Insert time at the beginning of multiple track file [SOLVED]

I have a song file with 30+ tracks and need to insert 10 seconds at the start of all of the tracks. I tried selecting all tracks (ctrl A) which highlights all tracks grey and then using time shift function f5 with left/right arrow cursor showing as normal but nothing would move. Is there a preference setting I have missed?
I tried copying all the tracks to a new file with inserted time gap at the start but only one track would paste. I tried sync lock all tracks but nothing would move. My apologies if this has been solved by the forum before but a search did not find answer that would work for me.


Win 7 Home Premium
Audacity 2.1.2

A standard audio file is only two channels. So it can’t contain 30 Audacity tracks one on top of each other - the song tracks must be following along one after the other, in one stereo Audacity track. Correct? Or have you already split the single file into 30 Audacity tracks standing on top of each other that you have to scroll up and down to see?

If you only have the one Audacity track, then doing the operation manually is fine. You can click at the first break between songs, Generate > Silence of 10 seconds, Edit > Copy the silence, click at the next song break, then Edit > Paste. Click at the next break and paste again.

If you want to use Time Shift Tool, click at each song break then CTRL + I (as in first person singular) to split, then you can drag rightwards with Time Shift Tool.

If there are silences between the song breaks you can extend the silences in one step with this plugin: Extend Silences.

If you really have 30 tracks on top of each other, click in the top track, HOME, hold SHIFT and hold DOWN arrow until you have selected in the bottom track. Then generate or paste silence.


Puzzling. I’d expect that to work. Is it just that one project that has the problem? If you make a new small test project, does the procedure work?

Note: with the Time Shift tool selected, you need to click and drag over part of an audio clip. Clicking and dragging over “empty space” will do nothing, even if that empty space is selected.

That shouldn’t be necessary if the entire project is selected (Ctrl+A), but it is still necessary to drag from within an audio clip (not in a space between clips).

If Mark on the roof has an Audacity project with tracks stacked on top of each other, please don’t forget that the tracks will play all together unless they are time shifted to start one after the other. Just in case it isn’t clear.

It always helps to say whether you have a project file (AUP) or WAV or whatever.


Sorry if I wasn’t clear. Yes my current song has 30+ stereo tracks. I have lots of ancillary sound samples and some tracks have just one sample on it. I want to be able to move the samples around before my final mixdown to a single stereo track without affecting other samples placement hence my clumsy multi tracked AUP project.
Anyway… I with so much open space on my sample tracks, I was clicking on open space. As soon as I clicked on a sample as suggested it all moved together and I now have my space at the start! I feel like an idiot!

Thanks for your rapid response, I can now finish my project.


It was clearer in your first post in someone else’s topic, but at the time I had not read that. :wink:

Also I see even if you drag from over a clip, Time Shift with Sync-Lock Tracks enabled only shifts clips in other tracks if those clips overlap with other clips, unless you select over the non-overlapping clips and drag from inside the selection. The Manual is not clear about this so it looks like I had better edit that.

This seems unintuitive to me. If I actually did not want to shift all clips, I would have expected to turn Sync-Lock off.