Recording over same track

I’m sure there’s an easy answer for this, but I want to be able to record, and - when there’s a flub or pause - stop it, put the playhead somewhere in the track, and record OVER it, not begin a new track.

Is this possible?


iMac 2.8 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo
Snow Leopard OSX Version 10.6.4
Audacity 1.3.12-Beta (Unicode)
2Gb Memory

Yes it’s possible, sort of, but don’t get hung up on making a finished product while you are getting the raw materials down onto the computer. Get the audio recorded, then edit it later.
So you start recording:

"I wondered lonely as a cloud that floats on high oerere oops … “stop!”.

So you don’t want to start over again with “I wandered…”, but when you edit you will want to allow yourself a bit of room to manoeuvre, so don’t try to jump straight back in from “…high”.

Tip: Place a marker - Click your mouse at about the point where you went wrong and press Ctrl+B. You can even leave a little note for yourself in the marker label. Press the Return key to get out of the label.

Continue the recording - SHIFT+R
The recording continues on the same track (Audacity 1.3.x only) from the end of the previous recording.

That floats on high o’er vales and hills, when all at once I saw a crowd, a host, of golden daffodils; … Beside the lake, beneath the trees, blubbering and dance…"stop!

Place a new marker…

When you get to the end of the recording you can tidy it all up by cutting and pasting.

Typically, I do record the entire session on a single track, even to include yelling at my dogs to stop barking or waiting for an ambulance to pass; editing on-the-fly would be more of an experiment than anything.

My thought is that - after recording flub sentences over and finding that the differences in ambient noise, etc made them unusable - I would want to do punch in recording during the same session. This would be impractical with the typical amount of takes, since often 45 min will boil down to 15. But if I edit on-the-fly and have only, say, 18 min, then punch in recording for biffed or mispronounced words, etc could prove easier. I have no idea if this is practical, but worth a try. I saw a video of a recording session for an audio book where they were obviously doing that and it seemed doable. My biggest concern would be a break in rhythm for the reader.

Thanks for the shortcut.

A slight variation that you could try (requires Audacity 1.3.12):

When you go wrong and need to do a retake, trim a bit off, then place the cursor a few seconds earlier on the track and press “R” (Record)
This will start recording on a new track - it’s like a drop-in but you haven’t trimmed / cross-faded it with the original yet.
When you need to stop and do a “drop-in”, place the cursor on Track 1, then use SHIFT+R. This will fill in from the end of the previously recorded material with silence, and continue recording on track one. In this way you end up with two overlapping tracks and all you need to do then is cut out the bad bits.

I will try a few variations and post back what I found most favorable in terms of both workflow and quality. I’m sure that -the first time I try any on-the-fly editing - it will need to be with a patient reader, one who doesn’t “lose motivation” when having to pause.

Probably best to experiment with yourself as the reader, then when you do it for real the reader will be impressed with how slick you are with the recording gear :wink: