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How to Cut Audio in Audacity

As a Sound Technician, one thing that you will have to do all your life is cutting and trimming audio tracks and if you have to do something all your life, why not do it in the easiest and the best possible way? This is where Audacity comes in as it is undoubtedly one of the best open-source audio editors that is capable of doing wonders.

Today, in this blog on “How to Cut Audio in Audacity” we will tell you everything you need to know about cutting/trimming audio in Audacity, including a step-by-step guide as well as some of the best tips and tricks to keep you up in the game. So, let’s get going!

How to Cut Audio in Audacity

There’s not much pre-requisite in knowing How to Cut Audio in Audacity other than having Audacity on your device, so we will dive straight into it.

Step 1: Launch Audacity

To begin editing audio in Audacity, open the application on your computer. If you haven't installed Audacity yet, you can download it for free from the official Audacity website and follow the installation instructions provided.

Step 2: Import Your Audio File

Navigate to the "File" menu in the menu bar and select "Import" > "Audio" to import the audio file you wish to edit into Audacity.

Audacity supports a variety of common audio file formats, including WAV, AIFF, and MP3. If you have the optional FFmpeg library installed, you can import an even wider range of formats, such as WMA and the audio content from most video files.

NoteUsers can also import the audio file in Audacity by simply dragging the audio file to the Audacity icon on the Desktop.

/dossiers/dossier-92/Import Audio.webp

Step 3: Listen and Familiarize

Before making any edits, listen to the audio carefully using the playback controls. This allows you to identify the specific parts of the audio that you want to cut. Use the Play button to start playback and the Stop button to pause playback.

/dossiers/dossier-92/Play Pause.webp

Once you have the audio on the track, you will see a similar image. If you notice, you will see that the ruler above the waveform expresses the length of the audio in minutes and seconds.


Note- This image above shows a stereo waveform. The left channel is displayed in the top half of the track and the right channel in the bottom half.

Step 4: Select the Section to Cut

Using the selection tool (the I-beam icon), you can highlight the portion of the audio you intend to cut. Click and drag your mouse over the waveform to select the desired section. You can also use the playback controls to preview the selected portion before proceeding with the cut.

/dossiers/dossier-92/Selection Tool.webp

Note-If you are finding it difficult to make the precise selection, you can also use the zoom-in tool to get a closer look at the waveform. To do so all you have to do is click on the Zoom-in button. Keep clicking the Zoom In button until you see the detail you need.


Step 5: Perform the Cut

Once you've selected the portion of the audio you want to remove, navigate to the "Edit" menu and choose "Cut," or use the keyboard shortcuts "Ctrl" + "X" (Windows) or "Cmd" + "X" (Mac). This action will delete the selected portion from the waveform.

Suppose you want to paste this audio piece somewhere else. In that case, you can paste the cut segment, by placing the cursor at the desired position in the waveform, going to the "Edit" menu and selecting "Paste" or pressing "Ctrl" + "V" (Windows) or "Cmd" + "V" (Mac) on your keyboard.

Step 6: Optional Apply a Fade Out

We highly recommend that before exporting your final audio, you should always fade out the end to make the audio sound more professional.

To smoothly fade out the end of your audio clip, zoom in on the waveform until you can see the last two or three seconds. Click approximately one second before the end, then select "Effect" > "Fade Out" from the menu.

/dossiers/dossier-92/Fade Out.webp

Step 7: Save and Export

Once you're satisfied with the edits, save your changes by selecting "File" > "Save Project".

/dossiers/dossier-92/Save Project.webp

To export your edited audio as a standalone file, choose "File" > "Export Audio" from the menu. Select your desired file format and location for saving, ensuring that your file has a unique name. Note that for high-quality audio files, WAV format is recommended in most cases.

/dossiers/dossier-92/Export.webp /dossiers/dossier-92/Export Formats.webp

Keyboard Shortcuts for Audio Editing in Audacity

Once you get a hang of things, keyboard shortcuts will significantly streamline your Audacity editing workflow and save you tons of time and effort. Following are some handy shortcuts that will help you become an efficient Audacity user.

Selection and Editing

Moving Around the Audio

Playback Position Control

Adjusting Selections

Zooming the Waveform

Tips and Tricks for Professional Audio Editing

Keyboard Shortcuts

As mentioned above, always try to utilize keyboard shortcuts while working in Audacity to make your workflow smoother and more efficient. If you have ever seen a professional working on not just Audacity, but any editing software, you will see how keyboard shortcuts make their life easier and quicker.

Practice with Playback

Before cutting, always listen to the audio segment you intend to remove. Playback helps confirm you're cutting the right section without errors. Each error that you make will not just cost you time but also drain energy and creativity out of you.

Smooth Transitions

Talking from our personal experience, always use the fade-in and fade-out effects to create smooth transitions between audio clips. This technique enhances the overall flow and eliminates abrupt cuts that will make your final audio sound much more professional until and unless you intend to make your cut sound abrupt and choppy.

To create seamless transitions, utilize Audacity's crossfade feature. Overlay the end of one segment with the beginning of the next, then apply the crossfade effect from the "Effect" menu.


Backup Original

Any person who has spent more than a week working on editing softwares like Audacity will tell you to always save a backup of the original audio file before making cuts. This precaution ensures you can revert to the original if needed, avoiding irreversible changes.

Experiment and Undo

Now that you know How to Cut Audio in Audacity, don't hesitate to experiment with different cutting techniques. Undoing can easily get you the original file if you don’t like the result, but experimenting will surely get you something much more interesting.

Also Read : How to Record Discord Audio Using Audacity.


Knowing How to Cut Audio in Audacity opens a world of possibilities for sound technicians and enthusiasts. We can safely conclude that with Audacity's intuitive interface and powerful features, editing audio has become a seamless and rewarding experience.

Through this guide, we've equipped you with the knowledge and tools to navigate Audacity's cutting-edge editing capabilities effectively. So, let your creativity soar as you embark on your journey to become a proficient Audacity user. With practice and experimentation, you'll unlock the full potential of Audacity's audio editing prowess. Happy editing!

Frequently Asked Questions on How to Cut Audio in Audacity

Will cutting audio affect its quality?

No, cutting audio in Audacity preserves the quality of the remaining segments. The software ensures minimal impact on audio fidelity during the cutting process.

Can I cut audio in Audacity without affecting the original file?

Yes, Audacity's cutting function doesn't alter the original file. It merely removes the selected portion from the waveform display.

How do I avoid accidentally cutting audio in Audacity?

To prevent accidental cuts, use Audacity's "Lock Track" feature to lock audio tracks you do not intend to edit, ensuring they remain unaffected during the cutting process.

How do I adjust the volume levels of individual cut sections in Audacity?

Use Audacity's "Amplify" effect to adjust the volume levels of individual cut sections, ensuring consistent audio levels throughout the track.

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