How to cut parts of a audio file


Ever liked a part of a song that you wish you could cut that out or ever wished to compile your music with selected parts from different tracks? Earlier preparing for a dance competition, we were required to cut parts of different songs so that we can compile a song according to our needs. Upon asking some of my friends if its in their knowledge that how it can be done, I came to know that its still a thing that they are unaware of. So I thought of writing this tutorial.

This tutorial describes how to cut parts from a audio file. Be it any format. There are lots of audio editors available which accepts a wide variety of formats and if you are in need of extracting music from a format that is not so common, you can always convert it to a format that is acceptable by the audio editor you are using. In this tutorial, I am using the Audacity (Portable Edition) which is a freeware. You can use any other software. The basic concept behind audio editing is same which I am going to explain in this post.

How to clip audio parts out of a audio file?

In layman terms, audio file is a file which holds the information at what time what sounds are to produce so as to be heard like a audio track. Audio editor loads the file in a window that has a display as shown in the above screen shot.

When you play the track, a bar hovers over the whole track and plays whatever comes under it. You can zoom in and zoom out of this display so as to have more control over the point of selection. You can select audio portions just like you select text by clicking and dragging the mouse. To make the selection exact, zoom the starting part of the selection and select by listening to the selected portion. Do the same at the ending part of the selection. Try playing the selection if it is the way you want it to be else again edit the selection points. Clipping exact portions require practice. Once you have tried your hand on clipping audio portions out of your mp3s collection, you are almost ready to edit lots of files as you desire. After you have made your selection, then crop it and save it as a new audio file.

How to compile different audio parts into a single file?

Once you have selected the clipping, copy paste it into a new file. Similarly copy paste other clippings that you want to include and paste them in the new file you just created and finally save it as a audio file.

How to clip audio portions in Audacity?

  • From the menu, select File > Open and select the file to import for editing.
  • Press the play button and consider which part do you want to clip.
  • Zoom in and mark the selection as precise as you can.
  • If you want to save the selection right away, choose Export Selection as mp3.

How to compile different audio parts into a single file in Audacity?

  • Follow exactly same steps (as described just before) for marking the selection.
  • Copy the selection and select File > New from the menu and paste it.
  • Similarly copy paste other parts.
  • Finally select Export As MP3.

For exporting files as MP3, you will need lame_enc.dll which you can get from here.

Feel free to ask queries or share your thoughts in the comment section.

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Developer + Entrepreneur + Open Source fanatic. Love WordPress + Startups + Adventure + Music.

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  • Anesh Kala

    I have many two hour long mp3 dance sets. It is not splitt anywhere. I would to splitt each track individually and combine as one cd. Please advise software to use and how to use it.

    • Split them as per the article and then use any CD burning software like Nero etc to burn it in audio CD format.

      • Ricardo

        THANK YOU!

  • McGreedy

    Can someone help me cut a part of a song. I will use this as a ringtone of my cp. Plz email me at thx

  • Carrie

    How do you put like a fade in and fade out and a short pause between the different parts of the songs you have clipped?

    • Try looking for some other software that can does it or a plugin of it does it. I have no idea about that.
      I just needed to clip some audio after which I wrote this tutorial. I don’t deal with them regularly.

  • Deke

    If Audacity too complicated for you take a look on this simple sound editor
    It’s free, small and doesn’t install any spyware on your computer.

  • Jenn

    I want to make a song with bits and pieces of other songs and i cant figure out how to do it. any suggestions?

  • Jake

    Thanks for the tutorial friend, I am involved with a paranormal research team, and I am in charge of the EVP’s we collect. I was a little afraid of just going in blind and hacking up something important. This helped alot.

  • Gavin

    I want to get rid of a part of a song, right from the middle of it and then leave the rest. Does anyone know how to do that?

  • Aaron

    Thanks for the post. It is exactly what I needed