PLEASE make "smart clips" optional, not only between projects

Voice-over actor here.
The “smart clips” feature makes my work sooo much harder for many projects.
If there’s an option to select pasting only the selected audio between projects, it shouldn’t be too hard to extend the option to the same project, as well, I hope.

While probably great for some users, for voice over editing, it makes editing larger projects much harder and, without taking care to actively work around it, impossible.

When you routinely work with recordings of 1h or longer, every cut you do increases the file size AND the time needed for any copy/paste operation.

A typical use case for me, for example:
I record 1h of elearning content, which I have to split into separate files.
So far, the usual workflow for me was to make two split points, export the file, then delete it, and so on. So far, so good. But, if I encounter an error, I don’t export and delete, but mark the error with another split, and move the complete clip to a new track, so I can do any retakes together afterwards.

Yesterday, I was actually shocked, when I saved a project with just four clips with marked retake points (total of maybe 1 minute), and it was a significantly larger file, than the original recording of 1h.
And any operation on these tiny clips took around 15-30 seconds.
My work PC has a AMD Ryzen 7 7800X3D 8-Core CPU, and 32 GB RAM. I don’t want to think about editing such stuff on my laptop, on the go.

PLEASE, consider adding the option to switch this off.


Currently Audacity is only using one of your 8 CPUs.
Audacity should have added multi-core support before adding “smart clips”,
so the computer power was available to deal with the increased workload.

Copying/pasting within a project should not increase the file size at all, this sounds like a bug.

Then it’s a huge bug that could probably be avoided by making (actually not very) “smart” clips optional. Not only between projects, but also within a project.
There’s literally no reason NOT to include an option to switch such the feature off. Especially if it already exists between projects. Can’t be that hard, right?

I work with Audacity daily. It’s my only tool for editing my recordings.
And I literally didn’t have a single case, when the intended functionality of the “smart” clips would be useful for me.

But today, as an example - I started editing a recording with two tracks, total length of audio around 47 minutes. File size - around 500 MB.
After editing out errors etc., the total audio length is 27 minutes with a file size of 1250 MB. All, because I marked spots for rerecording by splitting their start and end points.
There wasn’t even any copy/pasting. Just REMOVING. This is enough, so that the “smart” feature bloats everything up to 2,5 the size. That’s crazy!

After recording the retakes in a second track, I just started editing again. Now, every copy-paste operation from the second track (just short clips, not continous) take f…ing 30 seconds! Also, the project now grows with every operation I do. Currently, it’s over 3 GB.

In my opinion, the main advantage of Audacity is its simplicity. If the alternatives weren’t as bloated as they are, I’d gladly switch to something like Audition.

1 Like

I am not sure that smart clips are the reason why your file grows quickly. Applying effects from the “Effect” menu can effectively duplicate file size in some circumstances. I can easily get a file of any size within few minutes. That is how Undo/Redo works and that is how it worked before. It was not so noticable before the unified projects were introduced in 3.0.

Smart clips never copy the data by themselves. They do, however, prevent data deletion, this can be a problem in some cases indeed.

When you copy data to a new project you never copy the project history. This reduces the resulting file size as well.

This topic was automatically closed after 30 days. New replies are no longer allowed.