How to use Audacity’s Multi-track Overdubbing?

Like many other features, Audacity also has the feature which allows you to create multiple soundtracks overdubbing. Basically, this feature allows you to record one track as you normally would and then play it and add a second track against it which may include drums, guitar, violin, or voice. You can also repeat the second track as needed.

For this feature, Headphones are essential as you will be able to hear a mix of your live recording and the previous tracks simultaneously in your headphones. So, headphones are must for overdubbing.

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[Source: Audacity]

Hardware Requirements

You will need hardware that will allow:

  • The sound to be recorded
  • Listen the live sound
  • Listen to the previously recorded tracks along with the live¬†sound

A USB Audio Adapter or A USB Headset will work just fine!

First Recording

You should make the first recording without any overdubbing or anything. Make the first recording and listen to the playback while you record to hear your voice or instrument along with the plack.

This will be what you will hear during the overdubbing session, your original record along with a combination of the new tracks that you are recording.

Set the recording latency

Recording Latency refers to the delay time between the audio enters the computers and Audacity records it. You should adjust the recording frequency accordingly.

How to use Audacity’s Multi-track Overdubbing?

  1. Click the Record Button to start the recording.
  2. Once you have recorded the original reference track, click the Stop button.
  3. Now press the Home key.
  4. Now press Shift + R and start recording the overdub track. You should hear your live performance as well as the reference track in the headphones.
  5. Repeat this for as many times as required.
  6. After you are done recording, press the Stop button.
  7. Now go to File > Save Project and save your project.

Note: Audacity projects cannot be played in computer media players nor burned to audio CDs. You will have to export your project as a .WAV or .MP3 file.

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