I have a Question (?) about recording and after.

Hi, I have a question about recording and other steps after.

I am using Audacity and I know how to use it very well and it is really great. Anyways,

Heres what I need help with. I have recorded my song. I played all the instruments, I sang, did the drums, put in all the little special sound effects I wanted to, I’ve done everything. Its all together. But now I have like 14 or 15 separate tracks, all in stereo. What do I do next? I mean, how do I mix it all together? If making the volume sound right with each track, ok, I did that. But how do I get to the mixing or mastering stage.
I mean, Ok- I created my song, its all done now what do I do to goto the next step like mastering?
That’s my real question. I made the song with Audacity. I ‘saved it as’ onto my desk top. So when I open it all the tracks come up, now what do I do to get it to the next step of quality?

Thank You in advance.


If you want to create a copy of your song in a format anyone can play, select “export audio” from the “File” drop down menu , (rather than selecting “Save Project As”). Everyone can play WAV format , but the files are about 5 times as large as an MP3 file of the same duration. If you want to save [export] a copy of your song in the MP3 format , you have to install something called LAME into Audacity, see … http://wiki.audacityteam.org/wiki/Lame_Installation

Tracks are mixed down to a single stereo (or mono) track when you Export.

Before you do anything, ensure that you have one or more backups of the full project. If during “mastering” you decide that you are not happy with the mix, you will need to go back to the pre-mixed project.

For “mastering”. export the project in the highest sample format supported by the program that you will use for mastering. If you are using Audacity for mastering, export as “32-bit float WAV” (select “other uncompressed files” as the format, then click on the “Options” button to set “32-bit float” as the format and “WAV” as the header).

Mastering in Audacity:
Now start a new project and import your high quality mix file.
Tweak the Eq, compression, limiting, and anything else needed for your “mastered” recording.
Export a new backup in 32-bit float WAV format.
Export your 16-bit master as a standard 16-bit WAV file.

Even if you are not mastering, it’s a good idea to export to 32-bit floating-point WAV, then re-import the file and Normalize (or Amplify) for peaks of 0dB (or less). Then, you can export to your final “normal” WAV or MP3, etc.

Mixing is done by addition (summation). Analog mixers are built-around summing amplifiers. That means when you mix two or more tracks the result will be “louder” and you have the potential of [u]clipping[/u] (distorted flat-topped waves).

Audacity itself uses floating point, so it won’t clip (it will show-up red potential clipping if you have that option turned-on), but normal 26-bit and 24-bit WAV files are limited to 0dB and your digital-to-analog converter is also limited to 0dB.