play transition end/start & accurate cut


maybe you can help me with my questions regarding audacity.


  1. how can i quickly listen to the end/start transition of a wav?

  2. i need to precisely cut before a fade in (with tape noise), whats the best way to find the beginning and (permanently) mark the position?

With the WAV file imported as a track in Audacity:

  1. Press the HOME key (takes you to the start of the track)
  2. Zoom in as necessary so that you can see where you want to cut
  3. Hold down the shift key and click where you want to cut. While the shift key is held down you can adjust the position right/left.
  4. Press the Del key to delete the selection.

Now for the End of the track (very similar)

  1. Press the END key to go to the end.
  2. Zoom as necessary
  3. Hold down the shift key and select the audio to cut.
  4. Press the Del key to delete.

Also, Play to Selection (shortcut B) may be useful sometimes for listening to audio close to selection boundaries.


  1. i want to make a loop track, therefore i need to listen to the end/start transition several times, so to find the correct cut point. is there no way to play the transition from a random point (near end) without selecting a passage?

  2. regarding the fade in and finding its start point, i do normalize the beginning, then i place the cursor on the exact point, undo the normalization (that is when my cursor vanishes, so i have to place it again vagualy to the point) and then i cut it. i have tried with setting markers, but as i want to undo normalization, i first have to undo the marker. now i try to find a more elegant solution for an accurate cut.

Roughly how long will the loop be?

You can “zoom in vertically” by clicking on the vertical track scale. (right click to zoom out again). Also, you can make the track bigger vertically by dragging the bottom edge of the track down with the mouse. Combining these two techniques you will be able to see waveforms down to less than -70 dB without the need to normalize.

  1. the track is about 6 min long.

  2. im aware of zooming, but since this material has noise and a cut point between a fade out/in it is a bit hard to tell visually , so i better rely on my ears when searching for the beginning.


All of the shortcuts mentioned are also available in the menus. Using the shortcuts is a lot faster once you get used to them.

  • Trim the track roughly, allowing just a little bit extra at each end.
  • Make a copy of the track and paste it at the end of the original. (Tip: “K” key will move the cursor to the end of the current track. Ctrl+C to copy, Ctrl+V to paste).
  • Zoom in where the two audio clips meet.
  • Select the final part of the original clip and the initial part of the copy. This is the part that will be deleted when it has been precisely adjusted.
  • Look to the size and shape of the waveform and make the selection as close as you can by eye.
  • Press the “Z” key to automatically adjust the selection to the nearest zero crossing point. (This may not work very well for stereo tracks as the zero crossing points may not be in the same place in both channels - looping stereo tracks seamlessly can be quite tricky).
  • Zoom out a bit, then press the “C” key to preview your cut.
  • Adjust the selection if necessary and preview the cut again. When you are happy, press Ctrl+I to “split” the tracks at the ends of the selected region.
  • Double click in the split section at the end of original audio clip to select it, then delete it (Del key).

That’s the end point done. Now for the start point.

  • Create a new audio track (Tracks menu) - Mono or stereo to match your audio.
  • Move both sections of the duplicate audio to the new track.
  • Slide the duplicate sections so that they are directly under the original track (Tip: use the Time Shift tool, or cut and paste, to move the short section and line it up, then use the Time Shift Tool to drag the main part of the duplicate and drag it up to the end of the short clip).
  • Zoom in on the short clip at the beginning - double click to select it.
  • Press Up cursor key, then Enter to also select the first part of the original track
  • Delete the selection (both tracks)
  • Delete the duplicate track

Tip: to check that it works OK, rather than looping through all 6 minutes, use the “Repeat” effect (between Repair and Reverse in the Effect menu) to make 2 copies. Click on the time line just before the join to play across the “loop point”.

  1. Select the part that you think that you need to delete.
  2. Amplify it (default settings) and play, just to check.
  3. If it’s right, delete it. If not:
  • Ctrl + Z (Undo)
    • Adjust the selection and check it again.

If you also use Zoom, this should take no longer than a few seconds to do.

thanks a lot steve.

i was not aware of the repeat effect. that was exactly what i was looking for since the beginning for 1. wav is already exact.

finally i can repeat a track after a cut and see if it loops fine.

here is a little feature request: a single loop repeat button to turn on/off would be great to have, so theres no need to undo the effect again and again :wink:

talking about the fade out/in, there is no effect or whatever to find ‘silence’ (tape or vinyl noise) between two fadings and mark in between them? i guess thats what zero crossing point is supposed to do, as it has no effect here.

I’m not sure exactly what you mean, but you can make a selection play round and round by using “Transport > Loop Play” (shift+Space)

Have a look at “Silence Finder” and “Sound Finder”:

yes, but then you have to make a selection and it will always start from the beginning of that selection, which is great for a short clip. but i am looking for a button that, when i turn it on, will repeat the entire wav :exclamation:

If no audio is selected, or if the entire track is selected, then the entire thing will repeat.

If you have a selection that you don’t want to loose, use “Edit > Region Save” before you clear the selection. (“Edit > Region Restore” to restore the saved selection).

so how can i start playback near the end of the 6 min track with no audio selected so to hear the transition again and again?

it will alyways playback from the start here.

Select the start of the track.
Ctrl+C (copy)
K (cursor to end of track)
Ctrl+V (paste)
Then select over the “join” and press shift + space.

There is currently a feature request for “Loop from cursor to track end”. Would you like me to add your vote for this feature?

well you must admit that my suggestion for a button to toggle repeating is much more easy than editing the wav as you propose. :wink:

yes, please add my vote. although i would like to see a “play from cursor and repeat the entire wav”.

Vote added.