Making multiple tracks into one (with equal volume)

I am a total newbie. I have recently downloaded audacity, 2.0.3 Am pretty sure it was zip but not positive. I have mountain lion OSX 10.8.4.

My questions:
1. About making multiple tracks into one OR best way to record one continuous podcast
I am recording myself reading from a novel (podcasts that will be distributed). I have to stop often and make corrections (which I have been doing by erasing the mistake and picking up from where I left off. Each time I do this, a new track is started. Is there a better way to do this? :question:

2. How to raise volume and make it consistent throughout?
I experimented with exporting the file with its multiple tracks, (each picking up from where the other left off) and volume was low—lower than it sounded when i played it back in audacity). I did a “select all” and then chose the effect of normalize. This did raise volume it seems but not in all the tracks? Some still sound soft.

[note about last question: I selected one of the tracks that did not increase volume and it chose effect or normalize but no change. In the tracks in which volume did not raise, I hear a sound I cannot isolate and remove. Am wondering if this might have to do with the problem? :unamused:

I appreciate the help.


  1. To pick up where you ended, press Shift-R “Append Record” instead of regular record. That should not start a new track.
    Another way to produce those tracks is press Add Label when you make a fluff so you can find the error and edit it later – and then don’t stop.

You can produce a label while live recording, but I don’t remember the spells to do it.

  1. This volume thing is a subject of discussion. The compression tools tend to treat all the tracks independently and getting the tools to hold hands with each other is a challenge. Audacity will mix everything down to one stereo track when you Export. You could Export the show into one stereo file, load the file in a fresh Audacity and then run something such as Chris’s Compressor on the whole show to even out the lumps and bumps.

You can also try Effect > Compressor, but that’s a little more wild and wooly and you have more tuning to do.

With any of these tools, if the volume in your show is too far off, we’re going to actually make it worse rather than better, and it’s rough to tell ahead of time on a multi-track show.


Different people take different approaches to this question.
For myself, when recording I like to get as much of the recording done with as few interruptions and distractions as possible, then go back and tidy it up at my leisure. So the way I would do it would be to keep the recording rolling. If there is a mistake, just add a “marker” label (Ctrl+M, then Enter) while the recording is still running, and say that sentence / paragraph again.

One of the main advantages of this approach is that there is minimal disruption to the flow (once you get used to hitting “Ctrl+M”).
Also, the recording volume tends to be more consistent because you have done it all in one go, with one microphone, in one place, in one location.
Once the recording is finished, (or for a book, it could be when you get to the end of a chapter), take a break, then come back and edit out all of the bad bits (all marked with labels).

The other common approach, as described by Koz, is to stop when you make a mistake, delete the mistake, then use “Append Record” (shift+R) to resume the recording. This can be a quick way to work, and cuts down the amount of editing required at the end, but often the “joins” are not as neat or do not flow as nicely, so may still require going back and tidying up the places where you made the correction (but you don’t have the markers to tell you where those points are).

I am SO GRATEFUL for both of your responses, Koz and Steve!

Am going to give it another shot trying it both ways til I get my rhythm and method down…

I have a couple of other questions, but assuming every new topic should be a new post will post those separately!

Again, thanks for your timely responses!


If there is a mistake, just add a “marker” label (Ctrl+M, then Enter) while the recording is still running, and say that sentence / paragraph again.

Steve, I tried to insert a label and nothing happens. What am I missing?

(I did see how shift R works…)



Ctrl+M only works during Play or Record. (To set a label when stopped, Ctrl+B will create a label at the cursor position, or a region label if there is a selection).

Try this:

  1. Open Audacity
  2. Press R (recording starts).
  3. Hold down the Ctrl key and press M (a label is created at the play position. The label has a white “flag”)
  4. Type “This is a label” (the typing appears in the label “flag”)
  5. Press Enter (the label text is “closed”)
  6. Hold down the Ctrl key and press M (a new label is created at the current play position.)
  7. Press Enter (the label text is closed).
  8. Press Space-bar (the recording stops.

How did that go?

Forgive me, Steve. But I tried this and still must be missing something. I tried control M again while in recording mode when I made a blooper and didn’t see any marker/label, hence no way to find my way back to the spot needing editting. The control B method requires that i stop and in that case i might as well do append record, yes? (Append record helps alot, so does knowing R is record. is there a shortcut for stop since i do so much of it?! Ah–is stop the space bar?)

Am still trying to figure out the best way to let the text flow and easily know where to come back for edits.

Sorry that I am not getting your instructions, Steve.


Ah - you’re on a Mac aren’t you. I think the short cut may be different on a Mac… back in a moment, I need to check the manual.

Windows and Linux: CTRL + M
Mac: COMMAND + .

That has been so helpful, knowing the Command for markers. i just finished an hour of recording with tons of markers. Tomorrow I will edit.

Am most grateful for all your support!!!