Create 20 or 30 sec Audio Samples


I’m a nube here. Wanting to know how to go about loading mp3s and then enmasse creating a 20 to 30 sec sound clip of each track. So appreciate telling me how to do this if possible in Audacity.

We can’t do it en masse, but you may be able to do it one at a time automatically. Audacity has a Batch program called Chains.

Write the steps and Audacity will automatically do the work and place the new clips in a separate folder.


Is the 20 or 30 seconds all of the imported file or are you choosing 20 seconds at the start, at the end or somewhere else?

Chains doesn’t have any built-in commands that specify the selection, though there are a few plugins you can add to Audacity that let you specify lengths relative to start or end. You can choose those plugins as a Chain command.


20 seconds at the beginning of each file.

OK then install this plugin and add it to a Chain.

See here for how to install Nyquist plugins:



Thanks! You are awesome. Works perfectly. I do wish however there was a way to do this enmasse. The process is a life saver but I wish it could be a time saver to!

It will be slow because Audacity has to import the waveforms one by one, but you can do it unattended provided Audacity doesn’t stop because it needs to ask you about the sample rate to use.

Make sure the files you want to process are all in the same folder then choose File > Apply Chain…, select the Chain you made and click “Apply to Files…”.

Are you exporting as MP3 in your Chain? If so you’re degrading the quality a little, because MP3 is a lossy format and Audacity must re-encode. You may be able to use mp3DirectCut which would trim the files losslessly. It has some batch processing ability but I don’t know if the batch processing includes the exact command you need to trim from the start. Older versions didn’t have a suitable batch command.