Pasting clips between projects

(I’m using Windows 10, Audacity 3.1.3.) In short, my problem is this: copy-pasting a series of clips from one Audacity 3 project into another Audacity 3 project results in bloated project file sizes. Is there a better workaround or a better workflow?

To explain in full detail: I edit a podcast which has distinct segments, and I like to organize those segments as separate clips on the same track. A typical workflow (as I always did it in v2) looks like this:

  • Get the recording, a single wav, ~40 minutes long.
  • Import to Audacity – this is the “draft” project.
  • Split the track for segment boundaries, delete the in-between fluff, and make other edits. I now have a series of maybe 6 to 8 clips, about 20 minutes long in total.
  • Open my “template” Audacity project (it has tracks for the intro/outro music, timings, etc.), Save As the “final” project.
  • Copy and paste all the segment clips from the “draft” project to the “final” project.
  • Arrange clips/tracks for timing, do the final touches, etc., then export the mp3. Done!

If I follow this workflow in v3, for a recording wav of 615 MB, my “draft” project is 620 MB, but my “final” balloons up to 1.34 GB!

My workaround now is to export the “draft” audio into wav, and then import that into the final project (instead of copy-paste). If I do that, the final project is only 210 MB, but I have to manually re-split the audio – for instance, to insert mid-roll ads between segments – it’s a lot of extra work!

Is there a better workflow for what I’m trying to do here? Some way to avoid bloat from copy-pasting clips? (I’m guessing this is due to v3’s Smart Clips maintaining multiple full-length copies of the original data, but I’m not very familiar with the internals.)

So you may want to revist the video here:

At about 1:08 in the video, Martin explains that if you hover over the upper part of a clip, you can trim it (and later recall it if you change your mind).

Note Martin does not say what happens if you hover over the lower part of the clip. In this case, you can drag the cursor, then press delete to permanently delete part of the clip (just be sure which part you are deleting). :wink: