Instructions for Multi-Track

I don’t think there are any good English words for this problem. I do not mean recording five channels at once. I mean put down one track and then play that one back while you record a second…and third. Anybody see or know of a good explanation about how to do this? It’s a very common question and I’ve never seen a wiki or instructions.


It is in most beginner books. I would call it multitracking which can have two senses in English usage. Either simultaneously or sequentially. But you should also find it listed under overdub or some other terms unique to a vendors DAW .
You should also read about latency problems as they will impact doing that. How to multitrack will depend on your DAW and your PC/Soundcard. The trick is to hear the previous at the right time so you can sync the new one while you are recording.
Audacity will let you add one track at a time while listening.
Some DAWs will let you mix and match many tracks simultaneously.

see wikipedia multitrack
and wikipedia overdub

At any given point on the tape, any of the tracks on the recording device can be recording or playing back using sel-sync or Selective Synchronous recording. This allows an artist to be able to record onto track 2 and, simultaneously, listen to track 1, 3 and 7, allowing them to sing or to play an accompaniment to the performance already recorded on these tracks.

Overdubbing (the process of making an overdub, or overdubs) is a technique used by recording studios to add a supplementary recorded sound to a previously recorded performance.

Tracking (or “laying the basic tracks”) of the rhythm section (usually including drums) to a song, then following with overdubs (solo instruments, such as keyboards or guitar, then finally vocals), has been the standard technique for recording popular music since the early 1960s.

WikiAnswers - Overdubbing refers to a multi-track recording
technique where one voice is recorded and then a second voice added

<<<Overdubbing (the process of making an overdub, or overdubs) >>>

Excellent. Now the question was has anybody written anything on how to do this in Audacity.


The FAQs in the MAnual have this:
but this gives only an overview.

Looking at the list of Tutorials in the manual
shows that this is conspicuous by its absence. Nor do I see any such tutorial in the Audacity Wiki.

I agree with Koz that this question, in one form or another, crops up quitre often on the forum - and that multi-track recording is a common use of Audacity. So it would appear that we could do with a good tutorial written to explain the processes and settings involved.

I have no personal experience of doing this (my use of Audacity is for LP/tape transcriptions and off-air FM capture). But if someone with the right experience of using Audacity for muti-track recording is willing to volunteer to write the draft of such a tutorial, then I will be very happy to proofread/edit it and then include in the set of tutorials in the manual.

Please PM me if you would like to volunteer.



What action should I take if I don’t want to volunteer?

I’m answering a question on this technique and my posting can be assumed to be a bad, incomplete, possibly erroneous, potentially temporary, beta, first-pass instruction set.

I don’t even remember which platform the poster is on, but the instructions have to be universal, don’t they?