Leading blank space is not treated as silence on Export Multiple

Contrary to what the release notes say, leading blank space is not treated as silence when exporting multiple tracks.

Ubuntu 18.04
Audacity 2.3.3 installed from the Ubuntu archive :
audacity/bionic,now 2.3.3-0build1~ubuntu18.04 amd64

How to reproduce :

  • import two tracks ;
  • move one slightly to the right so it doesn’t start at 0:00:00 ;
  • File > Export > Export Multiple
    The track that was “offseted” has no silence at the beginning, hence it is no longer aligned when re-imported.

Thanks for the great work !

As long as one track began at 0:00:00 the offset should be preserved when the mix is exported.
However exporting the offset track alone will not insert silence at the beginning.
A workaround is to generate a tiny bit of silence at the start of the offset track, e.g. 1ms, or even 1 sample,
then silence will fill the offset when exported.

Quick correction and more info :

  • my version was installed from ppa:ubuntuhandbook1/audacity and not from the ubuntu archive, apologies for that mistake.
  • I tested the 3.3.2 snap and it doesn’t preserve blank space either on multiple track export.

When using Export Multiple based on tracks, ensure that any tracks with leading empty space have a bit of “Silence” at the beginning of the track (https://manual.audacityteam.org/man/silence.html)

yes, I know that, that’s what I’ve been doing for, like, ever :slight_smile:

But, on the 2.3.3 release notes, one can read :

Leading blank space treated as silence on Export

For this release we have added a feature where by default when exporting audio any leading blank space in the tracks or project to be exported is treated as silence and appropriate leading silence will pad the exported audio.

And, well… either it doesn’t work, or, I’m doing something wrong - which is not unheard of !

That’s why I posted this message here, as kind of a bug report, but maybe it’s not the right place ? In which case, I’d be happy to repost, if someone can point me in the right direction.

It doesn’t work.

Thank you. I was a bit short of time when I wrote my previous reply.
I tested the feature and found that it didn’t work, so I’ve logged it on the Audacity bug tracker.

For what it’s worth, the Preference setting does work for normal Export, and I believe it “should” work for “Export Multiple”, but it doesn’t.

Thanks ! I shall wait for a new release then.


Sorry to revive an old thread… but I’ve been trying to track down a bug where “Export Multiple” leaves leading space on files. I have a feeling it’s the “feature” requested here that’s the cause.

I am running Audacity 2.4.2 (tried building 3.0.2… but compile blows up big time because of wxWidgets) on Gentoo Linux AMD64. If this “feature” has been reverted in 3.x or a suitable check-box been added to selectively disable the “feature”, I apologise, but I’m unable to test at this time.

I use Audacity to digitise vinyl records. I start Audacity, point it at a USB audio interface (Behringer UCA-202) connected to my audio source (turntable). I won’t go into the detail but essentially I hit Pause then Record on Audacity, bring the tonearm to the edge of the disc and get the turntable spinning, unpause Audacity, then gently drop the stylus. … the whole side of the record gets recorded as one long track … then at the end I pause Audacity while I flip the record over or change records.

Upshot is, I’ve got a very long track that’s maybe 45 minutes or more containing multiple logical tracks.

I then split the tracks using Edit, Clip Boundaries, Split New.

In the past, that was sufficient, and all I had to do was go File, Export, Export Multiple… and it’d neatly split the recordings up into individual tracks ready to be either burned to CD, encoded or otherwise archived.

Today, if I do that, I get long silences for all but the very first track. Now, I have an additional two steps that I must do before I can finally export: Tracks, Align Tracks, Align Together, followed by Tracks, Align Tracks, Start to Zero.

This is a nuisance, and an easily forgotten step.

So, I propose a compromise: could we add a check-box to the Export Multiple dialogue that allows this “added silence” feature to be enabled or disabled? It can default to enabled if you wish to maintain the current behaviour, but I’d like to be able to untick this to revert to the old behaviour.

Why not add labels and Export Multiple based on labels?
(See: https://manual.audacityteam.org/man/splitting_a_recording_into_separate_tracks.html)

There has been a checkbox option since at least Audacity 2.3.3: “Ignore blank space at the beginning: