New old guy

Hello, I’ll get right to it with my stupid questions
This is what I want to do. Not sure if audacity does it or not. I need to receive some mp3 tracks and get them into audacity. Sometimes this works sometimes not. I also need to loop sections of tracks to learn a guitar part. I will slow and loop it but to get it back to normal speed I have to make sure not to save the file or I have to just start the whole file over.

I also have trouble getting a file to save. Its says to export for it to work. I am thinking that export is sending a file that has already been saved someplace esle.
Is there a way when you slow down a looped section and I want to get it back to normal speed to undo the slow down. When I slow down a track I have to delete the file and reload all the tracks. I normally try to remember to not save the file when Im done and next time it loads it is normal speed. I guess I could just close the file and reopen to get things back to normal speed. That may be the answer just thinking about as I type this.

Am I trying to do more than this software is capable of? We use it at church but they must be doing something different than I am trying to do. Our worship leader may send me 3 tracks or so for a song. I have put all three in a file and play one at a time or 2 or all at the same time but may only try to slow down one section of one track but that section is staying out of sync. I know I can mute it but I sometimes need to hear it again along with the other tracks.

Now I know these are dumb questions but I would be thankful for any help. I cannot find the answers in the manual so it may not do what I am asking and I need to get some other program for guitar or something.

You’re just scratching the surface :wink:

Let’s clear this first:

Audacity projects can be very complex, with multiple tracks, multiple clips per track, label tracks, envelopes, and more. It is not just a simple “sound”. Thus when you “save a project” you do not get a simple sound file - you get an Audacity Project file, plus a folder full of audio data.
The mantra: “Save a Project, Save a Project, Save a Project …”

So how to get an ordinary audio file out of Audacity:
Simple, we “Export”. This creates an ordinary audio file in any one of many selected formats - default “16-bit PCM (Microsoft) WAV”.
Audacity has some exporters built in (WAV, AIFF, OGG, FLAC,…)
Other export formats are supported by installing LAME (for MP3 export) and FFmpeg (for other formats).

This is an important concept, especially if you ever need to move or make copies of Audacity Projects without destroying your work. See here for more information:

After you import the file, ensure that the track is selected, then press “Ctrl + D” to duplicate the track (“Duplicate” is also somewhere in the Edit menu, but I always use the shortcut).
Click the “Mute” button in the panel on the left end of the original track, and click the little triangle at the bottom of that panel to collapse the track to minimum height.
Now you can do what you like with the duplicate copy of the track, and when you are done, just delete it and unmute your original track.

Mostly it’s about familiarity and workflow. People use Audacity in so many different ways that it’s impossible for the manual to describe all of them. Just playing with Audacity is a good way to familiarise yourself, and if you can’t find a way to do something, ask here on the forum. There are a few things that Audacity doesn’t do. It doesn’t do video, or MIDI or real-time processing. Other than that, if it’s to do with audio, then it can probably be done with Audacity.

What version of Audacity are you using and where did you obtain it? See the pink panel at the top of the page, which also shows you where you can download the current 2.1.2 release of Audacity:

Audacity cannot download files from the internet. It will import MP3 files if they are already saved on a physical drive. What happens exactly when it “does not work”?

SHIFT + SPACE to loop playback.

Or Effect > Repeat… if you want to lengthen the audio.

Edit > Undo the Repeat and/or Change Tempo effect (if that is what you are using) before you export or save the project.

Save Project is different from export. See Don’t export MP3 unless the work is finished, because MP3 is a lossy format. Each time you export an MP3 the quality gets degraded. Exporting WAV gives you a much larger file, but it is lossless.

Note that you can use the Play-at-Speed feature to slow down without changing the audio data, so that export won’t have the tempo change. Slowing down this way does lower the pitch, though.

When you export, look in the dialogue to see where you are saving it.


Audacity has been known to Export work to some messy places by accident. I Export to my desktop, do file management and clean up from there. No magic folders or hidden locations (unless I want there to be).