Keeping a track muted when disabling "solo" on another track

Windows 10, Audacity 3.2.2

I have recorded several (61) tracks using microphones and line-out from digital instruments (keyboards). These all come with a load of noise. I then use Audacity’s effects to remove the noise, and add EQ or reverb, etc. as needed. These all modify the original, so you can’t (I think - please correct me if I am wrong) get back to the original.

I want to have the original audio kept in my project, so that if I ever decide to change the set of effects that I applied - perhaps I want to change the amount of reverb - I can go back to the original, and apply the new settings for the effects I want to use. So I create the original track, mute it, and create a duplicate to add effects to. If I ever want to go back to the original, I just create a new duplicate of the “original” track which was muted.

I have read forum posts suggesting “keep backups”, which is great advice, but then trying to remember which backup had the original version of which track becomes a pain for management. I would rather just keep the track in the correct place in the project, but not in use.

So essentially, I want to lock the track, so that it remains muted, and unused in the final mix/export. The trouble is that when I want to listen to a specific track, I can press “solo”, but then if I un-press “solo”, it unmutes all the tracks which I had intentionally muted. Audacity does not let me “undo” the “solo”, so I can’t get back to the original set of muted and unmuted tracks. Manually switching around the mute status of 60 tracks is far too laborious, and bound to end up with mistakes. The volume of a track cannot be set to 0, so a track cannot be silenced like that either. This all means that I cannot use “solo” unless I throw away my “original” (muted) tracks.

If there were a way to group tracks so that several of them could be muted and unmuted at once, it would be easy to group all the “original” tracks, and mute them at once after disabling “solo” mode on another track. However, while I found some wishlist requests for that, it seems not to have become reality (yet?).

Is there a way to lock a track so that it remains muted when disabling “solo” mode on another track?
Is there a better way to manage tracks so that the original can be regained even after effects like “noise reduction” have been applied?

Thanks for any advice.

Try using the “multi-track” behaviour for the Solo button.

Note also that you can mute / unmute “all tracks”, or “selected tracks” from the “Tracks” menu (see:

“Multi-track” solo! Perfect. Not at all obvious that it would work that way, but it’s exactly what I need; it restores the old mute/unmute status of all tracks afterwards. Thanks so much for the speedy reply.