Delete multiple 'blank space'


Sorry if i’m using the wrong names for things.

I have an hour or so long recording. I remove multiple ‘clips’.
Now i have ‘gaps’ which are called ‘blank space’ on the “Detach at Silences CTRL + ALT + J” section
(there is a reason i need to keep the gaps and not have the clips automatically move left)

I’m aware I can move each clip left one at a time with the timeshift tool.
But how can i move all of the individual clips to the left, closing all of the gaps?

I don’t want to ‘truncate silence’, I want to move all the clips to left, butt up against each other.

Thank you very much for taking the time to read and any help you offer.

Why don’t you want to use “Truncate Silence”?

Because the clips are just as I’ve edited them, with the correct amount of space. I don’t want that changed. I just want the clips ‘pushed’ together.
At the moment I’m moving them to the start one by one with the timeshift tool. Perhaps there is no other way to do it??
I’m having difficulty describing the situation perhaps. What do you recommend with the truncation tool?? The settings seem way over complicated for what i want, which is to timeshift the clip, as it is, to ‘yellow line’ behind the previous clip, that’s it… but do all the clips simultaneously (because there are hundreds)

Thank you for responding

Do you mean that you have clips that start/end with silence, and there are “gaps” (empty “white space”) between the clips, and that you want to close the “gaps” but retain the “silence” that is within the clips?

If so, a crucial factor is: Are the “silences” (within the clips) “absolute silence”, or just “very quiet audio” (room tone)?
If you’re unsure, select a bit of the “silence” and then open the Amplify effect. What settings does the Amplify effect have when you open it? (to close the Amplify effect, just click the “Cancel” button).

I’m making it sound more complicated than it is (by lack of skill in explaining).
Normally, when selected audio is deleted, the audio to the right of the newly deleted selction moves left (closes the gap). I want to ‘close all the gaps’ that have created by cutting out the sections of audio.

The selections i’m cutting out are the translations of a talk. But because i want to keep both the original and the translation, i don’t want to just delete it (so as to ‘close the gap’ on the first language).

======= is the first language
+++++++ is the second laguage
00000 is the removed language
original file is this
===+++++++=====++++++++====+++++++==== audio (this represents one audio file)
===00000000=====000000000====00000000==== (this represents the newly edited clips)
0000+++++++00000 +++++++00000 +++++++0000

i want to make them like this
======================= (one file)
++++++++++++++++++++++ (other file)

Did you want to avoid creating a gap when you deleted?

If you just use Delete key there should not be any gaps. Were you using Edit > Remove Audio > Split Delete in error, which creates a space where you delete? If so, Truncate Silence is what you want to remove the spaces.

Truncate Silence - Audacity Manual.


Imagine an unsliced loaf of bread. The loaf represents the audio i start with. I then want to slice the bread. Each slice representing each audio section. I then take out every second piece and place them on another track. I then want to push the loaf slices back together on both loaves, removing the space created. Im left with two half loaves. Does that help?

If the truncate silence is still what i need, what am i to do with all the setting to do what I want?

Thank you for trying to help

So did you do that by Cut and Paste?

From what you have written, click somewhere that is not a button or slider in the Track Control Panel of the first track (for example, above the Mute/Solo buttons). This selects all that track. Use Truncate Silence.

Set “Truncate to” to 0 seconds. If no truncation happens after running the effect, open the effect again and reduce the value in the “Duration” box.

If some of the speech gets truncated, set “Threshold” to a higher negative dB value (such as -40 dB instead of -20 dB).

Then click somewhere that is not a button or slider in the Track Control Panel of the second track and use Truncate Silence.

If that does not help, post a screenshot of the project so we can see what you mean. Please see here for how to attach files:


Hopefully the picture explains my situation

the first track I’ve moved one at a time. the second track now needs moving.

Thank you
audacity clips.png

Truncate Silence looks perfect for that.
“Level:” -80 dB
“Duration:” A bit less than the smallest gap. From the image it looks like all gaps are more than 10 seconds, so a setting of “10” would do.
“Truncate Detected Silence” (choice menu)
“Truncate to:” 0.0 seconds

OK, great. Could you please convert your settings to work on this window??
I’ve been thinking there would be something very straight forward to do this. Sorry for all the confusion.
truncate silence.png

I’m trying the effect but I’m not able to close the gaps. Any suggestions?

No, that’s an ancient version and it can’t close up the gaps completely.
The current version of Audacity is available here: Audacity ® | Downloads

This is why we ask in the pink panel at the top of the page for your exact version of Audacity and exact version of Linux. :wink:

If you need help updating Audacity, please tell us your exact Linux version. It looks like Ubuntu but your profile says “other” Linux.


Thank you for clearing that up. I really don’t know much about the cumputerisationing. I found it’s a ubuntu 14.04 LTS. not sure where that fits in with the other details. So are you saying if I want to close the gaps automatically I’ll need to upgrade stuff?

And thanks again, Gale. You and Steve have reduced my head pain :slight_smile:

I changed your profile to *buntu.

You have not said what exact Audacity version. You can check at Help > About Audacity… .

Truncate Silence in Audacity 2.0.5 assuming that is what you have can only truncate to 1 millisecond. You won’t hear that gap (unless truncation creates a click) but you will see it if you zoom in. The -80 dB threshold will cause truncation to fail in that version.

There may be some edge cases where truncation fails. You can’t rely on it working.

If you still want to try it, change Min silence duration to 10000 and Max silence duration (which is the “resulting silence”) to 1. The “Silence compression” value doesn’t matter in your case. Set Threshold to -75 dB.

If you want Audacity 2.1.2 which has the Truncate Silence Steve and I were referring to, use “Ubuntu Software Centre” to remove Audacity 2.0.5 (assuming that is what you have) and install the Audacity 2.1.2 for Ubuntu 14.04 PPA from


Thanx that really works :wink: