Getting into serious editing audio as I have with video

So far I have been using Audacity to record 24 hour stretches of audio on both Saturdays and Sundays. I then play back during the week and this has been good.

Now I want to get more into editing. I believe the software does this but I just don’t see it. I know the concepts from video editing and hope they apply to Audacity.

While a piece is playing, I would like to set a mark-in and let it play for a while. I then want to set a mark-out. I would like to play the selection and edit the location of the mark-in and mark-out points. Once done, I can use copy/paste to use/save it.

Can Audacity do this?

https ://

Audacity doesn’t have stiff, firm, Mark-In and Mark-Out or Set-In and Set-Out like you’re used to. We can get sorta close with Labels and some of the other timeline management tools.

This is going to be a shock.


I am familiar with the select-and-play technique but it doesn’t work for large sections. If I click to cover more time, the accuracy gets lost.
Using a memo to show mark-in and another for mark-out has some merit.

Is it possible to send the cursor to a memo rather than clicking for it?

If you insert “clip boundaries” the cursor will accurately stick to them.

You can also use the “Cursor To” option to navigate between clip boundaries.

If you insert “clip boundaries” the cursor will accurately stick to them.

Forever? Set clip boundaries and then go off scrolling around playing and stopping other places in the performance. Can you come back to those two exact spots?

Nobody in audio editing has any good concept of Mark-In (I) and Mark-Out [O]. Those two points will be there until the sun cools off and are not dependent on any other action other than you personally and manually changing them.


I believe that I was told that Audacity does not have Mark-In and Mark-out. That is why I am using memos. (^m) They are good until you cut or add which will set the two tracks out of sync but they are good for an edit, easily moved as needed…

You can keep the two (or more) tracks, including label tracks, in sync when cutting/deleting by extending the selection across multiple tracks - or you can use Sync-Lock -see: Sync-Locked Track Groups - Audacity Manual

I think you already understand that you can’t set label markers when you are using Timer Record …


I stand corrected, ^m is a marker and not a memo.
Yes, I understand the lockout that is in place in timer mode. There are a lot of things one cannot do when using the timer. I don’t pretend to understand why but am used to it as Microsoft seems to enjoy using it.

Unless it can be developed to start and stop hourly, and maybe with the capability to name tracks automatically, it is just a novelty for me and not of much use.

What you really need is this proposal (that I wrote a long time ago) implementing:


A noble request it is but I might propose a much simpler approach and a smaller step. I suggest to add an option in the pull down menu for “After Recording Completes” which says “Restart Timer” and then ask how many times to repeat. All the code needs do is activate the OK button for the given number of times entered.

I am sure that the rest of the proposal, already in place, would require much more work as it appears to require a data base to implement.

hahaha :wink:


I’m a big believer in using the right tool for the job. In this case (as described above), I don’t think that Audacity is the right tool.
For the case of making a sequence of consecutive recordings, it would be much better for the app to stream the file direct to disk. Audacity does not do that. Audacity writes thousands of little data files in 32-bit float format. To save a file, the data needs to be read back from the disk, encoded in the appropriate format, written back to disk as an audio file, then clean up the thousands of data files - all before it can continue with the next recording.

The way that I would approach the task on Linux (my preferred operating system), would be to use a simple command line recorder, such as arecord or SoX, and a crontab script (similar to Windows scheduler) to start the job, name the files and close. The tasks could ovelap a little so as to avoid missing any of the recording between tasks (Audacity cannot do that).

I’m sure that a similar approach could be taken on Windows and Mac, but it’s also likely that searching Google could bring up a ready made app designed specifically for this task (try searching for “surveillance voice recorder” or similar terms).

Pyaudio could be worth looking at: PyAudio Documentation — PyAudio 0.2.14 documentation