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Podcasting Hacks by Jack D. Herrington

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Mix Multiple Tracks

Use multiple tracks in your audio editor to combine multiple elements into complex shows easily.

Multitrack editing [Hack #50] allows you to combine multiple sounds together into a single stereo mix. With Audacity and all the other editing programs, you can create an unlimited number of virtual tracks. Each track can contain one or more sounds that are positioned in the track at various points in time.

A multitrack sound project is not an audio file that can be played by a standard MP3 player. To do that, you need to perform a mix-down operation that flattens all the tracks into either a mono or stereo output file. This is the final stage of any project. You should always retain the multitrack project and consider the output mixed-down file as throwaway.

If you are familiar with Photoshop, Fireworks, or other image editing programs, you can think of a multitrack project the same way as you do an image file with multiple layers. A Photoshop file is the equivalent of a multitrack project with multiple layers. And the exported JPG or GIF file that has the flattened layers is the equivalent of the mixed-down MP3 file.

A track in a multitrack editing system has several key features:

Name

You can rename a track to something meaningful, such as voice, music, or ambience. Sometimes these are abbreviated as ax or acts for voice, mus for music, and abl for ambience. This will make it easier to manage your tracks.

Position

A track can be mono, stereo left, or stereo right. ...

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