Merging separate audio files

Hello. I’m new to using audacity and I haven’t been able to find out how to do this. How do merge three separate stereo recordings into one? My friends and I did a thing over skype and we each recorded separately. Now I want to merge the recordings. They are different lengths and I have to sync them first as well. How do I do this?

My friends and I did a thing over skype and we each recorded separately.

Ah. So your three files are intended to play at once. I hope you used WAV and not MP3.

File > Import one, File > import two and File > import three. All three will stack up top to bottom and play at the same time.

Did you provide a sync method of some kind, or are you going to wing it? I thought for a long time the host should clap or gong or ring a bell and each guest holds their headphones up to their microphone. Even if it doesn’t work perfectly, it’s a lot closer, quicker than you’re going to get by hand.

That’s what this thing is.
Screen Shot 2016-08-12 at 22.28.21.png
The person in front of the movie camera yells “CAMERA MARK” and then slams the board shut. Not a dreadful way to set sync.

Use the Time Shift Tool (two sideways black arrows) to push the tracks left or right (sooner or later) until they match. It’s dangerous to move the top track, so generate a silent track and push it to the bottom and leave it there. The silent track starts from time zero and is longer than the total show. The other tracks can start from wherever you want—after zero. The silent track vanishes in the final show.

You can do effects, volume control, filtering or anything you want to each individual voice. You should remember what you did if you intend to do this once a week. Play through the show and watch the sound meters. Make sure they never go all the way to the right and turn red. That’s an overload, sound damage condition.

I think there’s still no easy way to push a button and automatically reset all the volumes so they’re “safe.” I think the closest we get is Tracks > Mix and Render to a New Track. Then Effect > Normalize that one new track to -1dB.

While it’s selected, File > Export Selected and that new, volume corrected track is your show.


Yell if I lose you. I’m just typing as I think of things.


Audacity’s time-shift tool

You’ll have to zoom-in until you can see dots on the waveform to get the synchronization exact.

The MUTE and SOLO buttons allow you to listen to any one or combination of tracks.

I’m curious what you were going to use as a sync point. Everybody was going to start their recorder at a different time, so you can’t use track-start as sync.

But wait, there’s more.

Unless you got insanely lucky, the ends of the tracks won’t line up because of simple cheap recorders. In music, you can match beats, so you have a head start there. If it’s not very bad, it won’t make any difference.

Do post back how it went. That looks crazy complicated, but it’s more like the five-volume set “How to ride a bicycle.” Once you get it to work, it’s pretty amazing.


Aligning the matching patterns in the spectrograms of the different tracks can assist synchronization.