Add New Track OTHER than at bottom...

I appreciate that, thank you. Honestly not trying to make anyone more work, but it would really save me a hunk of time over a year.

Hi Charlie,

I have added an enhancement request for this to our bugtracker:
Rendering a single track unnecessarily moves the track to project bottom

Don’t hold your breath though - we are a very small volunteer team and very short of developers - I’ll do what I can to canvass for this.

It is a very close cousin of these two: - rendering tracks - duplicating tracks


Hi Charlie, I hope you don’t mind if I come back to your first post.
You see, we have a problem in specifying the exact proposal.
First, you write about inserting the track below the selection but in the last sentence, you ask about a command for inserting below the focused track.
For certain commands, it is valuable to insert below the selection, e.g. if you render the selection to a new track.
However, adding a new track hasn’t any connection to tracks that might or might not be selected and I thus assumed instantly that you meant below the focused track.
Would you be so kind and give us your opinion to what you prefer or if you’re indifferent to either solution.
Thanks a lot.

Not at all, thank you. I apologize for the gap in response…been a long few months, if you know what I mean…

Huh. The problem seems to be I am not using the expected terminology. I have a project with fifteen mono tracks. I click on the control panel of the third track, and that control panel area darkens (classic theme; changes color in Light default theme, could turn polkadotted in someone’s theme, I suppose!). Is that track focused, selected, or both? Or if I click in the timeline of that track with or without selecting any audio, again is that track focused or selected, or both?

I was, admittedly, using focused and selected interchangeably in that first post, since to me, whenever the control panel area darkens that’s the track I’m directly working with. This is also simplistic, I know, since I can marquee or shift-select multiple tracks, but the same “are they selected or focused or both” question applies.

In the event the third track has its control panel area darkened because I am working within that track, I’d like to when selecting Add New Mono Track have it created in the fourth position dropping the other tracks downward, instead of it appearing in the sixteenth position and my having to manually scroll down, grab it by the CP, and drag it up to position four (with all the over/undershoots that generally entails). It is admittedly a little thing, but once you’ve done it twenty times or more for a single production it gets…old…

Again, I’m not certain I understand the difference between selected and focused when dealing on the track level. I just hope for some way, pretty much any way, to keep from having to always run to the bottom to grab the new tracks and then drag them up into position so I can perform the paste/insert/whatever operation to them.

We did fix this for Mix and Render

But, as yet, taking it further for adding new tracks (by various methods) is still under discussion - the subject of a proposal that I wrote:


Hi Charlie,

This approach might be faster.

Create a Macro that

  • changes the color of the track you want to duplicate (so it is more noticeable)

  • duplicate the track

  • fit to height

Run the macro and you end up with the new track at the bottom, the original track and new track are a different color, and you can see all tracks fit to the screen.

Create another Macro that moves the selected track up and assign the macro a shortcut key (like Alt+9). You could also program one of your mouse buttons to to be an Alt+9 if you have a programmable mouse (I use a logitech M720 with 8 programmable buttons that can be set differently for each application running).

Click on the bottom track (anywhere) and run the second macro - the bottom track moves up. Click on the track again and run the second macro again and the track moves up again. Keep doing that till the two colored tracks are together.

You could have also have a Macro that returns the track(s) to the original color. You would select the two colored tracks and run that macro.

Create Track.JPG
I think that this would be quicker than doing the drop down menu and selecting Move Track Up, … and the colored tracks help you to keep track of what’s moving where. If you had the keys on your mouse programmed to run the macros, you would just click on the track(s) and then click your mouse key - a much simpler (and quicker) motion than using two hands with the mouse AND the keyboard.

If the original track was originally closer to the top of the screen, you could have a macro like the first one above with the last command being “Move Focused Track to Top” and then you could have a another macro that moves the selected track down instead of up.

That might save quite a bit of time.


I guess I misunderstood the question - but if you were to color the track you want the new track to be below, then you wouldn’t miss it when you move the other track(s) up.

Am trying to actually keep up with this now, after leaving it sit for months. My appreciation for all the replies!

I really appreciate that. One question that would really help me grasp one difference:

Since we have changed this to be based on selection (and not on focus)

Is there any piece of documentation anywhere that explains the difference in the context of Audacity tracks between a/the selected track and a/the focused track?

I know where the track I want the new track under is, since I’m working on it (and while this is specific to my workflow and doesn’t apply to anyone else, the track currently being worked on is generally the only one with visible audio based on the zoom). Don’t really need to have the track colorized to find it. But to understand the issue, size your window so only 5-6 tracks are visible in a 16-track project (I have a relatively small monitor), work on the third track, now hit New Track. You drop to the bottom. You see if you can grab the control panel and drag it up and exactly stop in the fourth position without overshoorting, then undershooting, then…then…

Then do that 10 or more times every week, and you’ll see why I’m asking if this might someday happen. :wink:

Apologies for not being clear; I’m not duplicating any track. Just creating a new blank track. (It’s certainly applicable to most types of tracks as well…I can see it would be great for a label track created to limit sync-lock without needing to reposition from the bottom. But my main weekly production is a project with way too frelling many mono tracks.)

Oh, well, yeah, that’s why I’m dragging the track by the control panel - using the menu one position at a time would just be…painful. But you simply can not know ahead of time how many tracks are between the one you’re working on and the New Track placed at the bottom, so any macro/chain would inevitably fail.

Unless you use screen reader software, the important thing is the “selection”.

There are two parts to a selection:

  1. The track or tracks

  2. The time region.

  3. When a track is selected, the panel on the left end of the track becomes highlighted.

  4. When a time region is selected, the selected region is shown in the Timeline

  5. When an audio track is selected and there is a time selection, the selected region is highlighted in the track:
    First Track000.png
    When applying an edit or an effect, it is applied to the selected audio.
    When applying “track commands” (such as mixing tracks or resampling tracks), the commands are applied to the selected tracks.

See this section that I added for the 2.4.2 Manual:



did you try the track color suggestion that Mike made earlier in this thread.

I thought that was a useful idea.


Charlie and Peter,

One more try.

You could use macros to help by maybe having multiple macros each connected to a keyboard shortcut. The macro would look like the one below which puts focus on the last track and then moves it up 3 spots. You could do separate macros for moving up 1,2,3,4, …

A couple issues I came across are as follows:

  • If you have focus on the last track (which happens just after a track is created), the first execution of the macro only moves the track up one track (a bug to be reported ???), even if there are multiple move up commands in the macro. So then the macro won’t work again since executing it a second time puts focus on the last track, not the new track that has already moved up one spot. So you need to make sure that before you execute the macro that focus IS NOT on the last track.

  • Once you execute the macro, focus shifts to the first track (an unexpected shift in my opinion) and so you would need to complete the correct number of move up commands in one execution of the macro. Which means you would need to know how many tracks to move up and you would need to have enough macros to accommodate the number of move up you want to do.

Without the few minor glitches above, moving a newly created track to the proper position could be as simple as a keyboard shortcut.

Would there be a way to write an effect in Nyquist code that knows the track number you are on, knows the last track number, and can move the last track up based on the difference between the last and current track numbers? Or does Nyquist just act on a selected piece of audio?


A “normal” Nyquist effect acts on the selected audio, but there are also “Nyquist Macros” (see:
Note that this is an area of active development and the documentation is still being written.

See this topic:
The plug-in “trackmove.ny” moves the bottom track up to one below the track that currently has focus. Feel free to adapt the plug-in to suit your needs. If you get stuck, start a new topic on this forum:

Charlie and all,

I think Steve’s last post addresses exactly what Charlie was looking for. Insert a new track, select the track you want the new track to be below, execute the Nyquist command to move the Track Here. It worked for me.


Actually, no…I specifically limited my question to the context of the track level, not the audio in the track. So “selecting” a track means what I thought it did. Now to deal with focus…

Son of a gun…I have been using Audacity for a very very long time, but until you mentioned it in the linked manual section, I never noticed the yellow border! It’s there clear as day, but I swear I never saw it before today.

That said, you defined a focused track exactly the way Steve defined a selected track…yellow border and all. So I still don’t understand the difference here. But I suspect for the purposes of this discussion, it is a difference without a distinction.

No, primarily because the change in color seems to be a visual indication which track the operator wants the new track to be under. I don’t need that. I already know. Using a macro to change its color if I have to manually drag the new track anyway seems…redundant.

This seems even more complicated, requiring one to count tracks constantly.

Wait…what now?

(Rushing to topic; discovering it is an older topic asking exactly the same question in my OP even through I swear I searched first, although as noted in the OP I have trouble searching for phrases here; scroll down to find trackmove.ny, download and drop it into the plugin folder to the portable Audacity I use for testing stuff out, run Audacity, enable it, and start playing around…)

Well ain’t that a thing?

It is an excellent workaround, but it is only that - since creating a new track causes the focus (selection, whatever) to switch to the new track dragging the window with it, one needs to manually scroll back up where one was, select the previously-working track, and then Move Track here…but it does avoid all the blasted overshooting and sticks the track where it’s needed, so I will certainly be using it.

Still, I’m not sure it, “addresses exactly what Charlie was looking for,” since there still are manual adaptations required. I would surely appreciate the proposal Peter wrote and linked-to above be considered. Seems sensible to have a New Track be created where one is working, not the very bottom of the project.

Thank you everyone!

  1. Launch Audacity
  2. Generate a tone
  3. Duplicate the track
  4. Click on the first track (the track is selected)
  5. Press the “down” cursor key (focus moves down to the second track. The first track is still selected)
  6. Press “Enter”. The second track has been added to the track selection.

While I didn’t create anything, I used one of my multitrack projects to perform the select track/down arrow. So the focus is now on the second track, implying the darkened control panel denotes “selected” and the yellow border denotes “focused.”

Ok, got that, good so far. But what good exactly is the difference? If I copy audio to the clipboard, select track two (currently selected and focused), hit the down arrow and focus track three (with track two still selected), then hit Paste, it pastes in track two. The focused track even loses focus, which returns to track two.

So, and I’m being sincere since I can not understand the difference, what exactly is the point of a track having the focus if the selected track will have any actions performed upon it anyway?

Q1. What’s the difference between focused and selected?

As you have seen, when performing an edit (“paste”) it is the selected track that is altered. The same is true when applying effects.
That’s the difference.

Q2. Why is track focus necessary at all?

Imagine that you are unable to use a mouse, touchpad or other “pointing device” and can only operate Audacity via a keyboard (as would be the case if you were blind, or possibly had severe arthritis). “Focus” allows you choose which tracks to select or un-select.

Got it, and thank you for the elegant explanation.

(Still embarrassed I never noticed the yellow border, which of course now I can’t not see… :wink:

I wrote a plug-in to add a label track directly below the current track and posted about it in this other thread: Why Are New Tracks Always Added to the End? You Should be Able to Add Them After the Selected Track, including some thoughts on how to change the plug-in to add a different kind of track. Figured I’d post back here since this was how I found the other thread!