selecting individual tracks and editing them separately.


I am using windows XP 32bit and installed the .exe of Audacity.

I am blind and do not have visual assistance to help with an issue I am having.

I am trying to figure out how to select a track, IE, Track 3 and edit that track alone while leaving the other tracks alone. I can’t seem to do it. I am selecting and de-selecting tracks just fine, (or at least I think I am) but I end up editing all of the tracks.

I have read through the Jaws guide and although what it says makes sense, it isn’t translating over. In other words, it isn’t working as explained.

To explain further…

***I have the overdubbing selected ***

I record myself narrating a poem on track 1.

I hit record again and while I am hearing my narration from track one, I play music onto track two.

Okay, great but lets say I want to correct something with my narration.

How can I only select track 1, and when I hit the play button, I hear only track 1 playing? I’d like to be able to edit track one separately from track 2 and not hear track 2, the music, playing because it would be distracting obviously.

Or does this multitrack behave differently? Is it automatically, each time you record a new track, combining everything onto a solo track in the background?

Any help would be most appreciated!

Suffice it to say, there are very very few multitrack based audio editing programs that are compatible for the blind. I love Audacity’s simple easy multitracking! But I need to be able to edit tracks and play them separately so has to harness the full ppower of mixing and producing a mastered track.


This section fromthe FAQ is a good place to start:

In particular it links to this page inthe manual:

and also to this page in the Wiki:

Hope that helps.



Well, I did read those articles in the past but did so again and I am still lost. I am doing what it suggests but it just isn’t working. I have even gotten a few friends, via Team Viewer to help but they’re stumped as well.

I think it has something to do with the very first track. I’ll mute the first track and select track two as the solo but both of them play. I can’t seem to mute the tracks I want so I can listen to just the track I want so I can edit that track without listening to the others.

Audacity needs to make it even more accessible for the blind. I have some tips on this but I doubt anyone in the programming department would care. laughs It starts with having two modes, 1. For sighted people. 2. For blind people. And this latter mode would not take anything graphical into consideration. No wavelengths, no pretty pictures to click on. A software based tactical system that is purely designed with the computer keyboard alone.


I do have another question.

Is there a way to loop the first track while recording a another track? I tried selecting the playloop feature but once I have pushed record, the play loop only plays once and stops, not looping. The only way I can see around this is to create the loop in another program, edit it to your liking and import that wav file into Audacity as the first track. It’s doable but cumbersome at best.

And a final question, Can you save each track as its own wav file? IE. I would record four tracks, save each one as wav files and import them in Sound Forge because it is so much easier to edit there. I could then mix there as well. I’ve tried copying each audio file and pasting it into sound forge’s new wav window but that doesn’t work.

Any and all help and suggestions welcomed. Thank you.

Mock ye not (to quote Frankie Howerd) - we are very concerned about VI users and we do have VI folk on the team. In fact we have working on a revised fromt page for the manual and one of the key things we have been struggling with and working on is how to make it usable for VI users.

BTW you comment about “programming department” seems to imply that you think we are a major corporation. Nothing could be further from the truth; Audacity is developed, maintained, documented and supported by an enthusiastic (and highly talented) bunch of amateurs, most of whom have day jobs too - and give up their spare time to work on Audacity …

I know Audacity is an open source program and it is put together and maintained by a core group of volunteers. My comment wasn’t to imply that Audacity was this huge corporation. It was simply a tongue-and-cheek comment. :slight_smile: As in: “What does that blind man know about the intricacies of programming ?!”

I would however be more than happy to share some of my ideas about how Audacity can be improved for the visually impaired community.

If anyone on the Audacity team is interested in discussing this further, let me know. Perhaps via email. :slight_smile:

At present, I have set up some very useful hotkeys. “R” for record, “S” for stop, “I and O” to highlight a certain part of the track, useful for editting or applying effects.

I really love this portion of Audacity, so easy to multitrack! I would love however to do much more. Although I use several different programs to work on my audio files, it would be nice for Audacity to be the only program I would use. :slight_smile:

Just had a question I wanted to ask about the vst plugins. When previewing an effect I have on a track, I noticed that once the preview button is clicked, the plugin windowsort of goes away. Which is to say, the only thing you can click on is stop, at which point the plugin window returns. But the thing is, once I’ve clicked preview, I can’t go into any of the windows to adjust the parameters; gain, threshold, db, cutoff, etc etc etc, on a particular plugin’s effects. This is cumbersome. I would like to be able to hear the real time changes I am making with the adjusting of the parameters. Is this possible or a thing having to do with the way the plugin is coded?

By the way, are there any plans to incorporate Vst instruments? This would, in my opinion, propel Audacity to the level of being the best multitrack program out there, free or otherwise.

Thank you for your time and patience. :slight_smile:

The best place to discuss new ideas for extensions to Audacity is via the Adding Features to Audacity section on the forum,

Here they can be openly discsussed in open forum and will in due course get transferred to the Wiki Feature Requests page for Feature Requests if if thought to be of real value can be developed into a Proposal on the Wiki.

Sorry I missed your earlier irony :wink:


If you find features that don’t work correctly for vip’s or could be improved, please make suggestions in the Adding Features to Audacity section of the forum. Your feedback can help to make Audacity even better.

It may be possible to replace or supplement some inaccessible features with plug-ins. I write a lot of Nyquist plug-ins and my former mentor was David Sky, who was blind (sadly he passed away in 2009). I have worked on a number of plug-ins aimed at making Audacity more accessible, but I don’t have Jaws reader so I rely heavily on feedback from users if I am to get such plug-ins right. Sadly there has been little feedback so development has been very slow. One example is that I have worked on producing an accessible alternative to the Envelope tool. If you are interested in seeing further development of this type of plug-in, or other plug-ins to aid accessibility, you could help a great deal by testing and providing feedback.

This is a much requested feature, but not yet possible.
The developers are hoping to be able to add “real time preview” that would make it possible to adjust effects while previewing, but it is highly complex task.
I’ve added your vote for this feature on the Audacity wiki.

Not at present.
The internal architecture of Audacity is designed for non-real-time sample based editing. This approach has many advantages, but also some drawbacks that make not well suited to VSTi support. There are however a few Nyquist “generate” plug-ins for non-real-time sound generation. Currently there are not very many, and they are quite primitive, but this is an area that I’m hoping to expand.
This Audacity wiki page contains a number of published Nyquist Generators:
There is also a rudimentary drum machine that I wrote recently here:

If you are interested in working on accessibility plug-ins, in particular on an accessible alternative to the Envelope tool, please let me know.

Cheers for now,