Having trouble with "drawing tool"

I can’t fix a song with the drawing tool, i get the white circle, like a stop sign angled, and can’t edit it. How can i fix this i am new to the forums.

The “Draw Tool” is for making adjustment to tiny sections of the audio (single samples) http://manual.audacityteam.org/o/man/draw_tool.html

If you want to adjust the level of the waveform on a large (zoomed out) scale, you can use the envelope tool http://manual.audacityteam.org/o/man/envelope_tool.html

This tutorial may help you to get started: http://manual.audacityteam.org/o/man/tutorial_editing_an_existing_file.html

well thats what i want to do, the thing is that it wont let me when i zoom in. here’s what im trying to fix on the song because it has distortion but it doesnt let me. When i zoom in, it shows me the white circle instead of the draw tool
Screenshot (123).png

Two reasons why you can’t use the Draw tool there:

  1. You are not zoomed in close enough. You need to zoom in so close that you can see the individual dots (the “samples”).
  2. You are in “Pause” mode. Playback must be “Stopped”. (Click the Button with the yellow square).

I very much doubt that you will be able to make a satisfactory repair of that flat bit using the Draw tool. I notice that there are also many other clicks visible. You really need to fix the cause of that problem. Where did that recording come from?

First, I agree with Steve. The only “perfect” fix is to find the cause of the problem and start over…

If I’m reading the time scale correctly, that glitch is about a half-second. Is that right? There’s no way you can draw a half-second of audio and make it sound good (there are 44,100 samples per second).


Here are some things that sometimes work (to some extent) in a situation like this -

Just mute the sound during the glitch/defect. You’ll need to start/stop at a zero-crossing, or fade-out/fade-in, etc. So you don’t introduce a new glitch/click when the waveform suddenly starts/stops.

Just chop-out a section of the file. Of course, that will make the file shorter and it can mess-up the timing of music, or mess-up the audio-video sync if it’s a video file.

Copy & paste the just-preceding or just-following sound over the bad spot. But with a long “patch”, it might sound like an echo.

Copy & paste the sound from the opposite channel. (In your case, it doesn’t look like that’s going to work.)

Normally when you “paste” a new sound in the middle of a file, you need to make a crossfade (fade-out the old, fade-in the new, and overlap). A “patch” in the middle will need a crossfade at the beginning and end. With a short “patch” like this, you’ll usually want a short crossfade of just a few milliseconds. Same thing if you chop-out a section… You’ll usually need to re-join with a crossfade.

You’ll probably have to do some research and practice to do this kind of editing… Even if you’re experienced, it’s time consuming, it’s not easy, and the results are often unsatisfactory… :frowning:

Steve im really dumb, i forgot about that, i did it the first 2 times but then i forgot, its the first time i use audacity to try and fix a song like this one with this type of problem :open_mouth: , there’s a couple of gaps like the one in the picture that i showed you but i fixed the other 2 and it doesn’t do it anymore. It’s from an old Cd that they gave me, im guessing its the way it was recorded??

@DVDdoug, thanks for the tips i will look into that copy and paste method, though the song is about 4 minutes so i have to zoom in and listen because it’s not as visible. I will fade it out and add like a patch of some sort that doesn’t overlap with it and see how that goes. It might take a while but i want to see if it will get a bit better. THANKS FOR THE HELP!!! :smiley:

It’s from an old Cd that they gave me, im guessing its the way it was recorded??

Did you Rip the CD or did you play it into the system and then re-record that? You may find that the player system can sound better because it automatically mutes the sound when it goes ever a segment of music it doesn’t understand or is damaged.

A Rip is likely to just hand you the damaged data and say “Have a happy day.” That looks like what you have. There’s some very non-musical waves in your illustration. A CD player sound system would never pass that.


Yea i Ripped the Cd to my computer. IS there anything i could do to fix it or just to replay it in a Cd sound system and then rip it again or just try with what i want to try and do using audacity? @Koz

After you got the show in the first pass, did you try to clean the CD? First level maintenance is to breathe on the data side and rub gently from the center out all the way around with an non-fabric-softened towel or handkerchief or bandanna. If it improves, but still no cigar, you could try washing.

One drop of unscented Dawn dishwashing liquid in 16oz of distilled water.

Moisten a bandanna corner and gently rub the CD from center out all the way around. Dry with the rest of the bandanna the same way. This liquid dries to zero. No water spots, streaks or mineral rings. If you do have streaks, you didn’t get all the dirt or grease off with the bandanna.

Of course, if the scratch or other damage is on the label side, that’s probably the end of the world.


When i got the Cd i cleaned it with alcohol and a soft cloth, but it wasn’t that badly damage i just don’t know why the songs have that waveform that distorts the song. I’m looking for the Cd now and going to see if it does the same on a Cd sound system

I expect the sound system to roll over the damaged parts or go into mute. Both of those may be better than what you’re doing. If it’s bad enough, it may start stuttering and that would not be goodgoodgoodgoodgoodgoodgood.

alcohol and a soft cloth

The distilled water technique works with human interaction products; screens, CDs, DVDs, lenses, scanners, etc. Any product you can get close enough to breathe on should be able to handle a bandanna moistened in a tiny amount of soapy distilled. This is even a very close cousin to the final film bath (Photo-Flo) when you’re developing your own film.

I’m sure there are some delicate mirror systems and odd or exotic surfaces that won’t like distilled, but there aren’t many of them and they usually warn you.

Many products warn you against alcohol and several versions of alcohol can leave residue.


It’s possible that Exact Audio Copy might be able to produce a better rip, if you are prepared to use the slowest and most accurate rip process.