How to automatically insert silence periodically (Med Use)

I would like to insert about two minutes of silence for every 10 seconds of sound content. I would like this to be done automatically since the sound content is a bit long (20 minutes).Automation will be helpful since I’d like to do this again for several different types of sound content. Is this possible?

What would be more ideal is to gradually increase the duration of sound content and silence with time automatically. For example first 10 seconds of sound, two minutes of silence first. Then 101.1 seconds of sound and 21.1 minutes of silence and so on. not sure if that’s possible without some sort of script input which I don’t know if audacity has.

MOTIVATION: I am using audacity to process sounds that are problematic for people like myself who suffer from chronic hyperacusis (e.g. voices, dishes, door slams, music). the sounds are introduced at low-volume and gradually increased in volume over a period of weeks. One problem with this disorder is that introducing new sounds results in heightened attention to the sounds which can result in ear pain for even soft sounds (one component to the pain is psychological tension (central) another component is purely external stimulus and physiological vulnerability (peripheral). This focuses on the tension component). It is important to gradually build comfort to problematic sounds so that trust can be built and ear pain reduced. By starting off with this 10 seconds on, two minutes off, the person should be more relaxed and accepting of this new sound for the introduction period. After familiarity and boredom builds to the new sound environment, the sound will be adjusted to be on at all times. I choose long sound content as repetitive sound could become annoying quickly.

Mac OS 10.12.5
Audacity 2.1.3

This is difficult to do in Audacity because the resulting track will be so long (over 4 hours).

How do you intend to play the track? (far too long for a CD)

One approach could be to label 10 second segments and export each segment as a separate track (see: Also create a 2 minute silent track and export that as a separate file. Then create a play list ( for an MP3 player to alternate between track segments and the silent track.

Interesting idea. Looks like I have to manually label rather than automatically label to split the sound content. Certainly seems like it will do the job And perhaps even faster than manually inserting silences. I’m playing this through a microSD card so no concerns on space (I think).I have never used chains but wondering if possibly a chain can be set up for this instead to help with automation. Is that possible or a useful approach in your opinion?

If you want labels every 10 seconds, you can use “Regular Interval Labels”

If you are using a play list, then you only need 1 “two minute silence” track, rather than 120 of them, so that will save a lot of space, especially if you’re using a compressed format like MP3 or Ogg.

Making the play list will need to be done mostly manually, though copy and paste in a text editor should speed things up.

This looks promising. Thank you!