Adding measures & beats to the timeline set at the project tempo.

Features suggestion:

1 Add measures and beats to the timeline, to replace the time in seconds if you press a button or make it shown directly underneath (at the set project tempo, also allowing the user to set the displayed beats per measure 4/4 etc)

2 Additionally, make it so the start of clips can ‘snap’ to the nearest beat or measure (quantise) when dragging them.


1 Audacity is similar to Audition but Audition doesn’t have this feature so having it would make Audacity best in class. Which is the vibe :sparkles:

2a When combined with the new clips feature, the start of clips could quantise to measures / beats on the new timeline, this would make arranging basic demos from recordings extremely easy.

2b. No more faffing about creating a tempo click track and worrying that the start of the clip isn’t in exactly the right position and will be off time or get more and more off time as the playback goes on. Which is not the vibe.:x:

3 People have been asking for this feature for years but it was decided it was feature creep and that Audacity wasn’t a synthesiser/beatmaker/DAW. The Muse team seem thoughtful about giving users what they want though (clips, non destructive editing, midi etc). This feature won’t make Audacity bloated and will make putting together demos easy.


I will first produce the linear dB scale > and beat / bar timeline> , as well as waveform display options described here.

I agree that this would be a very useful feature, though as a past member of the Audacity team I don’t think that “feature creep” is the reason that this feature was not added previously. I think the actual reasons are that it is hard to do well, and there were no developers wanting to take it on due to other priorities.

The most simple case of just providing a single fixed tempo with a fixed “beats per bar”, is probably not too difficult, but adding that in a way that is not extensible could create a barrier to a more flexible solution. Beyond typical “pop” genres, it is common for music to vary the tempo, and sometimes the number of beats per bar. Also, a “bars and beats” timeline should work with MIDI (“Note Tracks”) as well as audio.

There’s also the issue of providing a GUI to conveniently select an arbitrary number of beats per bar (complex time signatures are common in many kinds of “non-western” music). I doubt that this would be particularly difficult, though it is another non-trivial feature that has to be considered when adding support for beats and bars.

Try Billie Holiday or Charlie Parker as excellent examples :sunglasses:


That was posted today as well! How long have you known he’s doing that? Does he post here? I am happy to test this on windows 10 if you let him know if he’s in contact with you. If he provides binaries I will test it

I agree that it was probably lack of developer time to do it, I was going on posts I Google searched about this - many posts described it as a no because “audacity isn’t a sequencer” etc (feature creep). So I was going on previous feedback I could find

Many of the older feature requests are logged on the Audacity wiki. This one has been in the “most frequently requested” section for a long time:
(it seems that it was first added to the wiki in 2013 :astonished: )

This is part of the GSoC process, its timeline being here:
As a GSoC student, he’ll post weekly updates on how he’s doing on the website, so you should get to know quite quickly if there’s anything to test

If you want to chat with him, you usually can find him on the dev discord,

I will try to DM him on discord