Language Lab Audacity?

2.1.2 (.exe) Win10
I am completely new to Audacity, which I want to use to learn to speak a language from a CD.
I want to play a sentence from the CD, speak the sentence, then play back the original and my version. Then repeat the process until good enough.
I used to wear out Linguaphone compact tapes, playing from and recording on different tracks, but this is no longer possible.

Is there an Audacity macro or routine available to do this job?

Thank you

I can think of one way to simulate that.

Open the sentence in Audacity and play it. Stop.

Press Record and record your response. Stop.

This gives you the two tracks one above the other and you can play either one - or both at once with the Solo and Mute buttons to the left. Then you can record a new one which will appear as a third track, or delete track two and record a new one.



Thank you for guiding me to a starting point.

I can now create a labelled selection which enables me to rerun short, 80 second, segments (from the 40 minute WAV track, which is derived from a cassette tape years ago) over which I can record my efforts. Then delete them!

It would be easier if the process could be automated/simplified, but I realise that this is not a major purpose of Audacity. As for any beginner, there are too many (irrelevant) options. e.g. It was difficult to find how to select a segment, it is not mentioned anywhere near the front page. “select” comes up only once in the FAQs. For a long while, play took me a long way back to the beginning of the track.
The original sound is on the L channel. How can I record/playback my bit on the R channel (I have not found that option)?
As an extension to point 12 as you originally suggested, is it possible to to ask Audacity automatically to play the original selection then the matching recorded selection without having to operate the stop/play buttons in the middle of the process, i.e. not simutaneously, but sequentially?

As a draft routine for other users and future development, this is what I did. If you can improve it, please do so - shouldn’t be difficult

  1. file>open your sound file

  2. click play (green arrow), i.e. from the beginning of the track, then understand where the useful sections break
  3. click play (green arrow), i.e. from the beginning of the track. At the beginning of the section, press [
  4. At the end of the section, press ] . This creates a grey bar on the top time line.
  5. Allow the mouse to hover over the grey bar, then press B. A label “track” will appear with a narrow white box with a (static) cursor in the middle of the selection. Type the label name into the white box.
  6. repeat for as many sections as you wish. It is probably a good idea to file>save this as a “project” at this stage.
  7. To listen and record. Click on a label, which shows a grey selection.
  8. You should already have set up your microphone and headphones ready to go.
  9. Click on the record button (red circle).
  10. The selection will play from its start and you can speak and record an additional track in time with the selection. Your sound track will be seen below the original sound track.
  11. At the end of the selection, the playback and recording will stop.
  12. When you click play, the original and your recording will play simultaneously. It takes a bit of practice to get useful timings.
  13. On the left side of each track, there is a menu box. Click on the small X to delete your recording, and repeat the playback/record to improve yet further.

“Selecting Audio” is an entry on the front page of the Audacity Manual.

It’s always possible to use a third-party macro recorder such as or

The Solo buttons on each track let you toggle playback of particular tracks.