how to move selected region the distance of its own length?


I’m wondering if there’s a way to easily move a selected region to the left or right
by a distance of its own length?

Edit: I want to just move the selection region, not the audio material itself.

I’m exploring making loops of bits of recordings that I make.

I select a region that covers the exact length of the first beat of the loop.
Then in order to have exactly equidistant beats for the next three beats in a four beat loop,
I’d love to have a key combination that would just move that selected region to
the right three times, thus positioning the end of the now moved region
exactly at the end of the four beat loop.

I think this process would solve the problem of getting loops to loop
with exact precision timing (assuming the first beat was selected accurately).

Thanks for any ideas on this,


Copy the region and the End > Paste. Something like that.


Sorry, I had put in this edit to my question a few moments after I posted it.

I’m referring not to the audio that is selected, but to the selection region itself.

Like the region that’s referred to in Edit> Region Save/Restore

I’d love a submenu there that says something like:

Move Left by Region’s Length
Move Right by Region’s Length
Shift Region Left> put in time
Shift Region Right> put in time

Thanks for any ideas,


How about creating a label track with equidistant labels?
When selecting (click and drag) from one label position to the next, you should notice a weak “snap” to the label position and a yellow vertical line appear.

Oh nice, thanks…I hadn’t considered that.

Yes, I can check the length of the first beat in ms,
then place the cursor at the beginning of the first beat,
select area from cursor to just past end of intended loop,
then Analyze> Regular Interval Labels and input the
interval length ,in this case the length of one beat,
then let number of labels be one more than number of beats,
add final label yes, then OK, then click on last label and drag selection
to first label to get the whole four beat loop I want. Then
Shift+Space to check the loop. So far works nicely.

By the way, the weak “snap” to the label position is really
a great idea. So very helpful.

Note that for the loop to sound right on with this method
generally it’s best to work with short loops if recorded live,
because any variations in tempo over time make it so loops
will sound rushed or lagging when loop end goes back to loop beginning.
If recording was done with metronome it’s not a problem.

Also for this method to work it’s essential that the measurement
of the individual beats are exact. Otherwise over the course of
a few labels the inaccurate initial single beat measurement will be
multiplied, and the loop end to loop beginning will sound rushed of lagging.

Perhaps this has been asked before but are their any beat detection
tools in Audacity? Or Plugins? To perhaps help one determine the
average length of individual beats in any give rhythmic audio file?

The trickiest part of all this method is getting the exact length of one beat.
If I had a fast and easy way to do that, then making loops that loop really
well would be really easy now.

Thanks again,


Audacity has Analyze > Beat Finder… . Perfect for labelling beats in a Click Track, but it isn’t very reliable for real music.

The are some Vamp Analysis Plug-ins that do beat detection but I don’t think they are very greatly more accurate.


Analyze > Beat Finder…um, yes, not exactly working so well to show the beats.
I’m not sure how to get that to work well in finding anything accurately yet.

Oh nice, yes, the Vamp Plugins. I did not know about those. Never tried them.
But now that you mention it, I browsed them a bit and found one that works great to detect beats.

Vamp Aubio plugins
Paul Brossier
(I scrolled down to get the windows zip file)
Took me a while to figure out how to install them.
Put in the environment path thing and restarted Audacity, works fine.
I temporarily grouped effects by publisher, then
with a 5 second tabla percussion .wav file loaded into Audacity,
went to Analyze> Paul Brossier, Chris Cannam> Aubio Onset Detector
then adjusted the Peak Picker Threshold from 0.3 to 0.5, OK
and the results,as shown thes screen captures is quite fantastic.
The label track shows that so many of these labels are right on the beats.
Pretty amazing. Thanks for the tip to check Vamp Plugins.
Thanks very much for the ideas,