Records 2 tracks at once - urgent!

I am trying to make a recording where reading is interchanged with musical excerpts (not simultaneously). I record my first excerpt, but it activates the empty audio track below it and puts the music onto both. I need to have SEPARATE audio tracks and cannot find how to separate them (NOT separating channels,but tracks). I am under a deadline here, can someone help?

What are you trying to record? If you want to record only your reading, set the Device Toolbar input to your mic, not to stereo mix, and wear headphones so that your mic does not pick up the music. Or turn Transport > Overdub off (in which case you won’t hear the music while recording).

Recording is always into a new track and starts in that track from wherever the cursor is.

You can’t record into the middle of an existing track. If you hold SHIFT while clicking record, you can record at the end of the selected track.


Gale

Maybe you didn’t read my question carefully? I am doing a project which involves reading a text, but they want classical music excerpts to play BETWEEN sections. I imported the first file and edited it, etc. - when I hit “record,” it records but also connects with a 2nd audio track below and records onto both of them. I don’t want background music, I want each track to be separate so that at the end I have a recording which goes music–reading—music–reading, etc. Thanks.

I guess I think that I can record one track at a time - does it mix tracks automatically? If so, it won’t work for me. Earlier today, I was able to record just the one music track and I don’t know why it changed. I haven’t added any checks.

Actually I read it several times. It was very unclear to me.

But I still think you are recording the music with your reading, when you want to record only your reading, right? If so then you need to do what I suggested.

To check what audio a track contains on its own, click the “Solo” button on that track.

What does “connects with” mean? I described what Record and SHIFT-Record do. If you hit Record without SHIFT, then you can only record one new track.

If Device Toolbar is set to mono, that new track has one channel. If set to stereo, that new track has two channels.


Gale

Yes.

Have you tried F5 to enable Time Shift Tool? You can then click and drag each music import to where you want it on the timeline.

If you want to make space within a music import for the talk recording, click where you want to make space, hold CTRL on your keyboard, then press I (as in “first person”) to create a split point. Then with Time Shift Tool enabled, drag rightwards from the split point to make space for the talk recording to be made underneath.

Similarly if your talk recording starts at the wrong place, use Time Shift Tool to drag it to the correct place. Press F1 to go back to Selection Tool when you have finished dragging.

Do you want to import the music track (as you said) or record it?

If you want to record a music track, then record a talk track, you may need to change the input device in the third box of Device Toolbar. If you want to record your voice, you need to do that by choosing the mic input.


Gale

Thanks for all your help - I was able to record by deleting the 2nd audio track after it appeared. I have 2 questions now: 1) I can hear the recording by using the solo buttons. Some of the tracks are connected, but when I had to import music files, I had to start a new one. Can I connect the whole recording so that it is continuous?

  1. Can I “fix” little words, etc. that I missed? Thank you.

If you have (from top to bottom on the Audacity screen, on separate tracks):

Talk
Music
Talk
Music
Talk

then when you export the finished work those tracks will be mixed to one mono or stereo file.

You can also mix them to one track at any time by Edit > Select > All then Tracks > Mix and Render.

And as I said, if you import a music file then want to record at the end of that file, you only have to hold SHIFT then click Record and the recording will begin in the same track at the end of the imported file.

Does the above already answer your question? There is no need to make all the tracks into one long Audacity track. What matters is that when you play the whole work, with no Solo or Mute buttons on, the Audacity tracks should play in the correct order with only talk or music happening.

What do you mean by “fix” ? Do you mean re-record a little phrase that was not quite spoken as you wanted?

Yes you can, but you must usually make the replacement recording on a new track - Audacity does not let you “punch in” a replacement recording in the middle of a track over the existing recording.

There are a number of ways you can make a replacement recording on a new track. Here are some steps that show you one way to do it: https://forum.audacityteam.org/t/how-to-punch-in/22676/2 .

Alternatively a very “simple” way of making a “correction recording” on the same track is this.

  1. Drag-select a phrase or sentence including the mistake, Z to find safe “zero crossings” for the selection edges, then delete the selection (DELETE key).
  • It is best to select more than the bad word for this method, then you have some reaction time in which to start speaking after you start recording.
  1. SHIFT + K to select from the cursor to the end of the track.
  2. CTRL + X to cut that selection to the clipboard.
  3. SHIFT + R to record the correction at the end of the remaining track.
  4. SHIFT + A to stop the recording and place the cursor at the stop point at the end of the track.
  5. CTRL + V to paste back the audio that followed the original mistake.

Gale

I am SO sorry I used this software. I figured out everything and successfully recorded the whole thing. Then I saved it “as” and also in compressed and mpg formats, just in case. Lo and behold, when I go back into the project, data is “missing” and I can’t see any recording at all. The files also lost contact with my speakers (which are working fine), so I can’t play any of them. I have spent a total of almost 12 hours on this and now it’s gone.

Please tell us exactly what you did. Write out everything in full, with the same words that are in the interface, to avoid confusion.

I think you did File > Save Project As…? If so and data is missing, it is probably because you moved or renamed the _data folder for that project, or moved the AU files in that _data folder. You cannot do that. There are two parts to a project, the AUP file and a _data folder. Both are needed, named exactly as Audacity saved them, and in the exact same location that Audacity saved them.

Then you did File > Save Compressed Copy of Project…? If so, then you have the audio as one OGG file per track in the _data folder for that project, even if that project does not open correctly. Simply open the _data folder that has the same name as that project. File > New in Audacity, then drag the OGG files into that new project window.

Audacity does not export as MPG because that is a video format. If you did File > Export as MP3 then as with the OGG files, just drag the exported MP3 into a new project window.

It is always a good idea to export a backup of a recording as an audio file. But it is best to export as WAV, because that is perfect quality. An MP3 (or an OGG) is a little “lossy” (it throws audio data away in order to make the size smaller).


Gale

OK, I have opened a new Aud. window and dragged all the music OGG files, then individually imported the raw data from that file (lots and lots). I have “saved as” and not disturbed it. What I see in the Aud. window is all those files but all with flat lines, no recordings in site. How do I apply that data to re-creating the project? I really appreciate your help.

Do you mean that you did File > Import > Raw Data… selected an AU file from the _data folder for the project, then did that again for other AU files? Or imported the OGG files as raw data? You cannot import OGG files as Raw Data because OGG is lossy and Import Raw Data is for lossless audio.

All you should have needed to do is drag in the OGG files, like I said, into a new window. Nothing else. Were the tracks where you dragged in the OGG files at first attempt flat lines? If so then either the tracks were like that when you saved as a compressed project, or you now have issues where Audacity cannot read your disk drive properly.

After dragging in the OGG files and doing your “raw import” what command exactly did you use then for “saved as”? Was it File > Save Compressed Copy of Project as the same name you gave that compressed project before? If so, you may have silenced the OGG files if they weren’t silenced already. Or was if File > Save Project As…? If Save Project As, did you save it as the same name as any of the projects where you thought you had audio, or as some new name?

What location on your drive did you save these project files to? C:Program Files? Or your Desktop?

Did you do File > Export… for any formats? If so that should be one file that is a mix of the entire recording. That is what you want. Try finding that exported file and play it in Windows Media Player. If it does not play, hover your mouse over the file in Explorer. What does the hover box that pops up say the type of the file is?


Gale

The only thing I can do at this point (since Audacity won’t recognize any of it) is to try to play the OGG files with their software, which I downloaded. It does open and start playing, but there is no sound - somehow the sound connection is lost. If I can reconnect that, I might have a complete recording. Any ideas?

We don’t know which software you mean by “their software”. If you are not sure how to use that software, you should contact the manufacturer of that software.

If in Audacity you do File > New, then drag an OGG file in, does it show blue waves or a flat line? If it shows a flat line, try Effect > Amplify… and hit OK. If it is still a flat line, then presumably it does not contain the audio you intended.

If the file has blue waves then the problem is that you are not choosing the correct audio device to play to, or you have muted that device.

In that case you will need to open the Windows Control Panel, look for the control panel for Sound or similar, then make the sound device you want to use for playback to be the default sound device. Then in the same panel, you should unmute the device and turn its volume up.

You haven’t said what version of Windows you have but you may find these links useful:

For Vista or later, http://wiki.audacityteam.org/wiki/Mixer_Toolbar_Issues#vistacp .

For 2000 or XP, http://wiki.audacityteam.org/wiki/Mixer_Toolbar_Issues#xpcp .

If you are using an external device for playback, like a headset, ensure it is firmly connected to the computer and that any volume control on the device us unmuted and turned up.


Gale