How to make a simple recording

I have searched through the instructions and you people fail to explain the most trivial operation wich is how to make a simple recording from the start. First i want to format the time ruler so that i can have 7 to 8 minutes in the first page i am going to record and the default ruler it has like half a minute. The only way to do this is by clicking to view a time track and then i would like to know how to start recording because i try to format a recording track and when i click on recording either through the red rec. button or within the command box and the recording starts in a new track that wasn´t even there before starting. To simplify and since i must be missing some important step could someone describe step by step how to make a simple recording with a plausible time ruler and a simple way to start (where to click) recording and a simple way to listen and later i´ll come back to you to when i need to “burn” a CD with the “one track” piano jazz songs i need to record. Thanks for your help.

Which version of Audacity are you using - it makes a difference as to what we can tell you.

– Bill

Audacity is Free Software and can be downloaded for free from the official website:

Version 1.3.12 is recommended in most cases.

The recording time is not limited to what you see in the screen. By default at startup it shows 30 seconds, but it will expand automatically while you record. You can record up to several hours in a single track (provided you have enough disk space), you don’t need to do any adjustment to the ruler for that.
After you finish recording you can zoom in and out to the desired zoom level, to either show the entire track on the screen or just part of it (scrollable).

By default when you start recording a new track is created. If you click Pause instead of Stop, when you “unpause” it will keep recording in the same track starting at the point where you paused. In version 1.3.12 you can also append record to an existing track.

What do you mean by “format a recording track”?

What version of audacity and operating system are you using? Audacity 1.3.12 is recommended in most cases.

Hi billw 58 and bgravato. I am using a 1.3.12-beta and i need to know how to make a few simple piano recordings and i went through the manuals and i can´t find instructions on how to set the stereo track i need. When i write the name of the music onto a track wich i layed how can i start recording if every time i click it it shows up a new track? And the same to zoom the time ruler and when i click recording again it starts to do it onto a brand new track. I started using computers very recently and probably i am missing something obvious but if you would be so kind and lay down the most simple sequence of instructions on how to preset a stereo track for recording and how to go about it. Thank´s and when i have some really hairy problems like how to burn the songs into a CD i´ll be back with new and “exciting” questions.
P.S. The question about the time ruler has nothing to do with the recording time but with the simple fact that i am looking at the screen as i play and it´s distractive to look at something going so fast. Pardon my english and mostly my lack of proper computer terms what i meant with format it´s probably called to preset a track or something like that. Why does it shows a new track by default when you click recording when i already named the track i´m supposed to record on?

Audacity always records to new track when you click the Record button. That’s the way it is. Audacity does not behave like other digital audio workstations where you create a track, “arm” it for recording, then record into it.

To accomplish what you’re asking (if I understand correctly) follow these steps:

  1. Click on Tracks (menu) > Add New > Stereo Track
  2. Name the track
  3. Click the Zoom Out button repeatedly until the time scale shows what you want
    3b) If you want to show a specific length of time, zoom out until you can see more than you need, then using the Selection Tool drag to select from 0 seconds to the time you want, then click on View (menu) > Fit in Window
  4. Click the Skip to Start button (only necessary if you did step 3b)
  5. Click on Transport (menu) > Append Record

All this is really unnecessary. Since you can edit your recording later, you can simply click the Record button, repeatedly click the Zoom Out button until you see the length of time you want, then start playing. Once you have finished recording (clicked the Stop button) you can name the track and remove the silence at the start.

– Bill

I agree with Bill, I think you’re doing it in the wrong sequence…

Don’t create any track, just hit recording and it will create a new track for you. Whether it will be mono or stereo track depends on what you have on Preferences → Devices → Recording Device. If you have 1 channel it will create a mono track when you hit the record button, if you have 2 channels it will create a stereo track.

Then after you finish recording you can change the name of the track.

If the screen scrolling bothers you, then zoom out after you hit record like bill said. I’m not sure if there’s a way of changing the default 30s at startup.

HI again billw58 and bgravato. Since i´ve posted the last message it all came to me just the way you described, i was doing it backwards and allthough i´ve never worked with any recording software other than audacity i assumed it was common practice to set up the track before recording. My mistake, anyway thank you so much for your help and i´ll be in touch as i go along.