Import and synch multiple files, automatically


I expect to update to Audacity 2.3.3, if appropriate, on my old Windows 8.1.

Sorry, my pc is on the fritz at the moment, but in the meantime, I am wondering if the following are possible.

  1. Is it possible to import multiple files, all at once, into separate tracks in audacity?

I know how to import one file at a time, but I have in mind something like selecting multiple files, and dragging them in, each in its own track.

  1. Assuming there is a common audio marker at the beginning of each imported file (like four quarter note clicks), is there a way to line up (synchronize) all the tracks using these markers? Each track might have a different amount of (presumably) silent lead time before these markers.

I think it’s possible to do this step manually, and get the tracks fairly close, but I envision up to 16 to 24 files, and would like to have this automated, with the precision that’s possible with audio feature recognition in Audacity, if it exists.

  1. Is it possible to automate steps (1) and (2)? I expect I will have to do this many times in the coming weeks.

Why? I’m thinking of using this to create merged audio files created by middle school students at home, and giving them a sense of doing music “together” in our current hunkering down lives.

If this could be done quickly (each student would record and then send his or her file to a common dropbox), I can imagine a system where the combined file could be exported to students in short order, perhaps several times in one class session. Not quite in real time, and especially not as good as, or a replacement for the real thing (there wouldn’t be the immediate feedback between students that happens in real time rehearsals or performance), but it might be better than nothing, and these students never having the opportunity to get a sense of what playing together in an ensemble feels and sounds like.

Just trying to think out of the box, within our current challenging limitations.

It’s been a while since I used Audacity; I don’t even recall if there’s a macro or scripting language that could be used.



Yes. “File menu > Import > Audio” and select the files that you want to import (the files must be in the same directory to be able to select multiple files).

You can trim silence from the ends of tracks using “Truncate Silence” (Truncate Silence - Audacity Manual)
You can then apply “Align Together” (to bring all the start times to the same time), then “Align to Zero” (to move the start times to the beginning of the project (Tracks Menu: Align Tracks - Audacity Manual)

Not easily, though as it only requires about 4 mouse clicks …