Editing audio file in half

Hi there,

I’ve successfully digitally recorded each side of my cassette tape using Audacity.

I now wish to cut each side in half (approximately).

It’s about 39 minutes to a side, so 20 minutes for on file and 19 minutes for toe other audio file.

I’d like to avoid awkward stops and starts in editing each side in half so that the first half of a side ends where there is silence and the second file of that side begins in silence.

I’d like to listen to each audio file (each side) so I can detect exactly where to end it to create a file that’s the first half.

I’m not clear how best to do that?

Is it best to simply hot the stop button and then use the finger in the purple graph to pus it all the way back to the left where ti started at zero and then export that selection as one file?

Once that’s done would I then simply take the finger and now push it all the way to the right until I see no more purple peaks (knowing there’s noting more recorded) and then choose Export - Selection?

Once I do my first File >Export Selection do I lose my place where I stopped it?

I’m worried about how I can then start exactly where I left off?

Thanks so much for your help.

There are several ways to do this. Here is one method (hopefully an easy one :slight_smile:)

Zoom out so that you can see the full recording http://manual.audacityteam.org/o/man/edit_toolbar.html#zoomin
(shortcut key is Ctrl+F)

You can probably make out from the waveform where the silences are. Click on the waveform near the middle at what looks like a good guess for the right position.

Zoom in a bit (use the zoom buttons or the keyboard shortcuts) so that you can see more clearly where you have clicked.

If you want to split in a different place, just click on the waveform.

If you press play, Audacity will start playing from where you clicked, When you press Stop the cursor will stay at the same place that you clicked.

When you have decided where to split, hold down the Shift key and then press the Home key.
This will highlight from where you clicked to the beginning of the track.
Zoom back out to the full project so that you can check that it is about half.

“File menu > Export Selection”
Export the selection as a WAV file.

Press the Del button to delete the selected first half.
Now export the remainder as a WAV file in the normal way.

Check that the files exist before you close the project.

Hi Steve,

This has me so nervous. I don’t know how to save what I’ve recoded digitally with Audacity and already saved as a .wav file so I could experiment on it. I didn’t see any Save File option so I could rename it and use the renamed newly saved file to work on in case I screwed up.

I was reading that link you shared and it said to hit Ctrl + Y to re-set and I did that and nothing happened. I then placed the mouse cursor in the purple graph and tried again and nothing happened.

Is there a re-set button in Audacity in case it’s become so convoluted and you just want to start over?

Right now I just exit Audacity and don’t save anything if things go awry.

Above thr graph area, there’s the number 0:00 then 15:00 then 30:00 - is there a way to make that chart more detailed so I have 0:00 then 5:00, 10:00, 15:00, 20:00, 25:00, etc?

Or even by increments of one - Ex. 15:00, 16:00, 17:00, etc.?

I placed the cursor on that line and right clicked but nothing happened.

I’m trying to get to the point where I can detect where the recoding is at 20:00 and then I’ll just have 19 more minutes for the remainder.

I really don’t see any breaks in the recording in the graph - it’s purple from beginning to end so I’m just stabbing in the dark trying to guess where there is silence to stop the selection to be saved at about 20 minutes.

Also, where should the cursor be located when I click Ctrl +1 to zoom in? I place the cursor in the graph area and it starts playing all by itself. Ctrl + shows me the whole recording but I don’t know how to zoom in after that since Ctrl + 1 did not seem to work.

Thanks so much for your help.

“File menu > Save Project As”
This will save the entire Audacity Project.

That’s called the “Time Line”.
It gets more detailed when you zoom in (see here: http://manual.audacityteam.org/o/man/zooming.html)

In my instructions I said to click on the “waveform” - that’s the squiggle blue line.

Hi Steve,

OK, deep breath.

I placed the mouse cursor on the Timeline and chose Ctrl + F and it did nothing - did not zoom out. I then placed the cursor on one of the waves in the top box and did the Ctrl + F and did the same in the bottom wave box and it never zoomed out.

The manual seemed to suggest it should also zoom in but it doesn’t respond to that command.

Since I can not detect any silence points in the sound waves, I’ll need to listen for one.

I wanted to not have to listen from the beginning (at zero) to 22 minutes in order to export that first half selection. What would be the best way to start listening at say 21 minutes?

Once I have found a silence moment I would then like to stop it right there and save from that point backwards to the beginning of that selection (zero). What would be the easiest steps to accomplish that?

Is there a way to save exactly where I stopped at around 22 minutes 23 seconds (just for example)so I could then take from that point as my next beginning point and then save from that point to the end - approximately 44 minute 45 seconds?

If I hold down the Shift key while listening to the first 21 minutes I can then hit the Home Key to stop where I want to end the first half but how do I (1). then save from there to the beginning? Do I just push that finger all the way to the left?

If so, then (2). how could I resume exactly where I left off - where I hit the Home key and then save the last part as the 2nd selection to export as a separate audio file?

I did the most important thing and chose File > Export and saved the original audio file under a new name so I wouldn’t corrupt the original!

Thank you for all your help.

Did you “Left Click” on the waveform?
Perhaps you are already zoomed out to show the entire project.

See here: http://manual.audacityteam.org/o/man/zooming.html#Edit_Toolbar
Try using the “magnifying glass” buttons to zoom in and out - can you get that to work?

Hi Steve,

Oh, I see now. You need to click the magnifying glass to zoom out. Ok.

That’s done.

Now on to how to capture the exact moment of silence in the first hap recording so I can return to that exact spot to then save the 2nd half of the recording?

Thanks so much.

I click File > Open and find the 39.3MB MP3 file and the purple waves show up in the graph. I click the magnifying glass several times until I can see 30:00. 30:05, 30:10.

But, how do I get to the very beginning of this recoding - 0:00?

If I click on the timeline bar it just starts playing the recording.

Is there a quick way to always reach the start of a recording without having to listen to it first?

If I place the mouse in the graph and start dragging it to the left toward zero it goes so slowly and it marks the piece to listen to which I didn’t want.

What I’ve been trying to accomplish is start the MP3 at 0:00 with the timeline set for every 5 seconds.

Then fast forward to around 19 MB (total is 39.3 MB) to then start listening so I can see exactly where to stop it where there is a pause in the sound. Then, push that all backward to 0:00 and then export that first section as its own file.

There are no valleys in the purple waves so I can’t see where there might be a pause - I’ll have to listen to the recording to find a slight pause.

Then, I’d like to start exactly where I left off where I started pushing the finger backward to 0:00 only this time to push it from the end of Part One and push it to the right until I see no more purple waves and export that selection as Part 2.

Can someone please explain how to do this step-by-step?

Thank you.

Press the “Skip to Start” button http://manual.audacityteam.org/o/man/transport_toolbar.html#start
Alternatively press the “Home” key on your keyboard.

OK, Steve.

Then, as I listen to the recording and hit stop where I can find a pause so I can then push all the way back to the left with the finger to export that selection, how do I ensure I can then return to that exact spot where I hit stop so I can begin to then select the last selection to the end to export?

Thank you!

If you just press “Stop”, Audacity will go back to the place where playback started and you will lose the place that you got up to, (so don’t do that :stuck_out_tongue:)

There are several methods that you can use - probably the easiest:
When you get to the place where you want to stop, press shift+A. This will cause playback to stop and the playback cursor will remain at the position that you stopped.

I push the finger to the right to about 19m10sec but when I go to play form that spot on it starts playing from the very beginning.

How do I get it to start playing at 19 minutes or so and not form the start?

Also, when I set the timeline to every 5 seconds and then try to drag that box slider under the purple graphs it just rebound back to 0:00.

How do I drag it so I can start listening at 19 minutes or so?

Does dragging it to a later time in the recording require that you use the finger only?


Click once on the track (on the blue wiggly waveform) at 19 minutes.
This will place the playback cursor at the point on the track where you click.


I have now listened to an area between 21m00sec and 21m30sec and I hit Shift/A to hold it there so I can return for the 2nd half editing.

I then hit the Home key which takes me to 00 but it doesn’t have the purple waves all greyed out (as selected).

So, how do I save the section from 21m30sec back to 00 so I can then choose File > Export as to save that first half as its own recording but at the same time not lose my place where I hit Shift/A so I can then return and save from 21m30sec to the end of the recording as a separate recording?

Thank you!

We’re getting there :smiley:

When you are stopped at 21:00 (you can just scroll along to that position and click on the waveform at 21:00 to save having to listen to the whole thing again).
Rather than just pressing the Home key to go back to the start, hold down the shift key while you press the Home key. This will not only return the playback cursor to the start but will also select (highlight in grey) from the current position (21:00) to the start.

After you have exported the selection, you can delete the selection (press the Del key) and the remaining track will be the part that was originally from 21:00 to the end.


We are sooo close now!

I was able to hold down the Shift key and hit home and it did both take me back to 0:00 from 21:45 and I could export that portion as its own MP3.

Now, if I did not want to delete the first half that I just exported as a separate MP3 how would I return to that 21:45 and then save from there to the end?

Thanks so much!

Tap the right cursor key once to return to the end of the current selection.
Shift + End to select from the current position to the end of the project.

Serenity now!!!

Thank you so very much.

I wish there was a way to convey to all the Audacity developers my sincerest gratitude for creating such a remarkable program and sharing it so generously.

Thank you, I’ll pass on your comment.