Generate Tone + Generate Noise

Generate > Tone > OK > Generate > Noise > OK

That gives you two tracks, one above the other. One with tone and one with noise, right?

No, it actually replaces the tone with the noise. I’m sure there’s a work-around for this, but there shouldn’t need to be.


I depends on where the focus was before the second generate (and maybe even on the pref Tracks > Select all audio in project, even if none selected). (With the pref de-selected – OFF ) the first Generated audio is completely selected after creation and the enclosing track has focus. Effects, by default/design, always replace any selected material with the effected material. If you click somewhere in the first generated waveform (to deselct the track’s audio) then Generate, the newly generated material will be inserted at the cursor. If, instead, you click outside the track (so no track has focus) a new track will be created with the second Generate.

While a bit of a learning curve, I like the above process but would like a pref to turn off automatically selecting all generated audio–in fact, I will do that this week !

I depends on where the focus was before the second generate

Yes, so I found. Click anywhere else to lose the focus and it works as advertised. I’m trying to envision a condition where you would want a New Generate selected and sticky.

If you generate a signal by itself and then need to Do Something to it, like apply an effect, doesn’t Audacity default to the whole track anyway? It makes its own focus.

It might kill you if you generated a signal in the middle of a performance and then needed to change or modify it. You would want the focus to stick.

I’m aware this is a special condition, but then it failed, I tilted my head in the very best cocker spaniel look and said, “Wait, what just happened.” I routinely generate a test signal to try out an effect or filter in answer to a question. This time I needed two.

I immediately flew to generating a second, empty track and fill it with the new signal generation… But wait, I can’t… and it rapidly went downhill from there.

I don’t remember what the original poster’s question was.


No, only that section effected is selected.

Wait, were you testing the new Cross-Fade effect? Because this is exactly what happened to me, under the exact same circumstances!

But… as I thought about it, I think my suggestion is somewhere between “leave it as it is” and “I’m not sure what I want.” I think the usual case (whatever that may mean) is for someone to say “Generate Tone… no, wait, I meant Noise!” and this is currently doing the right thing. Ditto for “No, wait, I meant a different tone!” Then again, I really don’t know what’s “normal” for people using Generate Anything. You and I using it for testing aren’t really the “normal” cases, are we? I guess I’m willing to say that if someone is going to do any Generating at all, they’re expected to know what they want and specify that, and not rely on intuitive behavior, which varies from one person to the next. Thus it’s reasonable to require:

Generate > Tone > New Track > Generate > Noise (to get two tracks, one with tone and the other with noise)

Example - To “bleep out” a word:

  1. Select the word.
  2. Generate a bleep (tone).
  3. Amplify/fade-in/fade-out the bleep as required.

By default the noise/tone/silence generators will replace the current selection with the generated sound with exactly the same duration as the selection.

Example - To add silence to the beginning of tracks that have white space at the beginning (required by many users that wish to export multiple tracks from a multi-track project so that they can import them into another multi-track program without losing track synchronisation):

  1. Select a short section of white space at the beginning of the track.
  2. Generate > Silence.
    The silence replaces the white space without moving the rest of the track.

Tip - A quick method for generating one type of sound on one track and a different sound, but of equal duration and at the same time position in a new track:

  1. Generate the first sound as required.
  2. Control (Command) + D to duplicate the sound
  3. Double click on the duplicate sound (now only the duplicate sound is selected)
  4. Generate the second sound.

Tip - A quick method to generate a series of different sounds on the same track:

  1. Ctrl+shift+N (new track)
  2. Select the required duration for the first tone/noise
  3. Generate the tone/noise
  4. Hold down the shift key and click near the start of the current selection, then drag to the right until the new selection is formed, then release the mouse button.
  5. Generate the tone/noise.
    Repeat steps 4 and 5 as required.

Is this a feature request? Is it a bug? Or is it intended bahaviour - a “feature”?

If it’s a “feature” is it documented properly in the manual?


P.S. while testing this I found that generating a loud high frequency “chirp” is a great way to clear the cats from my room :smiley:

It appears to be a properly documented feature:

Thanks Steve, Ok - so I’ll move it from “Adding Features to Audacity” to “Audio Processing”.