Wait, What? Audacity Records In The Background?!

Hey, there!

Audacity records perfectly, even when you can’t see it working.

In a recent workout, I casually mentioned viewing your scripts on your screen when auditioning, rather than printing them out.

One of my students happily freaked out, and claimed she didn’t even think that was possible.

It is. Here’s how.

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Hope this helps!


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Raw YouTube Captioning

hey there it’s David H Lawrence the 17th
and I’m gonna warn you this particular
video may have you scratching your head
going yeah but that’s just for some of
you that’s for some of you who’ve tried
this and know that it works for others
you’re gonna go oh I did not know that
and I would love for you to tell me
which is which one you do the comments
anyway here’s the point
I had a workout recently and I casually
mentioned in the workout that audacity
will continue to record even if it’s not
the frontmost app that you’re you’re
playing with and I saw somebody say
something in the chat that was like what
wait what what wait a minute what so
let’s take a look at it what you’re
seeing here is my desktop and I’ve got
BBEdit behind audacity audacity is in
the front I’m gonna go ahead and I’m
gonna start recording on audacity there
you go audacity is gonna record there
you go and so you can hear me the
waveforms aren’t very big because I’m a
little bit further away from the mic but
that’s okay so here’s what I’m gonna do
I’m gonna keep rolling with this and I’m
gonna read what’s on the screen hey
there audacity records perfectly even
when you can’t see it working in a
recent workout I casually mentioned
viewing your scripts on your screen when
auditioning rather than printing them
out one of my students happily freaked
out and claims she didn’t think that was
well it is here’s how and I’m going to
click over to BB edit so that audacity
is now in the background right so you
don’t see audacity rolling but if I
choose to go back to audacity there it
is it’s still recording it as you can
see on the screen there’s no break in
the recording so it keeps recording even
in the background you don’t have to
worry about it we tell people to scroll
their script behind audacity but if you
just don’t have the room on your screen
or you really just feel comfortable
clicking over to the script you’re not
going to do any editing and I’d ask
where you have to do you know stop
fast-forward record or anything like
that then you can just leave audacity
rolling in the background and happily
bring BBEdit or whatever your your thing
is word a PDF reader up front and there
you go that’s it
audacity will continue to record no
matter what other things you have
rolling and no matter whether it’s the
foreground app or the background app so
you can put it in the background you can
click to something else and you can rest
assured that it will keep recording for
you so there you go something short and
sweet did you know that if you knew that
great if you didn’t know that if that
was a surprise to you Wow
congratulations let me know in the
comments below let me know if there’s
anything else about audacity that you
find really fascinating I I love it I
love audacity I love using it for all
the work that I do as a voice-over
talent if you are not watching this on
vo – go go comm pop on over there these
are the last few videos I have that I’ve
made before I went in and got my
shoulder surgery so hopefully coming up
here in the next week or so you’ll start
to see those videos after I was done but
that’s where it’s ad vo to go go lots of
great tools there are lots of free
advice and tips and tricks and
strategies and tactics and if you want
to join my youtube channel so that you
get notified when these videos come out
go ahead and click on my head there if
there’s no head look for a subscribe
button somewhere below here you want to
see the latest version of the of the
show that I’ve done go ahead and click
on that frame and YouTube will play it
for you I’m David H Lawrence xvii thank
you so much for watching and I’ll talk
to you soon.

13 Responses to Wait, What? Audacity Records In The Background?!

  1. Bob McCoy June 2, 2019 at 6:22 am #

    Yes, Audacity will keep recording whether you can see it or not. BUT, and this is a big but, keystrokes will only go to the foreground app. So in the case of stair step method where we are using the space/end/r keys (or their shortcuts), those keystrokes will go to the foreground app, be it Adobe Reader, Word, or whatever. The moral of the story? If you’re using stair step, you need to keep at least a sliver of Audacity in the foreground.

  2. Remy OBrien June 2, 2019 at 8:21 am #

    HI David,
    Yes that’s I do all my recordings. Leave it on the background and put my script on scene. saving trees

  3. Chris Buckner June 2, 2019 at 9:18 am #

    I hated using ProTools and was so excited when I found out that you teach Audacity. I still have a lot to learn about it but it’s already so much better than ProTools. Recording in the background is a great feature for Audacity. Thanks for the video David.

  4. Stuart Gauffi June 2, 2019 at 3:51 pm #

    I love Audacity for mappable keys and macros. But you knew that already. ;)

  5. Randy Silverman June 2, 2019 at 4:05 pm #

    I didn’t know this. I didn’t even think to wonder if it did, honestly, I just print out scripts and put them on the stand. This will definitely make that process a lot smoother once I get used to recording in the background while scrolling the digital version of the script. Thanks, David!

    • Ed June 2, 2019 at 8:12 pm #

      Randy, it’s still better to keep Audacity in the foreground if possible—either putting the script behind or next to it. This allows you to continue to use the keyboard controls that Stuart mentioned to speed along, basically uninterrupted as you create your stairsteps.

  6. Patricia Napolitano June 2, 2019 at 7:58 pm #

    I learned this as part of the monthly workouts. I didn’t know this and I took a course on Audacity.

  7. Ed June 2, 2019 at 8:08 pm #

    Yep it happily records in the background—in Windows it will continue recording even when minimized. This makes it perfect for recording coaching sessions and workouts, too.

  8. Keith June 2, 2019 at 11:56 pm #

    Yup. Audacity is the bomb and is the only DAW that I use!

  9. Mary Zajac June 3, 2019 at 9:51 am #


    I am sure you won’t be surprised when I tell you I had no idea that Audacity could do this. Thank you for the scoop!


  10. Tom June 3, 2019 at 11:32 am #

    Yes, Audacity will do this. I learned that it is easier to leave Audacity alone and ad scripts of off a tablet. This is especially true for long form recording. No need to switch screens to stop and start Audacity and no paper noise in the booth.

    • Tom June 3, 2019 at 11:34 am #

      Oops, it should have been read, not ad.

  11. Mindy June 5, 2019 at 2:26 pm #

    I didn’t know that! and didn’t know about BBEdit. Thanks so much for sharing! I’m so impressed with the announcer world community. I’ve been in the TV business for over 15 years and I’m seeing how different and cool people are with sharing information. There’s enough for everyone, they say….

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