Originally Posted by smhillis
Well I have 13 tracks and for most of them after the song is over, after some silent time has passed, I have a song/skit or something that I want to kick in, but I want these hidden tracks to be skipped over by the CD player. I would also like to be able to customize the length of silence between each track/hidden track. For example in one instance I want the next numbered track to start immediately after a hidden track with no silence at all.
In other words, you want material to play between the end of one track and the beginning of another. I have a few CDs that do this - the first album by Sigue Sigue Sputnik actually has "advertisements" between some tracks. When one track ends, on my CD player the number for the next track will appear, but the time indicator will show a negative value, that counts to zero, at which point the actual track will kick in. But you can never jump right to the start of one of these ads, you have to play or fast-forward to the end of the preceding track.
That kind of thing is extremely easy to do in CD Architect - you can lay all your individual song files out on a timeline and then push around track start and end markers to create the kind of gaps you're thinking of. But like I said earlier, it is a bit pricey.
The trickier, but very free method, is to place all of your music in a single WAV file, just like you want it to play as a CD. For technical reasons, you'll also need to insert two seconds of silence at the very beginning of your WAV, before you want the CD to start. Once you have that arranged exactly like you want it, you can create a CUE sheet.
The best way to see how a CUE sheet works is to get something like Exact Audio Copy or some other CD ripper and extract it from some CD. Then open up the CUE sheet in a text editor (it is basically a simple text file) and take a look. You will see a list of tracks and their start and stop times. What you can do is, with a text editor, make the same kind of list for your own WAV file, and manually enter in the start and stop times for each track. That way you can create instantaneous track gaps, with no space between tracks, or gaps of many minutes, if you like.
It can be tricky dealing with a lot of time codes like this, since you have to figure out each start and stop time in relation to the entire WAV - track 1 will start at two seconds in, track 2 might start at 4 minutes, track 3 at 8 1/2 minutes, and so on. If your times are off, you'll of course wind up burning a disc that has mismatched start and end times. Plus if you make a typo or arrange the CUE sheet wrong, it may not work at all. But you can always go back and edit the CUE sheet to fix that.
You will need to save the CUE sheet with a filename that is exactly like the filename of the WAV, only with a different extension. So if your WAV is myalbum.wav, you need the CUE sheet to be myalbum.cue.
Most CD burner programs I know of should then treat the .CUE file as something they can burn to disc. It uses the .CUE file as a guide and then pulls the audio data from the .WAV file. Since it burns from one single WAV file, it doesn't need to even think about 2-second gaps between tracks. The CUE sheet just declares the track points as it burns, and that's it.
Like I said, it's a lot of tricky work, but it works with most burners and programs I know.