Multi Track Editing

I need to learn how to import stored Audacity audio clips so that each clip can be timed separately on its own track. Can’t seem to find the “how” of this in Audacity’s material. Al

Open one clip and Import all the others. They should create multiple tracks one atop the other. Use the Time Shift Tool (sideways black arrows) to push the tracks earlier and later, and the SOLO and MUTE buttons to turn each track on and off.

If they’re all Audacity AUP Projects, I think you have to Open them all. Import won’t work.


Nope. That doesn’t work. I’m not sure how to do it with Projects – if there is a short way other than copying and pasting.


Copy & Paste is the only way that works. Thanks.

If I have audio clips in a Project that I want to use in other Projects, my preferred way of working is to Export those clips as WAV files. The WAV files can then be used easily in any other Projects by Importing them, or just drag and drop the WAV file onto the new Project.

Thanks Koz & Steve. What I’ve done is copy/paste each track I want, then labeled and saved each one. But now I find that when I retrieve a track so I can record on it, it doesn’t record on the selected track; it starts a new track below. Ideas?

When you start recording, a new track is created. That is normal and is by design. By having multiple tracks you have the flexibility to process and edit each segment separately and move them around independently (use the “Time Shift” tool to drag the recorded sections around. (see here for the “tools” )

Multiple tracks may be mixed down to a single track by selecting the tracks and using “Mix and Render” from the “Tracks” menu. (see here about “selections” )

I haven’t suceeded yet in getting my clips to show up one after the other on the monitor; also how do I export .aup clips (files?) as WAVs, then import them as WAVs? Here’s what I’m trying to do: I want to assemble my eight .aup clips together, one below the other, etc, so that I can FADE OUT the ending of the the first track as the beginning of the second is FADING IN. (Audacity isn’t clear on whether that’s a real “crossfade”.) I’d like to do that with all tracks. This is my first touch with this type of application so i’m kinda mixed up, plus still being a newbie. Thanks for your patience.

You don’t have “.aup clips”. You have (apparently) 8 Audacity Projects.

Let’s get the terminology right so we all know what we’re talking about.
There are Audacity projects
There are audio files (such as WAV or MP3)
There are tracks in an Audacity project
A track can contain clips

As others have pointed out, you have two options:

  1. Open each project and Export each clip as a WAV file. You can then open a new project and Import each of those WAV files into the new project. Each WAV file will appear in the new project in its own track.
  2. Open a new project, then open each project in turn. Select the track using Edit > Select > All, then Edit > Copy the track to the clipboard, switch to the empty project, do Tracks > New > Audio Track (or Tracks > New > Stereo Track), then Edit > Paste the track into the new project.

In both cases you will end up with one project containing 8 tracks, each track starting at time zero.

Using the Time Shift tool move each track to the desired position.

Use the Fade Out and Fade In effects to achieve the cross-fades (no, they’re not “real” cross-fades) by fading out the end of one clip and fading in the next clip. Listen to the result and use Edit > Undo if you don’t like it, change the time position of the clip and/or change the length of the fade and try again.

When you have your mix the way you like it, do File > Export to create an audio file of your mix that you can play in other audio applications.

– Bill

Thanks for straightening out the terminology for me. Your #2 option works well. Now I’m trying to import some music that I bought (zipped) for the 8 projects, but nothing works. Can you help with that too?

Have you unzipped the music files? Do they have digital locks on them? If they have digital locks you won’t be able to import the files into Audacity.

If the files are not protected by digital locks, the File > Import > Audio should bring them into the project.

– Bill

I finally figured most everything out and I’m super pleased with the results, so much thanks for all your help folks. One thing is still uncertain though… to allow ALL voice/music sound to be heard from both speakers (rather than stereo) I discovered the Track Panel/Split Stereo To Mono function. It works beautifully but I just can’t find anything about that in Audacity text. Would Mix And Render work? I tried it but was displeased with the results.

On Audacity 1.3. in the “Tracks” drop down menu there is an option to convert a “stereo track to mono”, which converts a stereo track into a monophonic one: i.e. “ALL voice/music sound to be heard from both speakers (rather than stereo)”