Help making individual segments from a single recording

I used Audacity in Windows for several years and found it pretty easy to do anything I wanted. I just switched to a Mac and I’m having trouble figuring out (remembering?) how to do something. Here’s what I want to do: When I import music I want to be able to trim out outwanted silences and create separate tracks. The drop-down commands in the Mac version don’t seem to me to be the same as they were in Windows. Can anyone help me? Thanks in advance.

That may be a Version problem. The three major computers’ menus and commands are remarkably similar.

Analyze > Silence Finder.

Injecting Labels into a timeline is different between Windows and Mac – or at least we use different shortcuts. Tracks > Add Label… (Command-B). From there, the labels work the same way.


When I have the cursor at the point where I want to separate the tracks, what do I click on from the drop down menu so it will make a separate track?

I don’t know that you do. Do you remember how you used to do that? I can think of ways to do that which involve many multiple keystrokes.

Duplicate the whole timeline to a new track (Edit > Duplicate)
Select everything before your clip and Silence it (Edit > Remove Audio > Silence)
Select everything after your clip and Edit > Remove Audio > Silence.

Then go back up to the main track and select the clip and Edit > Remove Audio > Silence.

That should give you one continuous sound that switches between the top and bottom tracks during the clip.


Maybe back up and describe in detail what you’re trying to do and why. There may be far shorter ways to do it.

OK, let me see if I can explain this better. Let’s say I have a podcast with musical performances and talk in Audacity. I want to make the musical performances into individual items and eliminate the talk. The way I did it before was to put the cursor at the point where I wanted to separate the first song. Then I would use a command from the drop down menu to split it in two. That would give me the end of the first song and the beginning of the second song. I would then move the cursor to the point at which I wanted the second song to end and repeat the process. When I was finished separating all the songs, I would export them individually to a folder and then move them to iTunes. The segments of talk I would just not export.
It’s the command that splits the songs I can’t recall or find.
(When I used “track” previously I was using it simply in the sense of tracks on a CD, individual items, not tracks as a component of a recording. I also changed the title of this post to try to make it clearer.)

I am on windows but the procedure should be similar.
Let’s say you have one track. You select the portion that you want to appear in a new track, e.g. if you want that the first 20 sec remain in the first track, you put the cursor there and select to the end of your track (Shift + End on Windows).
Then you can go to the edit menu. Under “Clip Boundaries” is the point “Split New”. This places the selected area in a new track. I guess, there is also a shortcut available for this operation.
The duplicate function does the same, but the selected region remains also in the first track, hence the name.
Is this what you want or am I absolutely fog minded?
In addition, under tracks, you can align the tracks to zero.

Robert –
Yes! That’s it! Thanks a million.