Need a tip for looping on one clip please

I’ve got an instrumental track (of square dance music) with an intro, main segment, and close and want to start playback at the beginning, loop on the main segment ad infinitum and then signal a skip to the close with a single keypress or mouse click.

Anyone willing to try giving me ideas on how to do this (I’m running the Beta)? Many thanks…

Al Vesper
(somewhat of a Newbie :wink: )

You can tell by the people rushing to your aid that it’s difficult or impossible to do that in Audacity. Audacity does not do production in real time.

Thanks Koz. Well, “forum staff” certainly trumps “newbie”, but it looks like there’s enough pseudo real-time support already to give me some hope. I can playback tracks with looping, and record a new track in real time on top of the older things that are in the project. I was pleased that I was able to get Audacity to accept my audio input in the first place without the OS (Windows XP pro) introducing delays.

I’m thinking that to get what I want I may have to do some coding. A plug-in thingy maybe?

But I do understand the implication of the comment. As conceived, Audacity wasn’t INTENDED to support output dynamically but rather to facilitate the creation of a static work and be able to record that work as a file for later use.

I naively think the concept of what I want is simple. I have three tracks laid out: opener, main, close. Playback starts with opener which goes directly to main, but main plays as a loop until it is somehow interrupted and we jump directly to the close track. The concept of looping is already there, but seems to need a tweak unless I missed something (loop on a designated track), and I haven’t figured out how to jump directly to a labeled point.

It is possible to get close to what you are asking, but before you get excited, there are technical reasons why it will not work very well.

The method - this only deals with playing the loop then jumping to the end section.

  1. Create a track with the loop section, then a gap, then the end section.
  2. Select the loop section
  3. Zoom out far enough so that you can see both the full loop section and the start of the end section.
  4. Shift+spacebar (the loop section starts playing and will loop).
  5. When ready to jump to the end section, click on the time ruler immediately above the start of the end section.
    Playback will now jump to the position that you clicked and normal (not looped) playback will commence from that play position.

The technical limitation:
There will be a short gap in the playback while Audacity jumps from the looped section to the end section.
This is unavoidable (without doing major reworking of the Audacity code) because to allow smooth playback Audacity uses an audio buffer. During the loop playback, audio from the looped section will be buffered so that it is constantly available for output through the sound card. When you tell Audacity to jump to the end section, the playback buffer must be emptied and refilled with audio from the end section before playback of the end section can commence. While Audacity is juggling with the buffer contents there will be a brief pause in playback.

I don’t use it myself, but Ableton Live may have the functionality that you are looking for.

Thanks, Steve. Okay, I get it. And in the meantime I found SqView ( which is a better solution for what I wanted. Thanks for the diagnosis though, and I’ll be happier using Audacity for the many things that it does really well :exclamation:


Your implication is that looping is not one of Audacity’s strengths.
Your right :wink: