Changing the Click Track sound

Is there a way to change the tone used for the Click Track in Audacity? Instead of the default sound, I’d like to use a sound I have in wav or mp3 format. Either the UREI click tone or Pro Tool’s Marimba 1 & 2.

Sorry you did not receive a reply before now.

I am not a Nyquist programmer but on principle I think you could modify Click Track to use a file using a similar method to that employed in Drum Machine . You can open that plug-in in a text editor to view the method.


Click Track currently has a choice of three click types: ping, noise or tick.
The click sound can be further modified by adjusting the “Noise click resonance” and the “MIDI pitch number”.

There is currently no provision for custom audio files to be used and it would be difficult to implement because Click Track is a “Nyquist Plug-in” and this type of plug-in has no facility for file browsing, thus specifying a file to use would require that the user enters a fully qualified file name to the file. As many users probably don’t know what a “fully qualified file name” is, that would probably be asking too much of many users.

An alternative approach that could be implemented is where the Click sound is read by the plug-in by selecting the desired sound in an audio track. Unfortunately this is not quite straightforward either because Click Track has been written as a Generator, but Generators are not able to read audio from the selection. Thus it would be necessary to rewrite the plug-in as an “Effect” rather than a “Generator”.

If what is required is an effect that creates a click track from the selected audio and we can get rid of some of the other options that are in Click Track, then it would probably be easier to code a new plug-in from scratch

I notice that at 800x600 screen resolution (the lowest we support) there is no more room to add extra fields to Click Track.

I don’t think many of the current fields are dispensable, but probably “Noise click resonance” is.

I think making Click Track an effect would be as confusing in its way as asking user to enter a fully qualified path for the file name.

What do you think about turning this into a C++ built-in generator? Then you could have a file browser and you could make the effect more compact e.g. no need for MIDI pitch of strong and weak clicks to take two lines.


I think this is the first time that this question has come up on the forum, which would suggest that most users find the available range of sounds to be sufficient. Click Track has been tweaked a few times over the years - It now works well and there are few forum questions about it, so I don’t see any need to replace it.

However, for the benefit of users like Brookshire that want a custom “click”, I have posted a new “Effect” plug-in that creates a click track from the selected audio. I have called the effect “Metronome looper” and it is available here:


The “Metronome Looper” is exactly what I needed!

Thank You, Thank You, Thank You!!!

That’s probably another case where my inbox / feedback@ is a little different. It’s quite a common question (every month I guess on average) that people ask how to change the sound. It probably suggests the sound isn’t particularly like a metronome (which is true, but only a few of them have actually said a metronome sound is what they want). No-one has asked before to use a file.

It sounds to me like you may have created an “easy drum machine” into the bargain. :sunglasses:

PS I think “semi-tones” is a bit non-standard :wink:


Personally I quite like the default “ping”, though I think the “noise” option is a bit lame.

If we know what sound users want then I think that the best option would be to rip out the “noise” option (and the “Noise resonance” control as it is only used with the “noise” tick) and to add some alternative tick sounds that users like. Nyquist is an incredibly powerful synthesizer (amongst its other tricks) so there is no reason that we need to settle for lame sounds.

@ Brookshire, perhaps you could help us here by posting the sound that you are now using. See here for how to post audio samples to the forum:

The hardest thing about a Nyquist drum machine is creating a useful interface with only the few available control widgets. The familiar row of 16 switches is a non-starter.

I like to be different :wink:

Here are the click tones I use.

The UREI tone, I believe, is from the old UREI model 964 Digital Metronome. It’s been used as a click tone for decades. Not saying it is a favorite of mine, it’s just familiar.

The combination of Marimba 1 & 2 tones is my current favorite. They are from Pro Tools. I use Marimba1 on beat one and Marimba2 on the rest. Cuts through pretty well and it’s comfortable to listen to in a live setting at fairly high levels with in-ear-monitors.

This is a sample of the Marimba click track I just created with “Metronome Looper” using the Marimba2.wav file.

PITCH SHIFT FIRST BEAT=3.0 (to match marimba1)

Thanks Brookshire, most helpful.

Here is my first shot at a “traditional wooden metronome” synthesized in Nyquist.

And a synthesized click based on Brookshire’s Marimba click:

A metallic tick:

I circulated your sounds and some of my own which I think are even more traditional to some of the people who wrote. They could vote +0.5 , +1. -0.5 or -1. I had five replies so far.

Soft wood metronome +4
Soft wood metronome with bell +3
Grandfather clock + 1
Metallic -0. 5 (one said it was “like being shot”)
Trad wooden +2
Brookshire marimba +0.5

I also asked to vote on the sound difference for the strong beat.

No difference +3
Slightly louder or slightly pitched same sound +2
Much louder or greatly pitched same sound -0.5
Different sound +3


I like the “Soft Wood” sound.

There are many situations where it is essential that the first beat is distinguishable from the other beats, so that must at least be an option.

I agree, though a bell may be taking realism a bit far.