How to NOT create a new track when overdubbing?

I am very new to audacity (2.1.1). From the research I have done there doesnt seem to be a way to overdub on a recorded track. A new track gets created every time you want to overdub. So if you’re recording drums and you want to do a punch in of just 10 seconds a new set of tracks will be created. This makes managing tracks VERY VERY difficult. That, and the fact that is takes up so much monitor space. Imagine recording drums with 4 mics. Then you want to overdub one section. Audacity creates an additional 4 tracks. Then you want to fix another section…Audacity creates another 4 tracks. Now there is 12 tracks for a 4 track drum recording.

Why is this by design???

Are thee any work arounds?

Yes that is correct.

You can “collapse” the tracks to minimise their vertical height (View menu).

With a 4 channel sound card? Are you using a 4 channel sound card?

After overdubbing the first section, if you are happy with the take you can mix down some or all of the tracks. For example, if you are recording 4 tracks: kick, snare and a pair of overheads, then you may want to mix the two kick tracks, the two snare tracks, the two o/h left tracks and the two o/h right tracks. Then you are back to 4 tracks.

Alternatively you may be better to record in a full featured DAW (such as Sonar, Reaper, ProTools, Ardour, Logic Pro …) and just use Audacity for wave editing.

Thanks Steve.
It sounds like I am going to have to go with a DAW. The overdubbing issue is the only problem I have with Audacity. I don’t understand why this is by design. The work involved to mix the track to 2 tracks or 4 tracks after doing all of the overdubs doesn’t make any sense. Is there a reason Audacity does this? Unless of course Audacity is only used to edit WAV files.

Thanks Again

The short answer is that Audacity does not yet have “virtual” tracks or track groups.

If you look at how DAWs handle this, usually it is to produce “track layers” in one way or another. That is, a single audio track can carry multiple “takes” that stack one above the other in the same track. Audacity does yet not have that kind of capability.

Would you know if that is in the works? Heck, I can’t imagine a DAW without that functionality. It seems like that is one of the most important features to have when recording. Unless the folks at Audacity feel every take is a perfect take :smiley:

I agree, it’s pretty essential for a DAW.
Audacity is not a DAW, it’s a multi-track audio editor.

I would love Audacity to have such an ability, but it’s not planned for the near future. Perhaps I’ll need to improve my C++ skills :wink: (unless you know anyone that is (a) a really good C++ developer (b) interested in multi-track recording (c) has the time and enthusiasm to put into an open source project)

If you are prepared to delete all the recording following the mistake, then you can SHIFT-click on the Record button to record at the end of the selected tracks.

Some of us think destructive punch in would be acceptable as a start. I am one of those who thinks that, but it still needs a developer to do it. There is one developer who has expressed an interest but he is more interested in other features right now.