Need help making a (gapless) live recording!

So, I made a live recording of my band using a tape recorder and I want to split up the songs into individual files (sort of like a regular live album).
The only problem is that, when I do this, small pieces of silence (and I do mean small) show up at the beginning and end of each file. This would be okay if each track ended in silence, but I want a continuous stream of audio WHILE still having individual tracks.

Any way I can do this on Audacity? I am labeling stuff and pressing “export multiple”, but still.

That’s a limitation of MP3 format (and a few other formats). WAV, Flac, Ogg, Aiff (and some others) don’t have that problem.

Audio CD doesn’t have that problem, either. It gives you skip forward and back and continuous play. I don’t know of a sound file format which can do that (which is what you probably want, right?)

You might be able to do that in HTML. Open a show in a web browser.

You can open WAV files on an iPod and an iPhone and use them to manage the music. I’ve done that.


MP3 (and I believe AAC too) adds a few milliseconds of silence to the beginning and end of the file. There is player software that can automatically skip-over the silence, but I’ve neve played-around with it and apparently it’s tricky to set-up. You can search for “gapless MP3”.

It might be easier with AAC, and most players might automatically take-out the gaps.

If you are making a regular audio CD, you can burn the CD with one-long continuous file and add the track markers with a [u]Cue Sheet[/u]. I use ImgBurn to burn the CDs, and you can write a cue sheet with Windows Notepad.


I don’t do “real live recordings”, but I have made audio files from a couple-hundred VHS & DVD concerts…

With MP3s I usually make a full concert-length file, plus individual files for each song. For the “single” tracks I’ll fade-in and fade-out the crowd noise/applause on each track so it sounds “normal” when only one song is played.

Ideally, I try to get 1-2 seconds of applause/noise at the beginning and about 15 seconds of applause at the end. I like the applause to sustain for maybe 5-7 seconds before starting to fade for the last 10 seconds (but that depends on what you have to work with). Frequently, I’ll “steal” applause from different parts of the show and add it, or mix it in with what whatever is existing to get a nice ~15-second applause & fade at the end of each song. Sometimes I’ll steal applause from a completely different recording.

For the full-length version I’ll usually do some editing between songs too. Here, I’d say a 15-second “gap” between songs is about the maximum (depending on song/band introductions or other talking), and a short gap or no-gap is OK too. So so I’ll often remove, rather than add, noise/applause. And, I may take-out “excessive” talking from the stage, or talking that’s out-of-context, etc. Most of the time you can make a “splice” with crossfades and the edits will be undetectable.

For the full-length MP3 recording, I’ll make a little text file with the track number, song title, and starting time of each song (similar to a cue sheet but for humans to read).