Recording for Wedding Pre-Ceremony


I recorded some guitar tracks for a wedding pre-ceremony (as attendees are taking their seats, waiting for the ceremony).

It’s about 30 total minutes of playing. Is it best to have them all in 1 track with crossfading/equivalent between each track (which means a ton of inserted audio into one track) or to have the pieces as different tracks? If they’re different tracks, do I still do fading so that there’s no “popping” or other noise indicating a new track is starting? Very new to Audacity. I’m glad the recording is done but just need to finish editing! Also, is there a way to add a recorded pause between tracks (5-10 seconds let’s say) outside of what’s been recorded? What’s the best way to do that?

Drag’n’Drop all the tracks into Audacity,
Add 5-10 seconds of silence at the start of all of the tracks, (select all: “Ctrl”+“A”, press “J”, then generate silence),
then select “align end to end” …

Then “mix and render” to mix-down to a single track.

Thanks! What about crossfade? Is it needed, or will the new tracks starting sound abrupt? Also, is this method generally preferred over having many different separate MP3 files? What are the benefits?

With crossfade the tracks will overlap, that’s probably going to be cacophonous.

If the individual mp3s didn’t begin/end abruptly you should be OK.
To be on the safe side you could apply a fade-in to all the tracks, (before you add silence & “align end to end”).

Thanks. The tracks don’t begin abruptly, but they end with the notes and my editing so far has no silence after the last note. I will try the fade in. Is the fade in during the actual music or during part of the silence? Just wondering how it Will sound

Based on my situation - 30 min of music - do you suggest individual MP3s or just one track?

Can you only drag’n’drop if they are MP3s (not project files)?

You can drag and drop any supported kind of “audio” file (WAV, MP3, Ogg, Flac, Aiff…).
Drag and drop does not support “projects”.

What are the ideal settings when I create MP3? Preset / Variable / Average / Constant?
What type of Quality / Stereo?

Any help is greatly appreciated.

If I add 10 seconds silence to each track and have a bunch of individual MP3s vs. having all MP3s together (10 or 11 total) in one file, will it sound different? Since there are 10-11 total songs/pieces, do you recommend individual MP3 files or consolidating them all into 1 Audacity file and aligning? I am very new at this and greatly appreciate all of your help.

If you want maximum quality, don’t re-encode* the mp3s, just leave them as they are.
Make an audio-file with ten seconds of silence and insert that in the device playlist between each mp3 …

[* Editing an mp3 in Audacity, and saving the result as an mp3 will result in a slight reduction of quality,
as that involves transcoding loss ]

If they are all on the one audio file you can alter the volume using the envelope tool so there are not glaring differences in volume from one track to the next …

Thanks. Should envelope be used between tracks? Or just in general? Is there a uniform way to bring volume levels down? Isnt that what compression is for?

Thanks. So just use the standard pre-set recording settings that are already there?

If making an mp3 from mp3 use “insane” (320kbps) quality to minimize quality loss.
Or just make a WAV from the mp3, (the WAV will be big though: ~5x bigger than mp3 ).

Tracks of equal amplitude can subjectively sound much different, because of psychoacoustics , or the frequency response of the playback system. It’s a case of trial & error.

The gain slider will do that

If you mean “bring volume levels down” on individual tracks in a compilation, use the envelope tool …
'bring volume levels down' using envelope tool.gif

If I want to make the same volume level for all tracks, what’s the best way? I envision having different MP3s and a 10 second pause between them. Which function do I use for this (decibel level?)?

Two methods I know of : by ear, or this plugin.

Thank you all for your help.

When I export as an MP3 from a project file, are the default settings fine ({Reset, Standard, Fast Variable Speed, Joint Stereo)? This is for a classical guitar. I just want the best quality possible.

Like I said previously, use the “insane” 320kbps rate, (not “Standard”), for best possible quality mp3.

Thanks. You said to use Insane for when making an MP3 from an MP3. However, I should just use Insane in all instances?