Rapid Record-Playback

Hi all,
first of all thanks for the great software!
Wanted to report a bug, but I see you fixed it in the Alpha already. (the one that a track loses focus on Alt+Tab)

So now I have a question about this use case:

I am working on my voice, and I am looking for a tool to rapidly record and playback, then record again, like 100 times in a row.
Though I found several ways to do that, all involve punching multiple key combinations each time.
This is a problem, because one gets distracted having to think about keyboard combinations (instead of concentrating on their voice or musical instrument, which is a thing that requires concentration)

Can anyone suggest a streamlined way to achieve this iterative record-playback-record? Involving one key-press for each step?
Best way I found is to open a New window after each record+playback, then kill the 100 windows with ‘killall audacity’.
Another would be automatic track overwriting, but I understand this is explicitly disabled (or am I wrong?)

  • “R” (record)
  • “Space” (stop)
  • Left click on the Timeline for “Quick Play”. Playback will stop at the end of the track, or you can stop playback sooner with “space”.
  • “R” (record) …

Thank you for your reply! (I just came in to see it, unfortunately no e-mail notifications)
This is indeed a nifty way to do this, I agree.
However I still think it falls short of what I feel is needed for this rapid kind of rehearsing.
Problem is, for each playback, one needs to hit space and then seek on the Timeline with a mouse.

As I mentioned, I’m looking for something that is done easy, so that it does not divert concentration. Exactly 1 key between each human action (recording<->listening)
Here is the difference I see:

  • Pressing a keyboard key is easy. It is always there and is very easy to hit.
  • Seeking a position on the Timeline requires being accurate in pinpointing on a thin, dynamically progressing band. This requires quite some concentration and can be especially hard when working with anything but an expensive mouse or mac touchpad.

Should I instead request some kind of feature here? Should require literally just 1 or 2 optional key binds.

There are many other keyboard shortcuts available: https://manual.audacityteam.org/man/keyboard_shortcut_reference.html
and they can be customized: https://manual.audacityteam.org/man/keyboard_preferences.html

I ave spent a good deal of time looking into those, and didn’t find what I was looking for.
Can you be more specific about which shortcut exactly achieves what I am talking about?

I’d just do:

  • R (record)
  • Space (Stop)
  • Space (Play)
  • R (record)
  • Space (Stop)
  • Space (Play)

but if that doesn’t suit your workflow, then feel free to do it some other way.

That plays back from the very beginning, i.e. not the last recording but the whole track over again.

Press “k” before pressing “r” (the track must be selected).

That implies doing a Ctrl+A, which makes a total of 4 keys on top of hitting space to start\stop. That’s a heck of a lot of keys to press each time.

My best option seems to remain hitting Ctrl+N for each recording, then killing all instances with a shell command (so I don’t have to press “Discard” 30 times)

Whatever works for you.


I was thinking that I might create a macro to do this: Cursor To Track End, Record; this records at the track end, but when the space key is pressed the cursor reverts to the start of the time line.

Similarly, I tried to create a selection by wrapping Set Left/Right Selection around the Record Command, but the space key seems to abort the macro and then end of the selection never gets set.

There’s many possible approaches.

As I wrote initially, I’d just use Time Line Quick Play, which requires no customization at all.

Another approach:

  1. “R” = record
  2. “X” = stop at playback position
  3. “Shift + ,” (on most keyboard also “Shift + <”) = Long jump left
  4. “Space” = play

    Another approach:
  5. “R” = record
  6. “Space” = stop

where the custom macro contains:


I’m sure there’s other options.

Good idea steve, but I couldn’t actually get this to work. :frowning: However, your steps did work for me with this macro:

Cursor To Track End