I think I’ve run into this before. Correct me, but there’s no formal information on overdubbing – playing an old track and singing to it.


Most of the basic information is covered by the Make a Podcast tutorial: http://wiki.audacityteam.org/wiki/Creating_a_simple_voice_and_music_Podcast_with_Audacity
Other than that, I don’t think there is one.

The main issue that causes problems for multi-track recording is setting up the sound card correctly, and I think everyone shies away from that because of all of the differences from one machine to another.

That’s a big part of it. If you have a sound card that provides “hardware playthrough” (so there is no delay between when you sing and when you hear it), you can do overdubbing with just the computer, a microphone and Audacity. Otherwise you need an external mixer. And then you get into setting up a “foldback” or “monitor” mix separate from the recording mix. My feeling is that people who are comfortable doing that don’t need a tutorial, other than to be shown how to set up the latency correction.

I know how to set up an external mixer, but I’ve never done it. So if I were to write an overdubbing tutorial it would be all theoretical. It seems to me that such a tutorial would mostly be about the mixer and how to use it: explaining in baby steps what a monitor mix is, how to tell is a mixer support a monitor mix, and how to make the connections to your computer, without talking about a specific mixer (and they’re all different). This is not necessarily bad, and we do basically the same thing in the tutorial on copying LPs. But I’d want to leave this task to someone who has actually got it to work for them.

– Bill