Using 'Punch and Roll' without any clips on the track


Many of my students are quite confused when using the ‘punch and roll’ function. Whenever you want to use it you must have an audio clip at the place where you want to punch in. So a workaround for this is to make a selection → insert silence → click somewhere in the newly created clip and then use ‘punch and roll’. Of course it would be way easier (and less confusing) if you could just make a new track and hit punch and roll wherever you want to punch something in.

I was wondering if there’s a reason it works like this and if perhaps it would be possible to change it so that you no longer get the error saying ‘select a time in a clip’.

Looking forward to hear from you,

PS thanks for amazing software, it is helping many of my students with making their first recordings!! :slight_smile:

“Punch and Roll” is specifically for amending an existing audio track. If you just want to start recording, there’s no need to use Punch and Roll, and no need to add a track before recording - just click the “Record” button, or press the “R” key.

Thanks for your quick response. The reason I use punch and roll is so that I can make use of the pre-roll. Let’s say I have got 3 sentences. Sentence 1 and 3 are good but sentence 2 could be better. I remove sentence 2 and want to punch it in. The default pre-roll of 5 seconds is enough so that I can hear sentence 1 and time sentence 2 correctly. Obviously I could set the playhead to the beginning of sentence 1, hit record, dub in the 2nd sentence and then trim the beginning, but when for example I’m doing some retakes for an audio book this method becomes quite time consuming. Is there another function similar to ‘punch and roll’ that behaves differently and more like a ‘punch and roll’ function you find in other DAWs?

Do you mean like this:
First Track000.png
and you want to re-record sentence 2 between sentence 1 and sentence 3?

If so, then in Audacity you have to record sentence 2 to a new track. Some full-featured DAWs (such as Pro Tools) allow you to record multiple “virtual tracks” within the same track, but Audacity does not have that, so you must use a new track.

To do that:

  1. click on the track a few seconds before the end of sentence 1
  2. Press “Shift + R” (or “Shift + Record button”) to record to a new track
  3. Listen to the last few seconds of sentence 1 and speak sentence 2 at the appropriate time.

After you have finished recording, trim off any unwanted sounds and adjust the position of the clips as necessary to create a natural flow.

Thanks again for your quick and extensive help. I understand that this is the way to do it, but as I tried to explain in my 2nd post this will mean that I will constantly have to trim off the beginning. Not a huge problem, but I was wondering if there’s another function (or perhaps it’s something you might want to consider adding as a function, e.g. ‘Punch and Roll - From Playhead’, so that it will give me an automatic pre-roll and only records from wherever I set the playhead. That would be great and I hope you can see the benefits of that.