Periodic sound sampling over time

I am trying to find a feature which allows me to register ambient noise during the same 5 minutes every hour for 24 hours, leaving the microphone and its ampli connected permanently. Is this doable with the current timer features? If so, I haven’t found how!
Thanks for this great software.

Timer Record isn’t a program. It’s a tool with little windows to put your time in. So you can’t change it, although some enterprising soul might be able to whip something up in Nyquist.


leaving the microphone and its ampli connected permanently.

And computer. I would guess that even if you managed to get it to work, you wouldn’t be able to use the computer for anything else. Audacity is a simple program and it likes running on simple computers.

Very few people have managed to make a surveillance computer out of Audacity. That’s your Google search term.


If you are on Linux you can simply schedule arecord (or any other command line recorder) as a Cron task.
I doubt that there will be much interest is developing an Audacity feature to record for 5 minutes every hour.

I’m not on Linux. For my need, the computer would indeed be dedicated to the sound surveillance operation. Would continuous recording over 24 hours not create enormous file? I could cut 5 minute samples from a large file using the timeline, I suppose.

Isn’t it a 13-1/2 hour limit for 44100, 16-bit, Stereo? Something like that? You should not use lower quality because the filtering and effects tools stop working well. WAV files poop out at either 2GB or 4GB and I forget which one is significant.

You really need software that’s designed to do this.


For saving and re-opening Audacity projects, yes: Missing features - Audacity Support
Longer projects can be created, but data will be lost if you try to save a project longer than this.

4GB is the limit for “normal” WAV files (equivalent to about 6.8 hours of CD-quality audio): WAV - Wikipedia
Some older Windows PCs have a 2 GB file size limit, but that is not very likely these days.

Then you probably need to use dedicated sound surveillance software.

Yes it would, though if most of that time is silence, then you could use the “Sound Activated Recording” feature: Audacity Manual

use the “Sound Activated Recording” feature:

Which kills your “time of day” information. Audacity doesn’t have timestamps or SMPTE Timecode unless you add it.

Software designed to do this.