Splitting tracks in Audacity is a helpful tool for anyone who records music or creates podcasts. Splitting a track into smaller sections allows you to easily adjust the levels of individual sounds or parts of your audio before mixing them all.
This guide will explain how to split a track in Audacity and edit and fine-tune the audio after it’s been split.
What Does It Mean To Split An Audio Clip?
Splitting an audio clip is cutting it into two or more different sections. It’s done by placing a “split point” in the waveform where you want to divide your track. You can then move, delete, or adjust each section independently from the other sections.
What is Audacity?
Audacity is a free, open-source audio editing software that allows you to record and edit sounds. You can use Audacity to create podcasts, music, soundtracks for video projects, or any other type of audio project.
Features of Audacity
Audacity offers many features that make it easy to work with audio clips. You can record audio directly into the program, cut and copy sound sections, adjust levels and panning for individual sounds or an entire section, add effects such as EQ and compression, and much more. Some of the benefits of using this software are:
- The ability to import and export audio files in a variety of formats
- A customizable user interface with an intuitive interface
- Integrated VST plug-ins for adding effects
- An extensive list of editing tools
How to Split a Track in Audacity
- Load your audio file into Audacity by clicking File, then Open.
- Select the track you want to split and look for a small vertical line in the waveform. The line is called the “playhead” and marks where you are currently located in the track.
- Drag the playhead to where you want to split your track and create clip boundaries for the audio track.
- Track the dropdown menu and click Edit and Split from the menu bar at the top of Audacity. You will now see that your track is divided into two parts.
- To make more divisions or adjust existing ones, just drag the playhead to another spot in the waveform, click Edit, then Split again.
- When you’re done splitting the track, click File and Export to save your edited audio file.
Now that you know how to split an audio clip in Audacity, you can easily adjust individual sections of a track or mix different parts before exporting the finished audio file. This makes it easier to fine-tune your music before sharing it with the world!
Joining Audio Clips in Audacity
Splitting is rarely done on its own. You usually join two or more audio and stereo tracks once you have the split audio. Some reasons why you would join clips are:
- To combine two speeches into one.
- Creating a longer track or looping music.
- Mixing different sounds together to create a melody
Joining clips in Audacity is simple, and here’s how:
- Select the tracks you want to join and ensure they are aligned at the same starting point.
- Click the track you want to add to the beginning of your clip and press CTRL+A on your keyboard.
- Select Tracks > Mix and Render from the menu bar above Audacity. Your audio clips will now be merged into one new clip.
- To adjust the level of your new clip, click the “Gain” button in the menu bar and move the slider to the right or left to increase or decrease the volume respectively.
- Finally, click File > Export and save your completed project as an MP3, WAV, or another audio file format.
Splitting Audio Tracks, Mono Tracks, and Stereo Clips
If you’re wondering whether or not there is a difference between splitting audio tracks, mono tracks, and stereo clips in Audacity, the answer is yes. Splitting an audio track splits it into two separate tracks that you can edit independently from one another.
Splitting a mono track will give you two independent channels to work with. Lastly, splitting a stereo clip gives you four separate channels to adjust the volume for each side.
Using Effects in Audacity
In addition to the essential audio editing tools, Audacity has various effects that you can apply to your audio clips to create different sounds and textures. Some of these effects include:
- Equalizer (EQ): Adjusts the frequency of sound waves by boosting or cutting specific ranges.
- Compression: Reduces the dynamic range of an audio signal by lowering the loudest parts and raising quieter parts.
- Reverb: Creates a reverberative effect to simulate the sound of a room or environment.
- Noise Removal: Removes unwanted background noise from recordings.
- VST Plugins: Third-party plugins that you can use to add effects to your audio.
Using these effects in Audacity is simple. Select the track or clip to which you want to apply an effect, then choose Effect > Name of Effect from the menu bar at the top of Audacity. You can then adjust the settings for each effect to create a unique sound. For a more comprehensive guide, you can read our post on how to edit a podcast in Audacity.
Can I split an entire track into two mono tracks?
Yes, you can split an entire track into two mono tracks. Select the track and click Tracks > Split Stereo Track to do so. The action will create two separate mono tracks that you can edit independently from one another.
How do I split multiple files at the desired split point?
Select the track you want to edit multiple files at the desired split point and click Edit > Split. This will create two separate audio clips. Drag the playhead to another spot in the waveform, click Edit, then Split again. Repeat this process until you’ve split all of your files.
Can I undo split audio in audacity?
You can undo split audio in Audacity by pressing CTRL+Z on your keyboard. Doing so will undo your last action in Audacity, including splitting an audio clip. However, once it has been saved, it cannot be undone.
What format should I save my split audio files in?
The best format to save your split audio files is an uncompressed, lossless file type such as WAV or AIFF. These formats are of the highest quality and will ensure no audio data is lost during the splitting or joining of clips.
What is the difference between a stereo track and audio data?
A stereo track is two separate audio channels that can be edited independently from one another, while audio data is a single unified source of the sound. Stereo tracks allow more control over sound placement and manipulation, whereas audio data is usually used to create loops or backing tracks.
How do I get the selection tool to get to the right spot in the audio?
Find the exact point where you want to cut or split to get to the right spot in your audio. Then, click and drag the selection tool at that location. The selection tool will now select all audio data up until that point. If you want to learn more about how to select audio in Audacity, we’ve got you covered.
What is a noise gate?
A noise gate is an effect used to reduce background noise from recordings. It reduces the audio volume below a certain threshold, so only noises above it are audible. Doing so helps eliminate unwanted background noise from audio recordings. You can check out our post on how to remove background noise & static in Audacity.
Wrapping it Up!
It’s also important to remember that when you’re working with audio, much work needs to be done after splitting the track. You’ll need to adjust levels, add effects, and generally polish up each section of the track to get your desired sound. Fortunately, Audacity has plenty of tools and features that make this easier! So go ahead and give it a try! Good luck!