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 Selection Tool

This is the main tool you use to select audio. Click in a track to position the cursor, or click and drag to select a range of audio. If you drag from one track to another, you can select multiple tracks. Extend a selection by shift-clicking a new point in the track.

Playback will always begin at the position of the selection cursor. If a range of audio is selected, only the selected range will play.

 Envelope Tool

The envelope tool gives you detailed control over how tracks fade in and out, right in the main track window. When the envelope tool is selected, the amplitude envelope of each track is highlighted in a green line, with control points at the beginning and end of each track. To change a control point, click it and drag it to a new position. To add a new point, click anywhere in the track where there is not already a control point. To remove a point, click on it and drag it outside of the track until it disappears, then release.

 Time Shift Tool

This tool allows you to change the relative positioning of tracks relative to one another in time. To use this tool, simply click in a track and drag it to the left or right. To align two tracks together or reset their time shift back to zero, use the Align Tracks Together or Align with Zero commands.

 Zoom Tool

This tool allows you to zoom in or out of a specific part of the audio. To zoom in, click anywhere in the audio. To zoom out, right-click or shift-click. If you have a middle button, you can middle-click to do the same thing as Zoom Normal.

In addition, you can zoom into a region by clicking and dragging the mouse to highlight the region you want to see, then releasing the mouse button.

 Play Button

Press the play button to listen to the audio in your project. You can also hit the spacebar to start or stop playback. Playback begins at the current cursor position. If a region of audio is selected, only the selected region will play. To quickly play the entire project, execute Select All before playing. If there are multiple tracks going to the same channel in your project, they will be mixed automatically for playback.

 Stop Button

Press the stop button or hit the spacebar to stop playback immediately.

 Record Button

Press the record button to record a new track from your computer's sound input device. Use the Preferences to configure the recording options. In particular, there is an option to record stereo or mono, and there is an option to play the other tracks while recording, which doesn't work on all systems.

Recording always happens at the project's sample rate.

 Master Gain Control

The Master Gain Control is a slider which controls the volume of the audio output by Audacity to your hardware. Pushing the slider all the way to the left will mute Audacity, and pushing it to the right will increase the volume of everything beyond its normal level and may cause clipping.

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