Overdub - change to the Manual

I don’t know how to start a thread, so I apologize for hijacking. Please feel free to delete/move this post:

My computer recently crashed, and I had to reinstall Windows 10, so everything was the same.
Thankfully, Audacity is one of the best programs out there, and I was able to reinstall using version 2.3.0 and get everything setup to record 18 tracks simultaneously through my Zoom UAC-8.

Unfortunately, I was not able to record additional tracks from the start, but it would record instead from end of the last recording.
Of course it was doing exactly what it was supposed to because Audacity is such a great program.

I knew it was just a checkbox somewhere in preferences or on the transport options.
I found the overdub option, which I was unfamiliar with and tried checking and unchecking this, but it didn’t help.
I then searched online for “Multitrack Recording Audacity,” which referred me to the Overdubbing Pages in the audacity manual.
I went to the Audacity Manual Main Page, but didn’t see what I was looking for either.

I tried installing version 2.2.2 from file hippo. Didn’t work. Then tried 2.2.0, and planned to work my way back to before overdub was an option. Luckily, when I installed 2.2.0, I noticed and option for “Always Record on A New Track,” which fixed the problem.

I then reinstalled 2.3.0 to see if I could see the option. I found it in Preferences > Recording > Record on A New Track (third box down from the top). Again, this fixed the problem.


Would it be possible to add to the overdub page in the Audacity Manual a link along the lines of “If you are trying to multitrack in separate sessions…” if it’s not already there? I may not have seen it.


We changed the Record behaviour a few releases ago.

Earlier Audacity used to record on a new track by default - and you had to use Shift+Record (or Shift+R) to record on the same existing track.

This confused too many folk who just wanted to record in the same track so we swapped these around.

So now pressing Record (or R) records on the same track and you can use Shift+Record (or Shift+R) to record on a new track.

When we made that change we also added the preference for “Always record on a new track” so that users who wanted to revert to the previous behaviour (or folk who knew they were mainly going to be doing multi-track work) could switch back to the earlier behaviour.

I take your point about the Manual - I will take a look at that, yes it could be improved in this regard. And the device-specific tutorials are not quite right - and will need some changes.

I do note that the Latency test page in the Manual:
explicitly tells folk to turn on the preference for “Always record on a new track” - I’m not sure it should - It may be better if it recommended Shift+Record (so it works with default settings. But I would think about adding a tip there about possibly checking that preference on for hardened multi-trackers/overdubbers).

Thanks, Sean, for pointing this out.


Hi Sean,

I have made the changes to the 2.3.1 development Manual (I cannot change the released 2.3.0 manual as we cannot make edits after a release is made).

Yo can see the tip that I added to the top level overdubbing page here:

Each of it’s subsidiary overdub pages carries the same tip.

I discussed this with one of my colleagues (Steve) and we decided it was best to have the Manual’s instructions with the default settings and add this tip for those that would like to change the recording behaviour. Accordingly I corrected the relevant pages.

I also changed the Latency Test page: https://alphamanual.audacityteam.org/man/Latency_Test#Doing_the_latency_test

Many thanks for this useful steer, much appreciated.