moving sections from one track to another


Definitely a Newbie. :slight_smile:

I have a vocal track (podcast) and have been looking at different methods for debreathing the track and found a nice method on YouTube but using ProTools ( but without the Waves plugin.

Basically, what he is doing is highlighting a section and moving it to another track. He does this right through the file and can then work on just the breath track.

I tried this in Audacity (2.0.6) by using CTRL-D (Windows 7) to create a duplicate on another track and then re-selecting the breath in the original track and applying silence. the issue is the each CTRL-D creates a separate track and these ‘breathe tracks’ need then to be compiled into a single breath track for editing.

I have also tried creating a new track, sync-locking them and using clip boundaries but this seem to act like CTRL-D but removes the original (saving one process step). I guess what I a looking for is clip boundaries but with the destination being a common track.

Am I missing something and is there another way of doing this that is more efficient?



There’s several ways that you can do that in Audacity, though I can’t think of anything quite as slick as he is doing in Pro Tools.

One way is to add your new “breath” track (“Tracks menu > Add New”). If your original track is mono, the breath track must also be mono, is stereo then stereo.

Then you can “Split Cut” from one track and paste in the other.
The shortcut for “Split Cut” is Alt+Ctrl+X.
The shortcut for paste is Ctrl+V

In order to paste in exactly the right place, use the keyboard shortcuts:
Deselect current selection: Enter (the Enter key toggles the selection on/off)
Move focus to the next track down: Down cursor
Select the new track (the track with focus has a yellow line around it): Enter
Then paste (Ctrl+V).

Putting that all together:

  • Select the breath
  • Alt+Ctrl+X
  • Enter
  • Down
  • Enter
  • Ctrl+V

Then repeat as necessary.

If you are doing a lot of this, you may want to customise the shortcut for “Split Cut” (Alt+Ctrl+X is a bit awkward).
To customise keyboard shortcuts, see:

Thank you for the reply, I will give that a go.

It seems like a macro could be useful for this, is this where a chain could be used?


I don’t think that Chains can really help with this.
Have a go with the steps that I’ve suggested and let me know how you get on.
There probably are easier ways, but your question is not a common question :wink:

Thanks, I’ll give it a go. :slight_smile:

Thanks for the input and I tried this system and, yes it worked, but I found that CTRL-ALT-I (Edit>Clip Boundaries > Split New) was much easier (not the key combination, though). Once I had a dozen or so I then selected all the new tracks and rendered them into one and continued the process.

I know that macros have been discussed in other posts and it seems like a good idea, though just being able to nominate a destination track for the clip boundaries method (maybe a single or separate track toggle) would resolve this completely and would be useful for all manner of editing functions where an element needs repeated isolation.


OK, here’s another approach:

  1. Select the “breath” part that you want to move.
  2. Press “Ctrl+B”, then “Enter” to label it
    Repeat steps 1 and 2 for each “breath” section.

Rewind back to the start of the track (Click anywhere on the original audio track and then press the “Home” key) and add one more label (“Ctrl+B” then “Enter”).

When all of that is complete, press “Ctrl+A” to “select All”,
Then from the Edit menu: “Edit > Labeled Audio > Split Cut”. (Removes all of the labeled sections.
Track menu > New Track, or New Stereo Track (the new track must be mono/stereo to match the original track).
“Ctrl+V” to paste the cut sections into the new track.


That works really well.

I just de-breathed a 15 minute podcast in a matter of minutes. Thank you! :slight_smile: