Stupid questions by7 this newbie

Hello. I am very new to Audacity. So I will be asking questions - with decreasing stupidity and frequency - as I get more familiar with this application. For now though, I am working on transferring my son’s voice recordings of almost 3 decades ago to my PC and preparing an audio/visual presentation for his upcoming wedding. I know there are tutorials out there but since time is short I’m posing to you guys these two problems of immediate nature. Your help and advice is deeply appreciated:

1- The 1st tape went on nicely and gave me nice visual wave tracks that allowed me to edit it with ease. But since then I don’t know what I have done that the subsequent recordings show up in impossibly squeezed visual tracks that make it hard to pinpoint a pause or a breaking point. How can I un-squeeze the tracks?

2- If I wanted to actually add pauses to the beginning and end and even some points in the middle, what would be the best way?

Thanks for your replies.

Zoom is your friend. Play the show (or skip around by clicking in the ruler above the blue waves). When you get close to where you want to inspect, Spacebar stop the playback and drag-select a portion of the show around where you stopped. Then zoom in with Control-E. Then do it again until you get down to the blue waves detailed enough for you to edit. Control-3 zooms out slightly and Control-F zooms out to the whole show. I live in those three zoom ranges.

See illustrations.

Click somewhere in the show and Generate > Silence.

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