Replacing audio precisely

I’m fairly new to Audacity. I want to replace a bit of audio in my recording so I am looking for an option either to…

  • record over the top of what I previously recorded (on the same track), or
  • replace part of an existing track with my new audio on a new track.
    But I want to do it precisely. So if my new audio starts at 145,345 samples along the timeline and is 2,867 samples long, I want to paste it on the original track at exactly 145,345 samples along the timeline, replacing exactly 2,867 samples.
    Hope that makes sense!

DOH! Think I just figured it out myself. If I write down those sample figures on bit of paper I can then type them in again after clicking on the original track and get precisely the same selection in that track. Then paste in the new audio.

Still, is there a less clumsy way of doing it?

(Audacity 2.0.5, Mac OS X 10.7.5)

There are lots of ways to do this, and doing it “precisely” is something that Audacity excels at. As you become more familiar with using Audacity you will find the way that suits your workflow best, so these are just some tips and suggestions for you to play with:

Don’t be afraid of multiple tracks. Audacity is a mult-track audio editor and is designed to work with multiple tracks at the same time. Even very modest hardware should be able to handle 20 tracks or more without breaking into a sweat.

Zoom tools; Lots of ways to zoom in and out. Zooming to an appropriate level is essential for precise work.
My favourite is to use Ctrl+mouse wheel (probably Command + Mouse wheel on a Mac).

Labels: These are great for marking positions temporarily. Note the keyboard shortcuts.

Split Lines: Ctrl+i (probably Command+i on a Mac) makes a split in the track between samples. Very useful as a temporary marker. Click on the split to re-join the split. Splits have the added advantage that if you are creating a label or dragging an audio clip in another track with the Time Shift tool, there is a weak “snapping” effect (with a yellow vertical line) to indicate when you are precisely lined up with the split (because the split is the “boundary” of the audio clips either side of the split.

Thanks steve. Very useful info. That’s helped me a lot.