Editing Audacity/Basic Editing

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There are several tools to edit a sound track and a sound sample in Audacity. A single track can have multiple loops or other samples on them in the line. Tracks can overlap one another and be played with different volumes and effects. Individual loops or samples can be split. Portions can be deleted, copied or moved.

Using the Main Controls

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Cursor to Start: Places the cursor at the start of the project. SHIFT + click expands the selection to the start of the project.
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Play Button: Press the play button to listen to the audio in your project. You can also hit the spacebar to start or stop playback. Playback begins at the current cursor position. If a region of audio is selected, only the selected region will play. To quickly play the entire project, execute Select All before playing—use Menu item EDIT→SELECT… ALL. If there are multiple tracks going to the same channel in your project, they will be mixed automatically for playback.
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Record Button: Press the record button to record a new track from your computer's sound input device. Use the Preferences to configure the recording options. In particular, there is an option to record stereo or mono, and there is an option to play the other tracks while recording. Recording always happens at the project's sample rate.
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Pause Button: Will pause during playback, or during recording. Press again to unpause.
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Stop Button: Press the stop button or hit the spacebar to stop playback immediately.
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Cursor to End: Places the cursor at the end of the project. SHIFT + click expands the selection to the end of the project.

Using the Control Tools

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Audac-2-8a.png Selection Tool: This is the main tool you use to select audio. Click in a track to position the cursor, or click and drag to select a range of audio. If you drag from one track to another, you can select multiple tracks. Extend a selection by shift-clicking a new point in the track. Playback will always begin at the position of the selection cursor. If a range of audio is selected, only the selected range will play.

Audac-2-8b.png Envelope Tool: The envelope tool gives you detailed control over how tracks fade in and out, right in the main track window. When the envelope tool is selected, the amplitude envelope of each track is highlighted in a green line, with control points at the beginning and end of each track. To change a control point, click it and drag it to a new position. To add a new point, click anywhere in the track where there is not already a control point. To remove a point, click on it and drag it outside of the track until it disappears, then release.

Audac-2-8c.png Time Shift Tool: This tool allows you to change the relative positioning of tracks relative to one another in time. To use this tool, simply click in a track and drag it to the left or right. To align two tracks together or reset their time shift back to zero, use the Align Tracks Together or Align with Zero commands.

Audac-2-8d.png Zoom Tool: This tool allows you to zoom in or out of a specific part of the audio. To zoom in, click anywhere in the audio. To zoom out, right-click or shift-click. If you have a middle button, you can middle-click to do the same thing as Zoom Normal. In addition, you can zoom into a region by clicking and dragging the mouse to highlight the region you want to see, then releasing the mouse button.

Audac-2-8e.png Draw Tool: Enables the user to draw in to the actual waveforms. This is especially useful to eliminate small pops and clicks from material. ALT + click smoothes a area of audio. CTRL + click & hold edits only one sample, no matter whether you move the mouse left or right.

Using Edit Tools

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Select the sound or portion of sound using the menu or tools.


Left Cut: Removes the selected audio data and places it on the clipboard. Only one "thing" can be on the clipboard at a time, but it may contain multiple tracks.

Left Copy: Copies the selected audio data to the clipboard without removing it from the project.

Left Paste: Inserts whatever is on the clipboard at the position of the selection cursor in the project, replacing whatever audio data is currently selected, if any.

Left Trim: Deletes everything but the selection.

Left Silence: Erases the audio data currently selected, replacing it with silence instead of removing it completely.

Left Undo: This will undo the last editing operation you performed to your project. Audacity currently supports full unlimited undo - meaning you can undo every editing operation back to the last time the document was closed and re-opened.

Left Redo: This will redo any editing operations that were just undone. After you perform a new editing operation, including simply resizing a track, you can no longer redo the operations that were undone.

Left Zoom In

Left Zoom Out

Left Zoom to Selection

Left Zoom to entire Project

Our Internal Help Pages for Audacity Include

"Audacity" has no sub pages.

Other Resources

On the Web go to Audacity Technical Support