Putting Music In Order For Podcast?

I want to do a music podcast. I want to talk and also play music. Issue is, I talk over the music because I don’t know how to time/layer tracks. HELP!

There’s a number of different ways to put together a show, but one way is open or import all your voice tracks and music tracks one after the other. Audacity will pile them up and try to play them at the same time. Use the MUTE and SOLO buttons to the left of each track to tell the system which tracks you want to listen to.

Use the Time Shift Tool (two sideways black arrows) to push the tracks sooner and later to match the dialog tracks.

Continue forever until you finish the show.

There is one trick to producing a show like this. Before you do anything else, Generate > Silence and make that track longer than you think you will need. You can cut off any excess later and the silence will not appear in the show, but that will make track positioning and timing easier. So the real show starts with Track Two.

When you get the whole pile spaced out and adjusted so it sounds good, File > Export: WAV (Microsoft). Audacity will smash everything down into one stereo show (or mono, if that’s what you’re performing). That’s your high quality, uncompressed, archive show. From that you can create a lower quality MP3 for posting or submission. If your master archive is an MP3, that’s the best quality the show will ever be and it’s very difficult to do any further editing. You can also Save an Audacity Project. That will let you save the track stack and all the individual songs and voice clips. But it will not save UNDO. So you can’t open up a Project and “back up.”

You should get good at Zooming to look closer and further away as you edit. I use three zooms for everything:

Drag-select and zoom into the selection Control-E
Zoom out a little bit with Control-3
Zoom out to the full show with Control-F.

You should also think about turning off Auto Screen Update.
Audacity > Edit > Preferences > Tracks > [_] Update display… (de-select).

If you don’t do that, Audacity will keep sliding your screen out from under you as you work.

Let us know if you get stuck.

Please note the worst problem you are going to have has nothing to do with audio. Bookkeeping is a major part of post production.

Quick. Which song is on track fourteen and how long is it? If you take longer than a couple of seconds to tell me, editing is going to take a long time.


I want to talk and also play music.

I read that as you have all the pieces and voices and you just need to put them together. If you want to produce a “live” podcast, that’s a lot more involved. I’m betting you can’t do that with one computer. That’s what these people are doing.


I did it with “only” two computers.


I had Skype working with a co-conspirator. If I didn’t need that, I could have done it with one computer and a mixer—in a quiet room.


This is about what your Audacity would look like (attached) during editing. The illustration has the songs overlapping, but you can adjust them any way you want.

Click the graphic for vertical reveal. Zoom out the browser for side-to side reveal.

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