help selecting and editing music mix

New user, and I need some help getting started! Using Audacity version 2.1.2, just downloaded yesterday. I am trying to create a dance audio for my daughter and I for her wedding. I have purchased and downloaded about 5 songs from I-Tunes, and created MP3 versions of each.

The idea is to “cut out” or “snip” about 1-2 minutes of each one…separate the tracks with a “record scratch” sound…and end up with one MP3 file about 6-7 minutes long for our dance.

So far, I am able to open Audacity easy enough, and to Import the first of the five songs into the workspace. All I want to do is edit or remove the last minute or so of the song…but I can’t select the part I want to delete. I click on the selection tool, then click and drag the part I want to delete, but the selection is not grayed out like it should be. And the delete command is also grayed out…which means to me that I have not properly selected anything to delete.

My plan is/was to edit the parts I want of all five songs, then put them together into one file. But first things first, I need to be able to select and edit the first song, and I’m stuck!

Thanks in advance for any help, ideas, etc.

As a philosophy note, Import all your songs one after the other. They will appear one on top of the other and try to play at once. Use the Time Shift Tool (two sideways black arrows) to push the second track sideways (later), so it doesn’t start until the end of the first one. Repeat with all the others. You’ll end up with a stair-step affect on the timeline. Then cut and shift each one to what you want. Audacity will smash it all into one sound file when you Export at the end.

I’m abbreviating enormously.

Note Audacity will not Save a sound file. you have to Export to get one, and Audacity will not make an MP3 without external software help. Download and install the LAME software package. Scroll down from here.

What’s the deadline?



Thanks so much! I understand now that I can import all 5 songs at one time, which I will do…I also downloaded LAME, so I can saved the file as MP3 when I’m done.

The deadline is ASAP. The wedding is in October, but we need to practice every week until then so we (I) don’t look completely goofy on the dance floor, so I need to get this music score done.

Again, I got stuck at the selection step. I will want to delete about half of the first song, and then add snippets of approximately 1-2 minutes of 4 more songs, then end by going back to the last 30 seconds or so of the first song.

Thanks again for your help. We’re going out to dinner now, then I’ll take another stab at selecting later tonight.

The deadline is ASAP.

Do you know anybody who can edit? This is not beginner editing. It could take us many days to get you proficient enough with all the tools you’ll need.

You’re talking about studio mixing a 7 minute song to be played at the reception. I know you’re going to say, “It doesn’t have to be studio quality.”

It just has to be good enough for your daughter…

File > Import all the tracks and they should stack up one above the other and play at once. Use the MUTE and SOLO buttons to the left of each track to tell which one you want to listen to. Import track 1 twice, first and last.

As an exercise, do that Time Shift Tool thing where you push track 2 and then track 3 and then track 4 and track 5 which we’ll assume is the duplicate of track 1. Attached example. Click on the graphic or scroll.
Screen Shot 2016-07-23 at 18.28.58.png
Play it and you should get the songs in the right order. Click in the time bar above the blue waves to jump ahead.


You can only do something to a track if it is selected and playback is stopped and not paused.
Enter switches the selection of the track with focus.
Let’s suppose you have five tracks. You can select a time region with the mouse–what you’ve done already from what you’re writing above. However, the program does not yet know to which tracks the delete command should apply. That’s why you have to select also the right track.
Koz can tell you how to do it with the mouse.


Stereotypical vinyl-record scratches …

Thanks for the help so far…I have made some progress, but the central problem of not being able to select portions of a track still exists.

I have imported all 5 songs into Audacity, and have staggered them, stairstep-style, using the time shift tool. I have also downloaded the record-scratch sound, but have not yet imported it to the working file in Audacity.

Before I go any further, I need to learn how to select a portion of a track. I must cut out major portions of these songs to get down to a usable 8 minutes or so.

Someone mentioned I cannot select while a track is playing, I understand that. What am I doing wrong? While the track is stopped, I am left-clicking at the spot of where I want my selection to start…then I drag to the right, to the end of the track. When I release the left mouse button, the “selected” area starts to play…which I don’t want. When I stop the playing (not pause, but stop) the little start-stop arrows and bar vanish from the “time bar” above the tracks. At no time did the selected area go dark gray, so I don’t think I have ever accomplished any real selection.

It must be some simple step that I’m lacking, but I must learn how to select before I can do this project.


Jim O’Dowd

So you don’t know someone who already knows how to edit?

I don’t know a good way to drag-isolate. There may be one, but I’ve never needed it. I do it by drag-delete. Drag-select the portions I don’t want and press the DEL key.

If you want to club scratch and/or crossfade in addition to just selecting portions of different songs, you may be right out of my list of talents.

We haven’t even addressed the problem of popping at the edit points or quality and volume differences between the clips. We’ll need to wait for a forum elf or other poster who’s good with down in the dirt production music editing.

If you heard roughly what you want at a local club, contact the DJ and maybe they can straight mix it for you in real time. 7 minutes, walk away.


If the cursor is on the timeline when you select, it auto-plays when you release the left mouse button.
If you keep the cursor on the waveform (& off the timeline) when you “drag to the right” it doesn’t auto-play when you select : you have to click on the play button to play the selected audio …
selection on Audacity (Quick-play enabled).gif
If you prefer you can disable quick-play in Audacity.

Trebor, that was just what I needed! Now I know to click and drag with the cursor on the waveform and not on the timeline above it…works great! I knew it had to be something minor I was doing wrong.

I now have completed my audio mix…including the record scratch between each track…and am ready to export the finished product to a single audio file the DJ can use.

I’m a little hesitant at this point, because I don’t want to screw up what I’ve done so far. My first attempt appeared to want to export only the first track. I’m going to have a total of 13 tracks in all, so again the issue comes down to selection…how do I select all 13 tracks for export?

Thanks to everyone who has helped me so far…this forum is very helpful!

The normal export command should do the job.
In contrast to “Export Selected Audio”, it will mix down all to a single stereo track and save it.
See that nothing is muted or soloed.
BTW, the command to select really all is Ctrl-a or Cmd-a for Mac.