how to make sound effects CD

I am a total beginner and just want to make a sound effects CD for a play we’re producing at our little theater. I cannot figure out how to get enough time in between each sound effect so it can be played individually and not keep going. Help! :astonished:

make it separate tracks
they play
they stop (on many machines you can select play one track)
(else add a lot of silence to give you time to stop it manually)
put the tracks in sequence
start the next track at the next cue

Audio CDs will not automatically stop at the end of one “song.” However, what you can do is produce the sound effect and then, in Audacity, add silence at the end to give you the chance to stop the playback from going on to the next sound effect.

“End” the cursor after you produce the sound effect and…

Generate > Silence (pick the amount of seconds you want)

Export as WAV. Go on to making the next sound effect. Add silence, Export, etc.

You have to use a Music CD Authoring Program to make a CD, and they all let you make the CD with the “Music” (the effects in your case) in whatever order you want. Audacity will not author a CD.

During the play, you would play the effect on cue, Pause and Forward to the beginning of the next effect still in pause. The player has to be able to let you do this, so you may need to experiment with players and commercial music CDs.

Music CDs cannot be cued accurately no matter what you do with a standard music player, so there is always going to be some sloppy time between when you press play and the sound actually happens. you will not, for example, be able to cue a slap or a gunshot – at least not accurately.

You can cue accurately in Audacity, so you might be able to stack the effects up in Audacity and play them that way. Somebody on the forums managed to get a sequence of live sounds to work like that.


You will want to place labels in Audacity at the start of each sound effect (use CTRL+B) - and then use Export Multiple to export a set of WAVs, one per soundtrack, at 44.1kHz 16-bit PCM stereo. You can then use these WAVs to burn a CD with CD burner s/w and then each CD track will have one soound effect (with its trailing silences as Koz instructed you).

Just note that the Red Book standard for CDs allows a maximum number of 99 tracks on a CD.


depends on your player
some will play one track on demand

with no silence at the beginning you can cue it quite accurately
select the track and be ready to push play

he asked for a cd
the computer would be better but might take more training than playing a cd


Maybe not for sound mixing and theatrical production. CD cueing can never get more accurate that the once-around time of the disk – unless you’re on a production console or a dance mixer/desk. Once you press play (or remove pause), the first note happens immediately if the disk happens to be in position, and delayed if the disk has to go all the way around to find it.

That’s what held up CD disco mixing desks for a long time. You couldn’t cue them accurately or change it once they did start to play.


little league may have to accept that once around spin
the bigg boyz on bway will have pro gear that handles everything already

If you have a Windows computer that can be used for playing the music and sfx, have a look at “Multiplay” by “Audio Visual Devices”: (it is free and is an excellent tool for playing sound cues in theatrical productions).

For Mac, see QLab