How to Create Song Snippets

By Simon Foden

Updated September 22, 2017

Items you will need

  • Music editing software

  • Computer

Use your preferred production program or free software to create snippets.
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A song snippet is an abridged section of a song, typically including a verse and a chorus. There are multiple practical uses for song snippets. You can put them into mix tapes of your favorite tunes, use them as backing tracks for your home movies or include them in a demo reel to promote your band. You can use your preferred audio production software to edit a full song into a snippet. If you don’t have audio production software, open source sound editors such as Audacity work just fine for this purpose.

Open up your preferred audio production software, such as Logic or Cubase. Double click the desktop icon or select the program from the “Start” menu if using a PC or “Applications” folder if using a Mac. If you don’t yet have any production software, go to and click the download link next to your operating system logo, for example "Windows." When prompted, click “Install” to set up the Audacity program on your computer.

Import the song file. Click “File,” select “Import” and browse for the song file for which you want to produce a snippet. Click on the file to import it into the program.

Open up the sample editor. The sample editor represents the audio in a wave form. Loud parts are denoted by high peaks, quiet parts are denoted by lower or almost flat peaks. To open the sample editor in Logic, click on the “Sample Editor” tab at the bottom of the screen. In Cubase, double click on the audio file as it appears in the interface to open it as a wave form. In Audacity, all files automatically open as wave forms.

Play the song. Pause it when it reaches the part from which you want to create the snippet. Click “View” and select “Zoom in.”

Select the “scissors” tool from the tools menu. The scissors tool lets you split the audio into multiple sections by clicking on the waveform. Click the tool slightly to the left of where you want the snippet to start. Hit play and pause it again in the place where you want the snippet to finish. Click the scissor tool slightly to the right of where you want the snippet to end.

Delete the audio that appears before and after your snippet section to leave just the snippet.

Create a fade in. If using Logic or Cubase, select “Automation.” If using Audacity, select “Fade in.” Both applications function in the same way. A horizontal line will appear in the sample editor, illustrating the volume level of the audio. Click on the line at the point where you want the fade to reach full volume. Click on the left end of the line. This creates an automation curve. Drag the line to the bottom of the window. The automation tool creates a gradual slope between the quietest point and the loudest point. During playback, this creates a gradual increase in volume, otherwise called a fade in. Create a fade out at the end using the same method.


When finished, save the snippet as an MP3 file. These are smaller than standard audio files such as "wav" files and are easier to send via email.