Making audio loops

This page is an introduction to creating background beats and audio loops from a pre-existing audio file.

Audio loops are a type of music that plays a few bars on repeat over and over. They can be created by taking a sample out of pre-existing content and looping it seamlessly.

1. Enable playback looping

To enable playback looping, simply click onto the loop button (1). When you do this, you'll note the blue looping region appear in the timeline (2). You can move the region and it's in and out point individually by dragging it.

Tip: You can always create a new region by dragging anywhere outside the existing region within the timeline.

2. Finding the looping region

When making a loop out of music, you often will be able to see repetitions in the waveform as your source material will probably contain some loop already (for example a drummer playing the same beat throughout the song). You can use these to roughly find good looping regions and position your looping region above it.


  • If you're having trouble finding a good region with a stereo track, you may want to convert it to mono first: Tracks > Mix > Mix Stereo to Mono

  • When positioning your loop region, try to aim just before the peaks. Doing that may allow you to skip finetuning altogether.

  • You can adjust the looping region even when playback is on.

Fine-tuning the loop and removing clicks

Best practice: Set your looping points at a zero crossing, where the waveform (blue line) crosses 0 (black line):

3. Turn your loop into a clip

Once your loop sounds right, you can select it's length in the waveform. A yellow line will appear when your cursor is lined up with the loop region properly. Once you have made the selection, you now can simply right-click > Split Clip (Ctrl+I, Cmd+I).

Once you have the clip, you can copy-paste it anywhere in your project.

Tip: If you want to use the clip on repeat, use Effect > Repeat.

4. Exporting the clip

If you want to use the clip in more projects, it's a good idea to save it in isolation. To do this, select the clip you made earlier, and go to File -> Export Audio.... In the dialog, choose a file name and location, and choose Export Range: Current Selection.

Best practices:

  • Use lossless formats. WAV, WavPack and FLAC are good file formats for loops, MP3 is not as it loses information every time it's saved again (generation loss).

  • Keep your loops organized. It's generally a good idea to store loops in category folders and write properties directly in the file name. So for example, if you have 3 drum loops, 2 piano loops and 4 synth loops, it's a good idea to have:

    • folders called "drums", "piano" and "synth", and

    • files called something like "drum pattern A - 124 bpm.wav", "piano calm - 89 bpm - Amin.wav" if you know the tempo (bpm) and key (eg. A minor). Audacity and other programs may be able to read some of the information you write here, and automatically adjust the loops when you import them into a project.

Saving and exporting projects

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