Skip to main content

A Better Way to Export Clips From a Single Audio Dialogue Track in Audacity

A more efficient way to export audio clips
from a single audio track using Audacity.
As an Independent Animator you may often find yourself recording all the dialogue for every character in your script yourself.

Or, if you work with multiple voice artists, you may get a single audio file from each artist containing all of their character's dialogue only.

If you intend to use either of those recordings to trigger an automatic lip syncing feature such as the one found in Reallusion's Cartoon Animator 4 you're going to need to split the audio up into smaller clips.

I use Audacity to edit my audio and, if you do too, I'm sure you've probably done the laborious, manually select each clip, and export to a separate audio file.

It's a process that's fine, it works, and it gets the job done. However you're probably doing it that way because, like me, you've never really bothered to deep dive on Audacity's very powerful features.

There is a more efficient way to split a single track of audio into smaller clips and that is to use Labels. Here's the process step by step:

(Hey, if all this seems TLDNR, just skip to the end and save my cheat sheet graphic. Come back and get the detail if you find the graphic isn't clear enough).

Labeling Your Audio Clips

  1. Open your one track audio recording in Audacity.
     
  2. Mark the first label by by selecting the start point of the audio (if there is a lot of dead space before the audio begins) or just click the Go to start button. ( |<< ), then hit Ctrl-B. You'll see a label track open up with a flashing cursor at the label point, waiting for you to give it a name.
     
  3. The name you give it will reference the audio to the right of the label marker. You can use any naming system you want. I tend to write the speaking character's name (only use letters, numbers, or dashes for the label names). Press Enter to set the label.
     
  4. Play the track and use the x key to stop and set the playback cursor between the end of the first audio and the start of the next.
      
  5. Use Ctrl-b to add the next label. Give it a name. Again I'd use the speaking character's name. Labels do not have to be unique and you don't need to number labels with the same name at this stage.
      
  6. Repeat steps 4 and 5 until you've labeled all your clips in the whole file.

    Drag the circle icon
    to move a label.
    Note: If a label isn't in exactly the right position you can move it by clicking and dragging on the circle icon just below and to the left of the label name.


Exporting Your Audio Clips.

  1. Before exporting your clips open Audacity's preferences and make sure 'Show Metadata Tags editor before export' is unchecked under the Import/Export Preferences.
     
  2. Next go to File > Export > Export Multiple...
     
  3. Select a folder where you want to export to.
     
  4. Change the format to MP3. The default options should be fine.
     
  5. Make sure 'Labels' is selected under 'Split Files based on'.
     
  6. Make sure 'Numbering before Label/Track Name' is selected under 'Name Files'
     
  7. Click the Export button. All you clips will be exported to your selected folder numbered in the order they were clipped from your original file.

Useful Shortcut keys to remember

p – play/pause without losing playback point.
x – stop playback and set the playback cursor at the stop point.
Ctrl-b – place a label at the current cursor selection.
Ctrl-m – place a label at the current selected playback position.

Cheat Sheet Graphic

If all of the above seems complex and hard to remember, below I've created a handy cheat sheet graphic with all the steps for you to save. It's really not that hard to remember once you've split your audio this way a couple of times. It's also so much more efficient than saving each clip one at a time manually. It'll literally save you hours on longer recordings.

Save this graphic to use as a reference.

Comments

Related Posts with Thumbnails

Popular posts from this blog

Voice All Your Own Animated Characters with Voice Changer

Voice Changer by AVSoft is real time voice manipulation software that can be used for a wide range of purposes including (according to their website); Voice-over and voice dubbing for audio/video clips, presentations, narrations, voice messages, voice mails, E-greeting cards, broadcasting, etc.; mimic the voice of any person, create animal sounds, change/replace/remove voices in songs, videos,etc.

I bought it for the specific purpose of changing my own voice, to extend my vocal range, for voicing characters in my own animations.
I was fortunate enough to get this software at a significant discount that made it difficult to refuse, given that I'd never tried it, or even heard of it before. I'm not sure if I would have bought it at the full price given that much of what it can do (for my needs) can also be done with the freeware audio program, Audacity.
Voice Changer is relatively easy to install and set up. Once installed simply change you default microphone to the installed AV…

Review: CrazyTalk Animator 3 vs Moho Studio Pro 12

Reallusion's CrazyTalk Animator 3 or Smith Micro's Moho Studio Pro 12. Which of these 2D animation applications is right for you?

Regular readers of this blog will know I'm a strong supporter, and fairly proficient user of CrazyTalk Animator since version 1. It's a great piece of software for producing 2D animations from purchased content quickly and, with version 3, is easier than ever to create animations from your own art.

Lesser known is that I first purchased Moho Studio Pro 12 (then known as Anime Studio Pro 9) back in October of 2012 and have been upgrading it to the latest version ever since because I believed in it as an application for creating great 2D animation to TV quality standard. As such, it's a much more complex application than CTA3 that I only got around to learning properly late last year. I'm still in the process of blogging my progress.

Despite this I feel I've learned enough of Moho to compare it to CTA3 to help you determine which …

Make Disney/Pixar Style Characters with Reallusion's Character Creator and Toon Figure Bases

I've talked before how I've wanted to get into 3D Disney/Pixar style character animation since I first saw the animated cutscenes for the very first Tomb Raider game back in 1996.

It's why I initially bought Reallusion's iClone 3D studio app as soon as I could afford a computer that would run it.

But then Reallusion released their 3D Character Creator (CC) for iClone and I wanted to create my characters with that (and I did try with Bat Storm). But the focus of CC was realism, even with ToKoMotion's stylised body morphs.

Now with Reallusion's Cartoon Designer bundle for CC3 which features two packs, Toon Figures, and Toon Hair, designing Disney/Pixar style 3D characters just got a whole lot quicker.



The two packs are the bare essentials for creating Toon style characters. Five body morphs (2 male, 2 female, and one adolescent body morph that works as both a male or female pre teen), eleven hair style bases, with thirteen hair additions for further variation.

T…

Should You Buy or Upgrade to MOHO 13? *Spoiler* Yes. Yes You Should!

Smith Micro released MOHO 13, their all in one, 2D animation studio, this week. The question is should you buy or upgrade to the latest version? Obviously I've already spoiled this in the title, so the actual question is why do I think you should buy or upgrade?

To be clear, I'm only talking about MOHO 13 Pro. If you're considering MOHO 13 Debut be aware that you're missing out on some of the new features, and a lot of existing features that are only available in the Pro version. Debut is fine if the budget doesn't stretch to Pro, but, if you never want to be disappointed about not having a feature, it's Pro or nothing!

The other thing I need to be transparent about is I'm not, by any stretch, a frequent MOHO user/animator. However I took the time to learn MOHO 12 Pro fairly extensively, blogging about my process and sorting out 104 free MOHO training videos into a logical viewing order in the process. I think I have more than enough insight to let you kno…

Blender 2.8 Amazes with 2D Animation Features. Might Be the All-in-One Animation Studio for You

There are a number of animation apps that like to promote themselves as the one tool for all your animation needs and, while many are certainly very powerful, I think Blender 2.8, released earlier this year, may be the closest yet.

If you're not familiar with Blender it's been almost the go to tool, since at least 2002, for anyone wanting to learn 3D animation on a budget - and nothing is easier on the budget than completely free.

With the release of 2.8 not only is Blender a complete 3D animation tool, it's now also a complete 2D animation tool. That's right you can use it to create 2D, hand drawn animation, motion graphics, and bone rigged 2D characters. As well, it has plugins that can give 3D animation that 2D look.

Hence my suggestion that Blender 2.8 is truly the one tool for all your animation needs (because Blender is also very capable at VFX - think of any 'live action' movie that uses CGI to create almost anything in a scene that wasn't there dur…

Learn Moho Pro 12 Free Using SmithMicro's Own 104 Video Tutorials Sorted into a Logical Order of Progression

So you've bought Smith Micro's Moho Pro 12 along with the Moho, 10 hour, 104 Video Tutorials Add On pack so you can get learning right away... only you can't. For whatever reason, the video tutorials aren't sorted into any logical order of progression making them hard to follow.

Yeah, I've been there, only I've done what Smith Micro should have done and sorted all the video tutorials into a logical order of natural progression for you. That is, each tutorial builds upon what you learned in previous videos and you won't suddenly come up against some feature you've never used before, unless that feature is what the video tutorial is about.

Tomb Raider to Tears of Steel: 3D Animation with Blender

3D animation (of the polygon and texture map kind not the 3D glasses kind) is something I've wanted to get into ever since I saw the cut scenes created for the original Tomb Raider game back in 1996.

I've embeded the opening cut scene to the first level of the game below. It looks quite primitive now but back then it was very cinematic for a game cut scene. It was the closest thing I'd seen to the possibility of making movies with strong characters directly on a home computer.

The problem was that I never could afford a computer powerful enough to run the software 3D animation programs require. The system I had at the time could just barely run the Tomb Raider game in low resolution mode.



Seemingly, every time I was able to buy a more powerful system, 3D animation software had progressed and required a system more powerful to run it. Because of this I eventually gave up on 3D animation as something that was accessible to me.

Fast forward to the September 2012 release of t…