Fading in/out seamless

So I’m new to audacity and even newer to the engineering aspect of the audio. However, I am a DJ and have other software programs I am used to using where I can manually accomplish what I am trying to do here. I have a couple of questions if you wouldn’t mind answering them. First, I’m using 1.3 12 beta on windows seven. Now to my question(s). First, I would simply like to loop a song–approximately 4 minutes of it–without cold endings and beginnings. All I really want to do is fade about the last five seconds out and while the last five seconds are fading out have the loop start again with the fade in. Is this possible and if so a quick tutorial would be great. I have been playing around with the program for awhile, looking at the tutorials but haven’t had much luck. I’ll admit, much like a musician, I am really finicky about how my sounds are spliced and that they are seamless and clean. An educated guess on my part says I can’t do it as I would have to have the same song playing on two separate channels, much like I would if I were on a mixer, fading in and out of one. But hey, if I can do this great.

Second and last question for now. Can I have two seperate songs loaded at the same time on audacity and work between the two creating the splices and effects I am looking for. If so, how.

Thanks in advance from the new newbie

You can do all this in Audacity 1.3.12. Open a sound file and then import the same one. That will put two takes of the song one above the other. Use the Time Shift tool (black sideways arrows) and the Envelope Tool (white arrows and bent blue line) to move the tracks sooner and later in time and fade the tracks in and out. The Envelope Tool puts guide lines inside the timeline. They’re rubber bands. You can grab and push and change volume note by note if needed.

If I was forced to make a long loop, I would probably create one cross-fade and render it down to one track. Then take that track and cut it at perfect loop points. Copy. Then End-Paste forever.

This is what one cross-fade would look like. The top track fades out and the bottom track fades in. They’re both the same piano solo clip. The bottom one is pushed later (to the right).
Picture 2.png

Just one additional point to Kozikowski’s post above,

If the tracks are the same BPM you can adjust their position using Audacity’s “time shift tool” so the beats of each track coincide, (are synchronised), during the fade.

Youtube example of Audacity “time shift tool” use … http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rvRUgVh8gfU#t=2m22s [thank God for deep linking]

Nice work and thanks for the quick responses guys (or gals). Look forward to a much more productive session now.

Edit to add: after re-reading one of the responses above I have a question about terminology–we may be talking about the same thing but I would like to be clear. What is a “perfect loop points”. If it’s not what I am thinking, any tricks or tips?

Thanks again

May be easiest if you say what you think “perfect loop points” means then replies can either confirm, or add detail to your description.

Sorry Steve I was thinking in the auditory sense where it would take an act of God to physically hear the transition. I thought you might have been talking about a technical reference on the band, note for note overlap.

To align beats, zoom in (red square), time shift (green square), drag tracks into alignment.png
To drag track: press time shift tool (I’ve coloured it green above), place cursor on track, press left mouse button, then drag left or right using mouse to desired position, release left mouse button.

Excellent. You guys are super quick and I appreciate the help. One last question for now…is there a BPM index in Audacity that I can refer to instead of going back to my other computer to reference it?

Analyze menu → Beat finder… is that what you’re looking for?

I don’t think so. Unless I’m wrong–which of course I could be–I am looking for a function that will show me what my beats per minute are on any given song at any interval. If that function you referenced is capable of doing that I’m not sure–after playing around with it–how to work it. I apologize but do appreciate your guys’ help.

What I mean by a perfect loop point is two places on the music where you can jam them end to end – without fading – and the cut will appear to vanish. Normal people listening will not be able to tell where you put the cut. Some music, particularly if there’s vocals demand that the edit or fade occur in a very specific place to appear seamless.

There is an NPR program with an “extended mix” of their theme music because it wasn’t long enough. I know what the original music was, so they didn’t fool me.

You can tell when there’s a newbie at the club when they track well into the portion of the music obviously intended to be the transition to the next song, and either miss it altogether or you can see them scrambling to queue up the next song. Probably shouldn’t be tweeting during those…