Hi there
I am still new here,
I still have not figured out how to be able to record voice with some very low background music
Is there anyone who could advise me?

Is it the OVERDUBBING feature that lets me do that? or is it the MIXING feature that allows that, ( by it mixing a music sound file saved in my hard drive with a recorded vocal)?

I tried the OVERDUBBING several times, but the music background is always so loud, as loud as the voice, even though I put the volume of the music file (playing it) at lowest and record my voice with the input volume much higher
Music should be barely audible

I am sure I am not doing it right?
What is that I am doing wrong?
And is there another way of how to reach this kind of recording?

You can do it using the “Overdub” feature.

I presume that you are using Audacity 1.3.12, but if not, upgrade to Audacity 1.3.12 first.

Enable “Overdub” in the “Transport” menu. (Software Playthrough must be OFF)
Import or record your music track.
Use the Volume Slider in the Track Control Panel on the left side of the track to lower the playback volume of the track.
Record your vocal track.

The level of the music track may also be adjusted using the track volume slider after you have recorded the vocal track.

Ok thanks a lot
i will give it a try, hope to succeed this time!!!

Also, I have another question
Can Audacity record also not only through the mic –but also from live audio from the Internet,
or directly from a CD ?
I have been trying, trying different IN PUT options, like Line In, Line 2 or others, but I still have not been successful?
DO you have any advises on how to do it right? Do I have to disable my mic if I do that?
Do you want me to post this question in another topic?

– Bill

hello there
Thanx for the answer about overdubbing
I am using Audacity Beta 1.3 and Windows XP
My microphone is Samson Q2U USB port, and my playback soundcard from my laptop is ESS Maestro 2E

I cannot figure out why, when I playback, the music is always louder than my voice,
When i record the music volume is lower, than when I play it back, and my voice sound a little louder, but it is still too loud, I would like to have the music barely audible
NOTICE : While recording, and play, I have the volume slider all the way down, both in Audacity and in my laptop volume control, and the mic volume slider all the way up in both Audacity and my mic control panel on my PC

The software playthrough is OFF

There must be another way, or I must be doing something wrong
Is it because the MP3 file I play while record, should previously been recorded already on a very low volume, instead than on a normal volume level?
How can I re-record it on a very low volume level using Audacity then? I have it saved it in my hard drive as a MP3 file
Is that the MIXER option I should use to record it?
There must be another way??
Alternative : I can play my music file with Media Player in the background while I record my voice using Audacity?
Is that a better alternative??
I appreciate advises

(ATTACHED is the pic of how my volume panel looks like, if that can help
I would attach the audio sample of my overdubbing, but it does not let me load it because file is too big)

Turn down the level slider on the music track, which I’ve marked in red below, to make the music quieter …
level slider control for track marked in red.png
The thing I’ve marked in red is what Steve was on about above …

You say you are recording your voice and music. Do you first record or import the music track into Audacity, then use the overdub setting to listen to the music while you record your voice? If you do that, you should end up with two tracks - the original music track and your voice track. At the left of each track is the Track Control Panel. On that panel is a button labelled “Solo” - clicking that button will allow you to listen to that track alone. Please try that with your voice track and tell us what you hear. If, with your voice track soloed, you can still hear the music, then there is something going on with your Windows sound control panel.

Or are you playing the music file through your computer at the same time as recording your voice, and recording the mix of the two onto one track in Audacity? If so, then you have no chance to later adjust the individual volumes of the music and speech.

Is it necessary to listen to the music while recording your voice? Do you time what you are saying to fit the ups and downs in the music? If not, then you do not need to overdub at all. Simply record your voice, stop, import the music track, then mix the two together, controlling the volume of each track as Trebor explained.

Here is a tutorial that shows one method of mixing a narration with background music:

– Bill

I just wanted to get back to you to thank you soo much for your reply and your support

I have not been able to do it yet, but I did quickly look at the link you posted, I think is awesome, it is exactly what I needed, so i am going to do the last option actually, is sounds the best for me

Also, you wanted to know if I can hear my voice only when I push on the SOLO, yes I can, so everything is working fine, i just did not know that that slider on the left, was connected to the music track only, thank you!!!

Then I had another question:
I do not know where to find royalty free sound tracks, like dolphin sounds or flute simple notes or anything simple, just notes to put in the background of my narrative
I did study music a bit when I still little and was in Italy, but I cannot remember much and it was in Italian with the notes languages
In the US everything is with number, I have tried to study the tutorial in Anvil studio, but I am not very successful in composing my own background sound tracks and most of all, i do not have enough time to dedicate to restudy all over again

So i was wondering if anybody here knows where online I could find legitimate royalty free sound files to download, and to use, I am not talking about famous sound track, but something original, that can be used without doing anything illegal
I am sure there must be something out there for this purpose,
or otherwise, could anybody suggest what is the easiest way how to compose your track and then record everything on Audacity?
Tanks a lot again I appreciate your help

Do a Google search for “creative commons music”.

– Bill

CCmixter* has some good quality original music and pastiches. (although a lot of what is on CCmixter is “experimental” music, i.e. weird) .

Freesound* has plenty of samples but they are typically short sounds, not pieces of music, but does include things like birdsong.

(* released under Creative Commons licenses),

Hello Bill
some time ago you referred me to this link below about how to mix a narration with background music after that I record the narration … ound_Music
I read all of the steps, I found it really helpful, so thank you so much
I found, in the tutorial, the option of fading the music at the end
However I did not find the option of which steps to take if I want the music to starts not at the same time as the narration, but after few minutes, like starting to talk first for few min. and then start the music later, so that the first few min, section is without music

Could you refer me to a section or page in the tutorial where I can find this information?
Or tell me directly how to accomplish that?
Also, can I interrupt the recording of the narration, save it and then continue it another day?
Is that the same as a the “PAUSE” option, or is that a different step?
Could you advise?
Thanks so much

You can slide the background music using the Move tool and position it anywhere you want.

Remember that you can move clips between tracks as well. So for recording the narration, you could record a bit one day, save your work then come back another day and record more narration on a separate track. When you’re finished recording you can use the Move tool to move that second recording onto the track with the first recording. Alternatively, when you’re ready to record more narration, click in the narration track then do Transport > Append Record.

– Bill

Thank you for your helpful reply
by “MOVE TOOL” do you mean the simple SELECTING then copying and pasting feature-- or the “hand with index finger pointing out” ?
Or is it a special feature called MOVE TOOL somewhere i n he tool bar, that I am not aware of?

Also, when I tried the last option you suggest ,in the middle, (between the first recorded and the later recorded track), an empty, third track, appears
What is that? And is it supposed to be there? Or am I doing something wrong?
Thank you so much in advance

“Move tool” also know as the “Time Shift tool”. It looks kind of like this <—>


– Bill

Oh! I see,
Now I know what that little tool is for
Thank you soo much
Have this other 3 questions:

I saved a voice recording (as exporting it and saving it as a MP3 file)
Now when I open it again afterward in Audacity,first, :
the track is doubled,(I guess from Mono to Stereo) but the quality of the recording is so much worse than it was before I saved it
also the blue line in the middle of the sis much ticker than the original one (which was very thin and smooth)

  1. does it work only that way? or I have done something wrong?
  2. Does that mean that the quality automatically deteriorates after saving the file as exporting in MP3 ?
  3. How do I skip this problem and keep the same good quality of the original recording?

Thanks so much for your help

  1. Yes it does work that way. Your mistake was saving as an MP3.
  2. Yes
  3. Save your Audacity project. Use File > Save Project. Alternatively, if you want to export your work, export to a WAV or AIF file.

– Bill

Thank you for the referral and help
I understand now why it happened!!

However, I am not very technically oriented and I am still confused because I am not familiar with recording terms

The only thing I am trying to accomplish is this:
I want to record a good quality audio narrative and then be able to save it into a CD, is it possible?

I mistakenly thought that if I have the Lame plug in, I could directly save an Auda. recording into a MP3 or WAV by choosing FILE>EXPORT>MP3 option

Ok so I will save the Audacity recording as an AUP
Then what is next step to save that AUP into a CD and—keep the same sound quality?

I appreciate if you d’ kindly show me (or refer me to ) all the steps needed, that would be awesome
Thank you sooo much in advance

Perhaps I can help with some of the terminology:
You want good quality audio and then be able to “write” it to an audio CD. (also known as “burning” an audio CD).
The first part you can do with Audacity.
For the second part you need to use a “CD authoring” program (also known as a “CD burning” program).

Very close.
After completing the recording you need to “Export to WAV”
This is easy to do in Audacity 1.3.x because the default settings are perfect for burning to CD.

Before you export, check that the “Project Rate” (bottom left corner of the main Audacity window) is set to 44100. If it’s on an other number, change it to 44100.
File menu > Export
Then select “WAV (Microsoft) signed 16 bit PCM” as the export format.

When you give the file a name, use only alphanumeric characters, space, hyphen and underscore. To avoid problems, avoid using any other characters, particularly avoid using punctuation characters.

The exported WAV file can then be burned to a CD using a CD burning program. For Windows there’s a very good free CD burning program called CDBurnerXP

If you want to make the sort of CD that will play in a normal CD player, ensure that you tell the CD burning program that you want to make an audio CD and not a data CD. Also, us an ordinary CDR, not a CDRW or DVD.

There’s more information about this process here:

Many people think audio files are automatically MP3 because there are so many of them around and it’s familiar territory. MP3 should not be used for audio production because MP3 causes sound damage. Export as WAV instead. You may get sticker shock at the amount of hard drive taken up by WAV files. They’re big. WAV files are very large to avoid causing damage.

As above, the music on a Music CD is a very close cousin to WAV. So you would be editing the show at the same quality level as the sound on your Music CD.


Thank you so much guys you are stars!!!
That was awesome, much more info and references than I expected to find out, thank you!!!
It makes so much more sense to me now!

Now I have few other questions though

  1. was I supposed to save the recording as AUP first–then reopen it and then export it as a WAV file?
    or just export it as a WAV file directly soon after recording it? I did it directly, without saving it first as a AUP file, but when I re-open it or import it in Audacity, to mix it with another track, the same thing as before happens, the blue line is thicker and static background noise has been added and it sounds worse

  2. Does that mean that I cannot reopen a file in Audacity after it has been turned into a Wav file? How can I make adjustments to it then?

  3. Also when I try to listen to that Wav file that i recorded on Aud. in Media Player, to see what kind of quality sound it has there, it has some kind of echo or vibration added that was not there when I last listened to it in Audacity soon after finished recording it, is that normal? Is it because I recorded it under the Preference> Recording> Stereo --option rather than Mono? Or why do you think?

  4. I also noticed that if i record under the Stereo option (preference>recording) and 16 bit, and save the voice recording as a simple AUP file, when I reopen it in Audacity, static noise is added and quality is worse than before saving it, but if I record on Mono, quality is the same, What do you suggest, any insights on this ?

Thank you so much again