There is nothing more annoying than receiving a mixed CD, putting it in your player, and not being able to skip to your favorite tracks. Unless the mix is amazing from beginning to end, chances are it won't be in anyone's CD player long. Do yourself and your fans a favor by tracking out your mix. Read on to learn the essential steps of tracking out your mix and help give your hard work some longevity.
Before we get started, if your mix is at a lower volume I would suggest reading the article, Maximize the Volume of your Recordings, to compete with store bought audio files.
Although you can use several audio editing programs to track out a mix I'm going to use Audacity in this article because it's a free program, it works on both PC and Mac, and it's easy to use. If you don't already have Audacity installed you can download it here --> Audacity Download.
- Once installed, open Audacity, locate your mix, and drag/drop it into the main window of Audacity.
- Once the file is imported, make sure the "selection" tool is selected by clicking on the selection tool icon.
- Now you are ready to start adding track markers, or what Audacity calls "labels." Click on the waveform at the beginning of the mix and zoom into the waveform using the ctrl + 1 keyboard command.
- From here, hold down the ctrl + b keyboard command to place a label at the beginning of the mix.
- Now name the label. I am choosing to name it Track 1 but you can name it whatever you'd like.
- Now zoom out of the waveform using the ctrl + 3 keyboard command, find the beginning of the next song in your mix, and add another label. Remember to name each one as you go. When you are done you should see something like this:
- Now that you're done adding labels to your mix its time to export the separate tracks. Click the File column and choose Export Mulitple.
- You will now see the export window. Click on the Options tab.
- Click on the Header area.
- Select WAV (Microsoft).
- Now choose where you would like the tracks exported to by clicking on the Choose tab. I've chosen to export the files to the Desktop.
- You now have the option to change the File name prefix. This will show up at the beginning of each exported file along with the track name you created for each label. Keep the other options as their default setting.
- Once you have chosen the export options click the Export tab.
- At this point an Edit Metadata window will appear. Metadata information is the information that will show up within the DJ application you use. Fill in as little or as much information as you'd like for the first track in your mix and press OK. Another window will appear allowing you to write in the metadata information for the second track of your mix. Continue adding whatever metadata you'd like and pressing OK. After you've pressed OK for the last track of your mix it will export the tracks to the location specified.
- You've now tracked out your mix and are ready to burn it to CD.