I am new to Audacity and although I can record by voice well enough I can’t understand how to edit out mistakes. Can anyone guide me please?
Select the mistake, use Edit > Find Zero Crossings, then hit Delete on your keyboard.
See also FAQ: Why do I hear clicks when I remove or paste audio, or at the start or end of the track? .
It depends on how you made them. Many performers immediately correct the fluff so there are sometimes multiple versions of a phrase one right after the other so they don’t lose the theatrical rhythm of the show. Audacity has the ability to add a label on the fly so you can mark the timeline when you do this during the recording. In general you can’t tell from the blue waves where the fluffs are and it’s a chore to remember them over an hour show when you go back later.
Tracks > Add Label. There are hotkeys for it and I don’t remember what they are. It should be in the manual.
Past that, it’s zooming into the blue waves around the fluff, select the fluff and delete it. Play the segment to make sure it’s OK and then go on to the next one. I make that sound so easy, don’t I?
Zooming can be a graduate-level course, but I only use three of them. I drag-select some blue waves around my target and zoom into them with Control-E. Do it again. If I go in too far, I can zoom out slightly with Control-3. I Zoom out to the full show with Control-F. That’s it. I don’t use any of the other zoom tools.
Selecting your work to be deleted can be sticky, but remember you can Edit > UNDO at any time is you screw up. You can use the labels as precision markers so you can label the precise points of the bad segment. Drag-Select will stick to labels.
It’s important that neither Audacity Projects nor Exports will save UNDO. Once you close Audacity, the UNDO history vanishes.
There is one item I change that’s not on the list. When I’m recording a show, I leave Auto Screen Update running so I can see the blue waves building themselves as a confidence test. That’s the last thing you want when you’re editing because your edit screen will keep slipping away from you like trying to grab a slippery fish with cold hands.
Audacity > Edit > Preferences > Tracks: [X] Update…
But only when recording. De-select it when editing. That’s my preference. Your preferences may be different.
A common newbie problem is trying to constantly write corrections to one single sound file. You should assume that your original performance sound file is gold and save it somewhere where it can’t be damaged. Like on a thumb drive in the closet. Too many people try to save edits and corrections to one file over and over again and when something goes wrong and the file becomes damaged, they have precisely squat. No edits, no corrections and no show. Many of us Save a different Project every half-hour or so. When the computer’s eyes roll up into their sockets and it starts blowing spit bubbles, we can fix it and go back to the last edit and just keep going.
If that fails, we can go back to the original performance in the closet. Remember the closet?
Let us know where you get stuck. Oh, one other thing. Do Not use MP3 anywhere in the editing process. Use WAV or Audacity Projects — or both. MP3 creates sound damage and distortion, you can’t stop it, and it gets worse as you edit.
See in the Manual: http://manual.audacityteam.org/o/man/label_tracks.html#create
Gale, Thanks a million you have solved my problem. Regards Doug