[audacity4blind] Re: Creating Multiple Tracks

  • From: Gary Campbell <campg2003@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: audacity4blind@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Mon, 01 Dec 2014 19:33:46 -0700

When you pressed r the second time you were recording the second track and hearing the first one at the same time. You can hear the first track so that if you wanted to, for example, say something to coincide with something on the first track, or if you were singing, you could hear to add another part on the second track. For your application you might want to uncheck Transport > Overdub. You could also mute the first track before recording the second, or you could hit END before recording the second. This would cause the second track to start after the end of the first. For what you're doing that might be the best way. You would then know how far into the CD you were at any time. If you didn't delete anything from any tracks you wouldn't have to align end to end when you were done.


On 11/29/2014 10:08 PM, Rick Boggess wrote:

Thanks. I have done some experimenting and I'm beginning to understand what is going on. I typed r to record the first track and press space. When I pressed r again I heard what I had recorded. I then pressed space and then r and was able to record a second track. When I press enter to select any of the tracks and try to listen I must listen to all the tracks I've recorded although they show up as 1, 2, 3, etc.


*From:*audacity4blind-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx [mailto:audacity4blind-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx] *On Behalf Of *Gary Campbell
*Sent:* Friday, November 28, 2014 12:48 PM
*To:* audacity4blind@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
*Subject:* [audacity4blind] Re: Creating Multiple Tracks

Hi Rick,

You want to generate a separate file for each track. You could record each track and save it to a file, as suggested, then record the next track and save it. Or you could record each topic, after each topic press space to stop, then r to record the next track. Audacity starts recording a new track at the current cursor position, so the second track will start at the end of the first track. If you press HOME (i.e. by accident, or to review what you did, the new track might start somewhere else, like at time 0, but that's okay. If that happens select all the tracks and do Tracks > Align end-to-end. This isn't important for the export, but it will make it easier to listen to what you've done and understand how your content will fit together, also you can more easily tell the total length of your project.

This idea of tracks starting at somewhere other than time 0 might seem a bit odd, but it will become clear with a bit of experimentation. Open a new Audacity project, press r and record a bit, say 30 seconds, then press SPACE to stop. Now, without doing anything else, press r again and record a second track, then press space to stop. Just for fun, press HOME, then r and record a third track, and press space to stop. Now press HOME and listen to what you did. You will hear the first and third track playing together. When the first track finishes you will hear the second track.
Press CTRL+SHIFT+a to deselect everything.
Move to the second track and press ENTER. Your screen reader will indicate it is selected. Now press j. j and k are for the selected tracks what HOME and END are for the whole project. Press space-- the second track will start playing. Press space again to stop. Now check your position. If your first track was 30 seconds long, track 2 will start at 30 seconds. Now press ENTER to deselect the second track, downarrow to move to the 3rd track, and ENTER to select it.
Press j and check your position.  It is at 0.

There are several ways to deal with the first and 3rd tracks playing on top of each other. The first way is to align the tracks end-to-end. This might be the best thing to do for your job. Press CTRL+a to select everything, then press ALT+t,a to move to the align submenu of the Tracks menu. The first item is align end-to-end, so press ENTER. Now play your project and you will find that the 3rd track starts at the end of the 2nd. Press CTRL+SHIFT+a to deselect everything, move to track 3 and press ENTER to select it, then j. You are at the start of track 3. Check your position and you will find it starts at the time of the end of track 2. You can now edit any of the tracks by making sure only the tracks you are editing are selected. If you do something to change the length of one of the tracks, you will have to realign them. For example, assuming your first track was 30 seconds long, move to it and select ENTER. Position the cursor at 25 seconds by either playing it, or go to the selection toolbar and set the start of the selection to 25 seconds. From the track, press SHIFT+k, which will select from the 25-second point to the end of track 1. You now should have the start and end times at 25sec and 30sec, respectively. Press DEL to delete. Now press HOME and play your project. There will now be 5 seconds of silence between the end of the first track and the start of track 2. Since you are going to put each track in a separate file, this doesn't really matter much. However it would probably be easiest to work with if you fixed this. Select all the tracks and do Align end-to-end again and the gap is gone.

The second way is to not align the tracks and mute the tracks you don't want to hear or put the ones you do in Solo mode. Since the first 2 tracks are aligned and the 3rd track is the only problem track, we'll mute it. Move to track 3 and press SHIFT+u. Now the track will identify as "mute on", and when you play, you won't hear track 3. (Sometimes you have to switch to another track and back for the screen reader to be aware of this change.) Instead of muting track 3, you could put track 1 in Solo mode. To do this move to track 1 and press Shift+s. The track will now identify as Solo on. Which you use will depend on what you are doing and your personal taste, but remember that muted tracks aren't exported. If you are using mute, CTRL+Shift+u (unmute all) and CTRL+u (mute all) are handy keystrokes when working this way.

When you are done and want to save the files, use File > Export Multiple (CTRL+Shift+L). You can export to MP3, but WAV files would retain more quality. This might not matter for what you are doing, but if you were doing something you want to be good quality this would be better, the files will be bigger though. I use FLAC for my masters. It's bigger than MP3, but smaller than WAV.

In the Export Multiple dialog you first choose the file format. Then you choose a folder to place the files in. There is a Choose button to browse for it, and a Create button to create it if it doesn't exist. Then you have a set of radio buttons that determine how to split the project into files. In this case we want to use tracks. Then is the Name Files group. I think all tracks are called "audio track" if you haven't renamed them, so I would pick one of the options that add numbers. Once these are set up, choose Export and it happens. I think the metadata editor opens for each file. There you can set things like the track title that might appear on the CD player display when the CD is played. I say might, because I can't get Media Player to write the info (called CD text) to the CD. It shows it in the burn list, but it doesn't show up on the CD. Since Microsoft bothers to show the information in the burn list, I can't imagine that they wouldn't write the CD text, so maybe it's my CD drive-- but it can write CD text because it does work with the CDRecord program, a command line program that's a port from UNIX and a lot of work to use. I also don't get CD text with EAC or Winamp. I could probably solve this by buying a burning program, but I haven't yet. XP came with this capability, and I just have a hard time getting my head around the idea that a later operating system (8.1) can't do something for free that one of its ancestors could.

Whatever program you use to burn your CDs will probably take care of this for you, but CDs expect a 16-bit 44100 stereo WAV file. If you can burn MP3s, that means it is doing the conversion. When I use CDRecord, I have to make sure they are converted to this format.

This all sounds complicated, but I think you will find it not hard if you play with it for a bit. Good luck!

Hope this helps.


On 11/28/2014 6:33 AM, Gene wrote:

    That is not what the person wants to do.  He wants completely
    separate files, one for each track.  He would then burn the
    separate files on cd and the audio format should be used when

    Here is one way to do this.  Depending on what you are recording,
    it may be suitable.  Let's say you are recording something you
    wrote such as the minutes of a meeting.  there are five separate
    topics, each topic taking a few minutes to read.

    Record the first topic.

     Export it as an mp3 file with the name 01.  .

    Close Audacity and reopen it.

    Record the second topic.  Save it as 02.mp3

    Continue until all topics have been recorded.

    Then burn the cd using the audio format.

    There is probably a new command that would probably save you a bit
    of time but it isn't necessary to use and I won't discuss it here.



    *:*Robbie <mailto:tickleberryfun@xxxxxxxxx>

    *Sent:*Friday, November 28, 2014 12:49 AM


    *Subject:*[audacity4blind] Re: Creating Multiple Tracks

    Hi Rick!

    You need to align each track to its start position to have them
    play in a certain order. Since you're creating a CD you probably
    want to play one after the other. The simplest way of doing this
    is to use the Align End to End command in the Tracks menu. Press
    ctrl-A and alt-T-A-A to do this.

    Cheers! Robbie

    [mailto:audacity4blind-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx] *On Behalf Of *Rick
    *Sent:* Friday, November 28, 2014 4:56 AM
    *To:* audacity4blind@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
    *Subject:* [audacity4blind] Creating Multiple Tracks

    I am in a support group and prepare print and recorded CD
    information (about 5-10 minutes ) each month.  I produce an audio
    CD since most members are older and do not have access to a daisy
    player.  However, I would like to make the information more
    navigable.  Someone suggested that I record each item on a
    separate track.  I have tried creating multiple tracks using
    Audacity but they are on top of each other.  I need some guidance
    on how to create the separate tracks.  Should I label each track
    and what is the best way to accomplish this.  I must admit that I
am a novice when it comes to editing and producing digital audio. Your help is greatly appreciated. By the way I am using JAWS 16.

    Rick Boggess

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