. I live in those three.

Did I tell you to turn off auto-scrolling? That makes me nuts when I’m trying to edit.

Audacity > Preferences > Tracks: [_] Update Display. (Deselect)