Recording over a track, erasing previously recorded sound

I’ll try to explain.
Suppose I have recorded a voice singing 3 verses of a song. The voice track is synchronized with a guitar track.

I’m not satisfied with the 2nd verse. I would like to go to the beginning of that verse and record it again, so that the previous version would be erased, keeping the 1st and 3rd verse. But I don’t know how to do this. If I use Shift+R, the recording will resume at the end of the 3rd verse. It seems that it’s not possible to start recording inside an existing track.

Is there an other solution? The best would be to be able to select a punch in area, in which you can record again and again until the result is OK.

(I know that I could use a second track for that verse, that would be mixed with the first track ; but that’s not the point.)

Thanks for your advices,

Audacity 2.0.2 from .exe installer - Windows7

Unlike tape machines, Audacity does not record over existing tracks.
Normally what you would do would be to rerecord the bad verse, then edit.

You can delete the bad verse and leave a space for the replacement by selecting the verse then “Edit > Remove Audio > Split Delete” (or Alt+Ctrl+K).
To record the new verse, click on the track a little way before the “gap” that you have made, then start recording.
Trim off any excess when you have finished recording.

Is a punch in feature conceivable in a future version?

As that article goes on to say: “After the advent of 16 and 24 track equipment it was no longer necessary to risk the recording as a whole, as an empty portion of another track could be dedicated to such use.”
and so it is with Audacity.

You can perform punch in recording in Audacity, but due to the unacceptable risk of permanently ruining you entire recording, I doubt that the old “tape over the original” method will ever be implemented.

A better way for performing a punch in than described in my previous post is to use the Envelope Tool:
Here, the “bad” section of the original recording has been silenced using the Envelope Tool.
The “punch in” recording is then faded in and out at appropriate points using the Envelope Tool to create a seamless playback from the original track to the punch in track and back to the original track.

We do record votes for “punch-in” (48 so far) so I’ll add yours unless you request otherwise.

However I agree it’s not all that likely that the current development team would implement it.

Here is how Adobe Audition does it .


Time Selection Tool, also known as Mark In and Mark Out since it doesn’t appear to change even if you select another point in the timeline with your cursor. I do like the comment that you can punch-in a bunch of times and pick the one you want. So it’s not actually destroying the underlying track.

I am in favour of “non-destructive punch-in” recording (like many other DAW applications) but very strongly opposed to the old (tape machine style) destructive punch-in. I have not previously voted on this subject as the current feature request does not distinguish between the two.

Now it does ( ) but only about one-third of the votes have been for a non-destructive variety. Yours and Koz’s vote for “non-destructive” are now included.

I’d welcome your further comments in the ednote there.


Thanks Gale. I’ll have a think about a succinct comment for the wiki, but it might also be worth having some discussion on the forum so that some of the finer points can be considered (like “what will happen to latency compensation?”)