Having problems overdubbing. New user. have a few questions.


I am wondering if Audacity will let me do what I’d like to do? I am using Windows 10 and Audacity 2.2.0.

I would like to import an mp3 as a backing track, and then record guitar over it. I would also like to be able to record in sections. i.e. perhaps record 30 seconds of an overdub and then mix this down, and then record the next 30 seconds and mix this down and build up a recording in this way. I would also like to be able to start playback from a later part of the track when overdubbing further into it, so I don’t have to listen from the beginning every time. Should all this be possible?

I have had no trouble importing a track.
I am using a Roland Duo Capture Ex USB audio interface to record my guitar. This works in Audacity, but I haven’t been able to have the sound from the imported track mix into my guitar recording yet. I press shift and R to record a new track but it is just recording my guitar, even though I can hear the imported track playing. I am using my amp as a monitor and have the imported track and my guitar running through this. This works fine.

Any starter pointers, would be very gratefully received and I will take it from there.

In short, I currently use a BOSS BR 1200 digital recorder/mixer. I import an mp3. Record a guitar part over it. I can start playing the track (with my overdub) from any point and I record the second overdub and repeat the process carrying on through the track. That way if I make an error I only have to re-record some of the track, rather than the whole thing. So I’m using punch in’s really. Then I can listen to them all together and mix them down as 1 track. It then sounds like 1 complete recording.

Should I be able to do the above in Audacity?

Many thanks for all help offered.

The Audacity version of this changed from the last time I did it.

Say you’re already set up for overdubbing and your equipment will do perfect overdubbing (you can listen to yourself).

– Shift-R will record a new track under the old one and play the old one in your headphones.

– Just Plain Record will try to place a new track at the end of whichever track is selected. Click in the tiny blank spot lower-right of the Track INFO panel.

– You can ad-lib a track Start Time by clicking anywhere in the backing track and Shift-R. Audacity will start a whole new track, but start the performance at the time you clicked.

Unless you stop it, Audacity will smash all the tracks together into one when you Export, or, you can Tracks > Mix > Mix and Render to a new Track. You might want to do that last one anyway to get everything into one track and make sure you’re not overloading or clipping in the performance. When you’re happy with it, Select the new mixed down track and Export Selected.


Say you’re already set up for overdubbing and your equipment will do perfect overdubbing (you can listen to yourself).

Yell if that’s not true. There’s a number of setups you need to make for the tracks to line up with each other.