Macro/automation for selecting periods of silence?

I spend a lot of time listening to recorded speech that I need to cut/trim, removing errors and extraneous recording takes.

Often there are longer or shorter pauses in the recorded track than I want to keep, so I select the periods of silence and then paste in the duration of room noise/silence. For example, if it had been three seconds long with some background noise, I select the section then paste in 1 second of room tone and everything plays great.

The only problem is that I end up doing this a lot, and I’m looking for a way to make my workflow more efficient so I’m not constantly mousing and pasting.

Is there a way to automate this, to have Audacity search for the next instance of silence (or near-silence, in this case) and select it?

I have attached an image to illustrate what I mean. In this case, the cursor is currently at a section where I just pasted room noise. The selection that is highlighted is where I am about to paste over with room noise. I would like to automate this selection of silence so I can merely approve or do the pasting in a more efficient manner.

Silence finder, finds but does not select silence.

Well, this guy thinks it’d be cool if it did.

I wonder how difficult it would be to code an add-on that could accomplish this? It’s definitely out of my skill range, but out of curiosity, I wonder-

Not hugely difficult, though Audacity can only have one selection at a time, so it probably wouldn’t help very much.

A better approach might be to use Sound Finder, then split the audio tracks at the label positions

You can then step from one audio clip to the next using the shortcuts “Alt + .” and “Alt + ,”

Thanks - I’ll look into that-


(non-GUI option, command line, more programming/technically advanced)

ffmpeg -i input.wav -af silenceremove=1:0:-50dB output.wav

stack overflow - using ffmpeg with silencedetect to remove audio silence
stack overflow - using sox to detect silence
ffmpeg doc’s

“Removing” silences isn’t a problem with Audacity - just use the “Truncate Silence” effect (with appropriate settings)

However, the original post isn’t asking to just remove silences.