Recording Vocals Over an Instrumental Track

I am new to the Audacity program and am trying to use it to record my music. I’m trying to record a vocal track over an instrumental track I imported. I imported the instrumental and then added a new mono track. Everything I found online said that after you add the new mono track you should be able to just select that new track and hit record and the background instrumental will play in the background and you can record your vocal. But whether the Instrumental is playing or not, when I hit record for the new mono track it records on the back half of the instrumental track and doesn’t play anything. Am I missing something here? Thank you guys for your help in advance!

You are overdubbing.

There’s two Records. Regular Record jams the new work on to the end of the old work and Shift+Record starts a new track.

If that’s awkward for you, you can reverse them in Audacity Preferences. They use to be backwards and nobody liked it that way.

In Audacity Preferences > Recording, make sure [X]Overdubbing is checked and [_] Playthrough is not.

What is your microphone and/or microphone system? Pretend I want to buy what you have.

Which headphones do you have? That’s super important in overdubbing your voice.


Once we have that info, we can tell you the rest of the setups.


You know what causes more overdubbing problems than almost anything else? “I imported a backing track.” Kiss of death right there.

As you get yourself set up, Generate a simple rhythm or metronome track inside Audacity and sing or hum to that. Doesn’t have to be much, just enough to prove you have all the settings and adjustments right. That’s important. There’s just nothing like fighting your computer adjustments and settings and a bad backing track at the same time.


Good afternoon - this is not a response to an existing thread, but rather a plea for guidance within the same topic area; namely tweaking vocals within Audacity to ‘blend’ more closely with a separately recorded piano or orchestral accompaniment track.

I am serious about singing (the classical repertoire) and in these difficult times of ‘lock-down’ have recorded some Handel, Mendelssohn and Schubert arias with my Tascam digital recorder at home. I have also sourced some good piano and orchestral accompaniment.

I have got the hang of the basics of getting the voice and accompaniment tracks into Audacity, but am struggling to make my voice sound less like an ‘add on’ to the accompaniment. How do you experts go about making the ambience from different recorded sources a better blend? (ie from the concert hall and the bathroom!)

Look forward to hearing. Thanks in advance!