transfering musical files between musicians

I am running Audacity 2.3.2. on windows 10, and I have a friend who I have just introduced Audacity to. We would like to be able to email attachments between us with backing tracks, our vocals, and some guitar work, with the eventual plan of getting a number down, recorded to our satisfaction.
What i need to know is what format can I send, say a backing track that he can download and open, add vocals to, and then send it back so that i can then download, and open to add my bit. Obviously MP3 is no good, because it combines everything into one track. We need to be opening the Audacity files with what ever tracks we have recorded.
Can you help thanks

Obviously MP3 is no good, because it combines everything into one track.

Actually, it’s far worse than that. You can’t use MP3 because it’s a compressed format and the sound quality gets worse each time you edit. By the third pass it’s going to sound like a bad cellphone.

My email has a 25MB size limit. That works out to 4-1/2 minutes of WAV (Microsoft) 16-bit, mono track. You might be able to do slightly better with one of the “lossless” formats such as FLAC.

That’s it. That’s one instrument. The second instrument can go in a second email.

If you juggle this just right, you only have to send one additional instrument back and forth, not the whole thing. Each performer has one multi-track show and just adds instruments as they go. New Users are surprised how much plain, ordinary bookkeeping there is to sophisticated editing.

Save your show as you go as a Lossless Copy Project. That will save all your tracks. Do it with new names so if any one Project falls into the dirt, you can open up the last different save and keep editing. If you use dates to keep them straight (bookkeeping again) use ISO dates. Today is 20200801.

There was a recent forum poster who cranked through a complicated show and saved frequently, but did it to only one Project. The Project crashed and they were all the way back to performing the show again.

It’s also recommended you Export raw performances as WAV (Microsoft) 16-bit as a backup. You should never have to perform anything more than once.

Truly obsessive (raising hand) will make sure any valuable work appears in two different places. Thumb drives, external drives, cloud storage. All count. Two folders on your hard drive does not.


Have you actually tried the overdubbing thing? There are some tricks to it. A frequent complaint on the forum is getting stuck recording both the backing tack and the new work mixed on to the new track. You can’t fix that in post production, so you have to get this right when you perform.


You can force this to work the way you want it to, but not in email. You can Zip an Audacity multi-track Project (AUP file and _DATA folder) into one file and exchange that via a file-sharing service. DropBox, etc.

That wouldn’t work for me because my download speed is OK, but my upload speed isn’t. I could go to dinner and dancing waiting for a large project to finish uploading to my Drop Box account.


Thanks for your replies, WOW there is a lot more to this than I thought. I need to really think this one over.