Editing music - End and Begining


I’m able to digitize my audio cassette tapes for which I am sooo grateful to Audacity and help on this list.

I haven’t been the best at editing that digitized file.

At the end if I have lots of empty sound I would place the mouse cursor just to the right of where I see the last of the purple waves and then press Shift/End and click the Delete button. But, it seems to cut off the end of the last of the music digitized.

I’d like it to delete just after the conclusion of the end off the last of the music without cutting any music out.

Is there a better way to do that editing?

Also, at the front end, the tape starts and there’s about 10 seconds of dead air space and then the first of the music plays. I tried to reach that very first area by pushing the little hand to the left to 0:00 but it only stops at the last of the zeroes of the 0:00 not the first zero or where the digitized file begins.

Is there a sure fire way to reach the very beginning of the digitized file? And then how could I delete from there to the very first sound of any music to delete that 10 seconds intro?

Thank you so much for your help.

Drag- select an area bigger than the portion you want to sheer off and Control-E Zoom In. Then drag-select the flat blue waves (silent lead-in or lead-out) but leave a little of it still attached to the show (illustration – the light portion will remain). Press Delete. Zoom out Full with Control-F. Do that at both ends of the show. Then Export the WAV or MP3.

Screen shot 2013-06-16 at 8.04.26 PM.png
Screen shot 2013-06-16 at 8.01.41 PM.png

Click on the waveform, then press the Home key on your keyboard.

See here for an overview of selecting sections of audio: http://manual.audacityteam.org/o/man/audacity_selection.html

I read that manual and tried to drag select at the very beginning of the recording but it’s not working.

I hit the play key and the line hardly moves to the right. It goes from barely to the left of the 2nd 0 in 0:00 to about the center of the third 0.

There’s no grey area to pull or push with the ginger and when I click Ctrl/E nothing happens.

I don’t know how you can grab what you can’t see?

Thank you.

I can’t visualise what you are trying to describe. Could you post a screen shot to illustrate.

Hi Steve,

I’ve done a printscreen saved as a jpg.

Hopefully, you can see how the line begins to the left of the second zero and then goes past the third zero and starts playing music.

Thank you!
Audacity - 5-10 seconds at beginning of recording.JPG

Deselect “Snap To” http://manual.audacityteam.org/o/man/selection_toolbar.html#snap
(this should normally not be enabled - it is off by default).

Zoom in closer on the waveform: http://manual.audacityteam.org/o/man/zooming.html

Press the “Home” key on your keyboard. This will take you to the very start (time zero).

Hold down the shift key, and while holding it down, click and drag on the waveform to just before the start of the music. Release the mouse button, then release the Shift key.

Press the Del key to delete the selected region.

Does that help?

The other long winded way would be to place your cursor where you want the cut to start/end. So if you want to cut everything from 0:00 to say 15:00 then place your cursor at 15:00 and go to the menus at the top: Edit —> Select —> Track Start to Cursor.

Then press Delete.

Same for the end. So you know where the music finishes, zoom in a bit and place cursor at the end of the music. Edit —> Select —> Cursor to Track End.

Press Delete.

I tend to do it this way because I’ve never been a keyboard short cuts kinda person. :unamused:



Your post looked promising.

I noted that the Audio Page started at 00h00m00000s

I then hit the Play button and I noticed the numbers were changing.

When it reached the spot where the music began to play I hit the Stop button but when I looked down at the Audio Page it was back to 00h00m00000s

I think the most accurate way to edit out what I don’t want is in the digital counter but it turns to zeros when I hit Stop.

Shouldn’t it read something like 00h00m008s?

I’m bewildered.

Thank you.

Pressing stop will do that. You should be able to click the waveform to place the cursor where you want. Ensure you have the “selection tool” button activated at the top on the toolbar.


To stop and set the cursor at the current playback position, press Shift+A

Shift/A does not get me back to where the music starts so I know what that digital mark is.

I didn’t say that it did :confused:
What is your question?

The questions remain what’s the easiest step-by-by step process of ascertaining what the digital number is for the point where the music begins and then what’s he step-by-step process to delete from that spot back to all zeroes?

  1. Zoom in so that you can clearly see the start of the music http://manual.audacityteam.org/o/man/zooming.html
  2. Click on the audio waveform just before the start of the music.
  3. Press: Shift+Home http://manual.audacityteam.org/o/man/audacity_selection.html
  4. Press the Del key.

I think the problem you are having is probably step (1). If you are zoomed out too far you will not be able to see precisely where the music starts. Zoom in close so that you can click in precisely the right place.

Maybe this plug-in helps you:
It searches both, from the start and the end until it finds a sound that is louder than the threshold.
For the transition type choose “Trim and align left”.
If the threshold is equal or less than -120 dB, then only digital silence i.e. only zeros are going to be removed.
However, in this case, you can also use the command Edit >> Clip Boundaries >> Detach at Silences.

Steve…Zooming did help see the gap between all zeroes and where the purple wave form begins.

However, I can’t seem to turn the zoom off so I can’t place the cursor right before that wave form begins.

That magnifying glass just stays there. I clicked the white magnifying glass and I clicked the +magnifying glass but there’s no shut off valve!

Thanks for your help.

You have enabled the “Zoom tool”. You need to switch back to the normal “Selection tool”. See here: http://manual.audacityteam.org/o/man/tools_toolbar.html

In there it doesn’t state how exactly to turn off zooming.

Do you hit the Esc button? Shift/F1?


There is only ever one “tool” enabled at a time. If you enable the “Selection tool” then the Zoom tool will no longer be selected. To enable the Selection tool, press the F1 key.