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Splitting WAV files

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On this page you’ll find information about splitting wav files with Audacity. Once you’ve recorded your vinyl record and saved it to a wav file you have to break it up into individual tracks, before you can burn an audio cd from it. Otherwise the cd player won’t recognize the separate tracks.


Start Audacity. Open the file through File, Open…, if you haven’t already done it.

Move the cursor to the start of the first track. To help you find the start of the first track, place the cursor just after the point where you think the track starts. Then do a selection through the menu Edit, Select…,Start to Cursor. Click the button ‘Fit selection in window’ on the Edit Toolbar (second from right). You now have a view of only the selection.

Audacity Edit Toolbar

To see it even better you can zoom in vertically.

Audacity Audio Track Window

To zoom in vertically:
Place the cursor over the vertical ruler, it changes into a magnifying glass. When you click on the number 0.0 in one of the channels it zooms in vertically. Clicking with the right mouse button zooms out. Place a label at the track changeovers (see next paragraph).

If you have found the point where the first track starts, place the cursor on that point and click. Add a label through the menu Project, Add Label At Selection. Repeat these actions until you have labelled all starts of the remaining tracks. You can also add a label at the end of the last track.

If you have added a label at the start of the first track and/or at the end of the last track, you can delete these tracks after splitting has completed. In this case the first track contains the beginning of the vinyl record, the point where the stylus hits the record. The last track contains the recording of the stylus leaving the vinyl record.

Now you can export the tracks to individual files through the menu, File, Export Multiple…

Audacity Export Multiple

Select WAV for Export format. In the right half of the window in the section ‘Name files’ select 'Numbering consecutively'. Every exported track gets the name which you have filled in at ‘File name prefix’ plus a serial number.

Audacity Export Multiple Finished

When multiple export is ready a message appears like the one above. Click on OK. You can exit Audacity now. On the question ‘Save changes before closing ?’ click NO. Besides the original file you also have the split files. Splitting the WAV files is done! It’s time to burn!

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