Is there a way to dub a mono track?

I’m using Audacity 2.4.2 on Windows 10. I have a WAV file with a mono vocal track where I want to replace a bit of audio. I followed the Step-by-step guide to dubbing (ADR) in Audacity successfully until I tried removal the selected vocals, but I got the error message: “This plug-in works only with stereo tracks.”

Is there a way to remove the audio entirely from a selected region of a mono track? Alternately, is there an easy way to make my mono track stereo or some other way to solve my problem? (I’m a newly online instructor who sometimes gets a few words wrong in a video lecture.) I don’t want the accompanying video to be affected.


(I’m a newly online instructor who sometimes gets a few words wrong in a video lecture.)

Points to you for correcting errors. There’s just nothing like an instructional video where the watcher is forced to sit through mistake after mistake and then the fixes. “Oh, I didn’t mean to do that.” I just stop watching. Those are terrific time wasters. Also see: videos that make the watcher sit through tedious repetition instead of editing around it, or speeding through it. “Now we need to watch this paint dry.”

However, there are Hollywood awards given for editing. It’s not just hacking out the mistakes. I went to an important movie preview and it was dreadful. I paid attention to the chatter on the way to my car later and everybody around me was talking about anything but the movie. So it wasn’t just me. “Nice day, isn’t it?” Kiss of death.

I saw the movie later after it had been recut and it was falling-down funny. Same shots, same film. Very slightly different order and timing.

You’re up against several realities. Audacity can’t take a mixed performance apart into individual voices, instruments, and sounds. There is no taking out just one voice in a lively conversation or removing just the trumpets. Those need to be re-shot or re-recorded.

You may be experiencing the value of studios. It’s impossible to cut dialog with background sound. When you see a complex restaurant scene, it’s almost certain it was shot in a dead quiet restaurant (hired for the purpose) and the background music put in later. The people in the background are all actors mouthing words but making no actual sound.

Voice Removal/Reduction uses the differences between Left and Right sound to sort who the voices are since they’re usually in the middle. Mono tracks have no middle because they have no Left and Right. “Converting to Stereo” doesn’t work because that doesn’t give you actual stereo. That gives you two-track mono with everything in the middle. So that’s why your corrections failed.

Are you on camera for the lecture? Those are insanely difficult to cut because you have to maintain lip sync and continuity. Especially difficult because Audacity isn’t a video editor and you’re flying blind.

Describe the show. Are you Unboxing? Cooking? Building a credenza? Describing a painting technique (Happy Little Clouds)?


There’s another note. Because we can’t take a mix apart later, it’s critically important that you have individual perfect quality WAV files of all the parts. Listen to the original sound in headphones and announce your parts into a completely isolated voice track. Mix later when you get everything just exactly the way you want. That’s where multi-track editing comes in.

Track one is the original show, track two is special effects sounds, track three is music, and track four is your voice as commentary or dialog. Edit each individually as needed. Save the work in progress as Audacity Projects which can preserve the show and all its tracks in position (but will not save UNDO). Mix down to stereo or whatever you need later.

If you’re in video land, it’s handy to do everything in video sample rate of 48000, not 44100. The editor software doesn’t have to convert.

There is a YouTube show called Gold Shaw Farm where a guy from the Big City raises ducks in Vermont. This could be a disaster except even though the guy may be only passable at raising ducks, he’s a master editor.

He trained his ducks to go to bed when he calls them. Deadly, right? It has 490,000 views.


Thanks for explaining. In my case, the only thing in the audio track is vocals, so I just want to wipe the selected region.

I’m just in a small box in the corner. I don’t care if my audio doesn’t match my lips for a little while.

I made a mistake in my reply. The following statement should not have been attributed to kozikowski:

'm teaching computer architecture. I have a lot of animations synced to my original voice recording, so I don’t want to rerecord the whole thing.

See why I need dub? I make lots of mistakes. :smiley: