Creating loops with metronome

Hi guys,

Back in the day, I used to use ACID to create sample loops and tracks.

When you imported / recorded a track, you could select part of it – then it would take you to device where it played your selection with a metronome behind it and looped it. You could shorten, lengthen and adjust the track if it jarred… until it looped nicely with the metronome.

Can you do that on Audacity? I’m new to it so finding it hard to do these things.


I’m using the latest Audacity – download the .exe a couple of days ago. Windows 7.


The old “Acid” program was great for looping as it had many useful features and clever technology specifically designed for the task. Audacity on the other hand is a more general audio editing tool. Looping is possible with Audacity, but much less convenient and quite awkward to work with.

Note that Acid was bough by Sony and is now available as “ACID Music Studio” (commercial, non-free product).

There are several ways that audio can be “stretched” in Audacity. See:

A “metronome” Click Track can be generated from the Generate menu:

If there are specific features that you would want adding to Audacity, feel free to post your suggestions in the Adding Features section of the forum:

Thanks, Steve. Would I be better then doing the loops using dedicated loop software?

And if so – are there any open source / freeware / shareware options that are any good?

It depends what you are trying to do.
If you are using commercial (purchased) loops, then they are probably at an exact pitch and bpm, in which case you can use the “Sliding Time Scale / Pitch Shift” effect to accurately stretch them as required.
Do you even need to use loops? Can the sounds be synthesized at the correct tempo and pitch? Can you use MIDI? How about live recording?

Yes, I can do live recording and intend to. But I also want to, for example, record a couple of bars of bass that repeats… and render it as a loop. That way I get a more accurate and consistent bass take throughout the song without having to play the thing for three minutes or whatever.

I don’t want to use commercial loops much – maybe the odd drum one – I want to create my own.

Probably the biggest drawback in Audacity for loop based music is that it does not have snapping to beats. That’s a feature request, I can add your vote if you’d like.
The closest that we have is a plug-in that I wrote that creates creates labels for bars and beats. The plug-in is available here:
Have a read through that post as that describes what the plug-in does and how to use it.
Instructions for installing are here:

For a free drum machine, have a look at Hydrogen:

Some other plug-ins that you may find useful: