NOT a raw file. Am I in trouble?

I’m new to Audacity.

I spent weeks cutting out the bad takes of my voice actor. When I went to go through the mastering process I noticed the line in the documentation:

“Start this process with a raw, uncorrected reading.”

How much trouble am I in? Do I have to start over with the raw file, master it, and then cut out the bad parts AGAIN?


I’m guessing that it means “unprocessed” rather than “RAW format”.
Can you post a link to the relevant page in the manual?


Thanks in advance!

How much trouble am I in?

You’re good! It means no compression/limiting or noise reduction, etc. Basic editing is OK. A little equalization is OK too if the recording needs it.

You have to be careful about volume changes because that will change the noise floor( background noise level) and if noise ends-up being a problem it’s easier to reduce the noise if it’s constant. You can still end-up similar issues if you adjust the volume after noise reduction but overall it’s easier to start with something that’s constant.



Thanks for that report mkagle, useful feedback :slight_smile:

For clarity I just changed that line in the alpha Manual for the upcoming Audacity 3.0.0

Start this process with an unedited recording. No processing, adjustments or fixes.


“Unedited” is a bit vague. Cutting and pasting is editing, right?

Which is why, I suspect, the original author of that page used “raw” which you also found confusing :laughing:

And yes indeed Cutting and pasting is editing, anything that changes the (raw, unedited) audio in any manner is “editing” :nerd:


I spent weeks cutting out the bad takes of my voice actor.

And just in case we swooshed right over a very important point, you do have a protective backup of the originally supplied voice, right? If your computer burst into flame you would be able to load the thumb drive or cloud backup into a new computer and edit it again?

I like the Power Of Twos. Be able to point to two different places that contain valuable work. Pointing to two different folders on your computer doesn’t count.

Your computer and the thumb drive over there on the credenza counts. Cloud storage counts, External drives count. I know people who email writing work to themselves so they have backups in the email system.

Pushing this a little, I have desktop machines with two different hard drives. I have pulled second, healthy drives out of dead machines and rescued valuable work.

Having your edit crash and burn is painful and horrifying. Having your show crash and burn all the way back to the microphone is much worse.


Yes, I am being careful. I just found out Backblaze doesn’t cover SD cards and I’ve been unprotected for over a year.