Possible improvement to Generate click track

I find that applying a click track successfully to an existing recording is quite time-consuming, basically because of the trial-and-error process of specifying the tempo. It gets harder the longer the track is, or the less accurate the tempo stability in the original.

Would it be more useful to specify the click track in terms of a start point and end point? Consider the following walk through, where we want to apply a click track to a piece as three distinct segments:

  • Open Audacity and load file
  • insert label 1
  • insert label 2
  • insert label 3
  • insert label 4
  • open click track dialog
  • specify the number of measures, beats per measure.
  • select start point as label 1, end point as label 2, number of measures = 16
  • click apply
  • select start point as label 2, end point as label 3, number of measures = 8
  • click apply
  • select start point as label 3, end point as label 4, number of measures = 8
  • click apply

That would certainly be an option, but I doubt that it will suit everyone. I’d not be keen on adding it as an extra function to the current effect as we already have 2 drop down menus, 9 text boxes 8 sliders and 3 buttons, making it the “biggest” effect in Audacity by screen area.

Conceptually it’s quite a simple idea and I think should be fairly straightforward to develop as an optional plugin. Can you think of a good descriptive name that would distinguish it from the current Click Track?

other than “Apply click track to segment”, no, not really :wink:

The trouble is, most everything in the existing dialog is useful too. A plug-in which took only one parameter (the number of measures) would be possible, if by default it used the existing click track settings (essentially everything except the tempo setting) and applied the click track to span that number of measures over the current selection.

To that end - a function to select the track between two labels would be useful.

Just as an aside, while I appear to have the ear of a developer, why are there no right-mouse button functions in Audacity? I can think of plenty of useful functions to put in a right-click menu that would greatly reduce the mouse mileage, like:

  • fade in/out over selection
  • silence
  • kill
  • export selection


Oh come on, that’s a bit lame :smiley:
Tell you what - you think of a good name, and I’ll think about how to implement it :wink:

I’m not an official Audacity developer (though I have written many plugins and a few contributions to the Audacity code).
I suspect that originally (way back before my time) it may have been influenced by the lack of right click on many Mac computers. Yes, there are many things that right click could be used for, though it is a very limited (in the sense of “rare”) resource, so I don’t think that it is something that should be rushed.

There are a few places where right click is used (such as right click in a label). Accessing context menus is a common and economical use of right click, and is something that I would expect to see expanded in future versions of Audacity.

seriously though, what do you think about the idea of using the existing click track settings and applying it to a selections?

Until very recently that would not have been possible, at least, not in a reliable cross-platform way. With recent changes to Nyquist plugins (in the new Audacity 2.1.0) I think that it is ‘probably’ possible to do something like that, though it would require rewriting much of the Click Track plugin to do it right.

There’s been quite a few changes to Nyquist plugins in the new Audacity release, though most are “under the hood”, so no particularly noticeable from a user perspective. There are also likely to be further changes to Nyquist plugins over the course of the next couple of releases.

In short, yes I think that it could be a good idea, though it depends on very new features, and has implications with some features that have not yet been released - certainly worth experimenting with I think.

I don’t hope so, unless the menus will be accessible for VI-users.
The label context menu is such a thing.
It would be helpful if there were a shortcut to drag the mouse pointer to Audacity’s virtual cursor (the one that you’ll see in the wave track or during editing label text).

You mean that the label context menu is not accessible for VI users?
Of course accessibility has always been an important issue in Audacity and Audacity should be just as usable for non-mouse users as for mouse users.

Can wxWidgets do that?

Of course accessibility has always been an important issue in Audacity and Audacity should be just as usable for non-mouse users as for mouse users.

I’m not sure that you can ever make it “just as usable”, but if RMC menus make it more functional without impacting on existing functionality, then I think that’s OK,


I think we make a pretty good attempt. There are not many things in Audacity that can’t be done entirely from a keyboard, though yes there will always be some things that are less easy without a mouse or other pointing device.

The new scrubbing feature will probably be such a case.
As to the label context:
The keyboard workaround is probably:

  • Select label track (alone)
  • tab to the label (+ enter eventually)
  • Choose the approbriate action from the edit menu, e.g. delete.

About the cursor:

It’s essentially a synchronization question of the Audacity cursor and the system caret.
The latter should take the value of the former.
I can’t say adhoc which WXWidget (accessibility) functions should be used to that end.