Remove pop-up window when generating silence

I’ve been using Audacity for a while now, especially 2.2.2 but recently I updated to 2.3.1 and now I have this window constantly appearing every time I try to generate silence.

I normally use it to paste silence over audio, but now this pop up window wants me to click “OK” every time I try to do it and it’s really screwing up my work flow. Is it possible to disable this window or should I roll back to a previous version?

If you want to silence existing audio: “Edit menu > Remove Special > Silence Audio” (or “Ctrl + L”)

If you want to paste some silence, you need to copy some silence first, then “Edit menu > Paste” (or “Ctrl + V”)

If you want to generate some silence, then you have to tell Audacity how much silence you want to generate: “Generate menu > Silence”, then enter the amount of silence that you wish to generate, and click “OK”. This has not changed for many years.

But such behavior is utterly pointless when the user has already selected a portion of a track prior to pressing a “generate silence” hotkey. When I select a region, then initiate a “generate silence”, I do not need a window popping up asking me the duration of the silence, because I have already told Audacity the duration when I selected said region. This behavior is yet another oversight by the coders that refuse to take the time a vet out their work before releasing. Someone like myself that generates silence tens of thousands of times each year has ended up wasting hours of their life simply giving the attention to the pop up window that it so desperately craves. When I select an area and “fade in”, I am not asked the duration of the fade in, because I already, very clearly indicated the duration. OP is correct that this inhibits a professional workflow and is down right childish design.

No, you’ve selected a region of Audio that you wabt to “change” to silence.
So use the Audacity command that Steve gave you tosilence existing audio:
“Edit menu > Remove Special > Silence Audio” (or “Ctrl + L”)
That is how Audacity was designed for this task.

Let me assure you that substantive QA is done prior to every release (I worked on Audacity QA for over a decade) - and designs are subject to much discussion between developers and QA folk.

So just use Ctrl+L thousands of times to silence the selected audio, then you will get no dialog - you have no need to generate silence.

There is no case of “inhibits a professional workflow” if you use the right tool for the job.


BTW in popping up that dialog for Generate silence Audacity is offering you the chance to exetend or shorten the length of silence that you use to replace the selected audio - and this can be a very useful facility.


Hi jader7777

Here’s a work-around that might help.

Create a silence track the length of your recording.

Click - GENERATE and The SILENCE DIALOGUE BOX will appear.

Click the DOWN ARROW and select hh:mm:ss.

If your recording is 4minutes and 10 seconds in length - then input - 00h04m10s - click OK.

A silence track of 4minutes and 10 seconds will now be generated - see fig 1.
Highlighted the audio to be silenced - fig 1 and press ctrl b and a label track will appear - see fig 2.
Click off and highlight the silence between the two vertical bars and copy - fig 2.

Highlight the audio between the two vertical bars that is going to be silenced - fig 3.
Paste into selected audio between vertical lines - fig 3.
Just work along the track using this method.

For people that select empty areas on a regular basis to fill with silence, the remove special does nothing. It appears that in order to select a blank/empty region of track to fill with silence, one must deal with the pointless pop up window by using the NON SPECIAL Silence function. Professional people like myself fill empty areas of a track with silence so we do not have zillions of chunks all over the timeline. How on Earth is someone supposed to manually EQ and blend chunks of vocals together without repairing the joins before joining? So much easier to have a clean uninterrupted timeline without split lines and boxes of waveform all over. Who else is annoyed by the curser snapping to a split, or start/end of a section instead of where you were actually trying to rest the curser? I do not need Audacity telling me where my curser will go. Auto aim is is a no no while editing. We all know what happens when a waveform ends without touching zero, you get a pop. Much easier to find such areas when the waveform is clear, tidy, and uninterrupted. I also found it necessary to split the project’s timeline every five or ten minutes in order to be able to determine where a section was originally located, before it was accidently dragged/moved. The 5 or 10 minute splits behave as registry keys and have saved me plenty of time in the past. If a hundred chunks of waveform moved on accident, good luck placing them back to their proper positions within thirty seconds like I would by simply matching the split lines of a solid, uninterrupted section of track. Precision is key for professional audio. I work on areas amongst multiple tracks and move waveforms all around. When I am done, I have many blank gaps that need to be filled. I highlight such a blank area and click my silence hotkey “S”, then a useless pop up window requires me to hit enter. The pop up window already has the exact duration I need queued up. The coders neglected to consider that people would need to fill blank areas with silence, because, well, technically, there is already silence there. The coders have the program backwards. Silence should not be saved as .aup files. It bogs the program down and wastes CPU. Audacity should be designed for each project to eventually have zero splits or gaps, instead of chunks all over. Anyone that exports with chunks, splits, and gaps all over is likely overlooking flaws within the waveform because it is a hot mess.

Hi PRO810

After reading your post, I gather that your not Audacity’s greatest fan.

I assume that “people that select empty areas on a regular basis to fill with silence” includes you.
Why do you regularly select empty areas to fill with silence?

Why not just “join” the clips?

Silence isn’t saved as .aup files.

Audacity should, and is designed for flexibility. Sometimes it is useful to have the audio as many separate clips, and sometimes it is useful to have continuous tracks. Audacity supports both.

To make all tracks continuous:

  1. Enable the “Full” set of keyboard shortcuts (See:
    “Power users” will usually have this set all the time.
    “Beginners” often prefer the smaller “Standard” set of shortcuts.
  2. “Ctrl + A” (Select All)
  3. “Ctrl + J” (Join)

Audacity has been a great asset. I am the one that chose to use it because it’s value outweighs it’s flaws. I am able to read waveforms like I do English, but a great deal slower, all thanks to my alone time with Audacity. I rant because I care.

As I stated above, when I organize sections of waveform amongst multiple tracks and manually EQ, repair, tweak Bass, split, join, and so on, I end up with empty gaps between waveform sections from my editing. So I fill the spaces with silence, then zoom in on the split lines on each side of the silence and highlight on average of around 10 samples worth on each side of the split, then I repair, then I join. This is my way to ensure that there are no pops from waveforms that end abruptly above or below zero. All of my waveforms connect smoothly. For instance, imagine yourself needing to simply move only a small part of a waveform section to the right a little bit. I would highlight the area I need to move and split, then split a little further down the right in the direction I will be sliding the section, and then delete that little chunk to the right, then slide, resulting in an empty blank space at the left. I would then highlight the blank space at the left and push the “S” silence hotkey in which the pointless pop up window appears forcing me to press enter to confirm. Would save time if the pop up did not appear.

Joining clips is what I spend most of my time doing. I do it manually while zoomed in because when there is a small gap between sections of waveform, aside from the normal single sample gap, clicking the split line causes the track to the right to move to the left. Why on Earth would Audacity take it upon itself to move a section of waveform just to fill the small space between the two tracks? If the gap is large enough, then clicking the split line simply removes the black BOLD from the line without moving anything. Moving a section, without notifying the user is insane. Working with Audacity while zoomed out is scary. Have you noticed how when zoomed out, taking an action such as joining a split by clicking, or other similar actions, the entire, or partial track appears to move when in reality it did not? I am at a loss for words on how to explain what I mean other than that the pixels readjust and appear to move, if the user is zoomed out enough. No big deal if nothing really moves eh? Sadly, in the events that the waveform does actually move due to a small gap somewhere resulting in everything to the right of it being pulled to the left to fill the gap, the waveform appears to move in the same way. I can’t afford to leave things to chance. Any method that would automatically join mass amount of joins result in things moving to the left. Not to mention that no repair work is made to the splits before they are joined via automatic methods.

Incorrect. There are two types of silence. An empty/blank area of a track in which audacity basically ignores. And silence that is placed onto a track. Silence that is placed, is saved among the .aup files. When I deal with a serious crash and I have no choice but to go through the list of orphan files to find what I need by importing the orphan .aup’s into Audacity, half or most of the .aup files are silence.

Thank you. You are literally the first person to admit to me that a continuous track is a thing. Most other users act as if I am fully insane for needing a clean track. I have every essential function bound to a hotkey by the way. I live and breath click>11111111>highlight>repair(Q)>join(J)>2,… then repeat.

If you make a selection across the gap and press “Ctrl + J”, then the clips do not move.

I don’t like that behaviour either, but I suspect that it’s for this type of case:

Incorrect, there are three types of silence. :wink:
(and yes, there is a need for all three types)

I’ve raised this question with the developers.

Indeed, but then the result is a situation like within the bottom of that nice image you posted. I fully avoid such a situation with my chain of steps, which includes adding silence to such gaps then repairing the split lines before I join them. Everything lands on zero or seamlessly connects to it’s neighboring waveform.

Why on Earth would you not state the third? Unless the third is my own silence :mrgreen: .

It’s a technical detail that has no relevance to the practical issues of using Audacity, but since you ask:

  • White-space (empty track space)
  • Zero value samples in the sample blocks (simpleblockfile)
  • “Silent blockfiles”

“Silent blockfiles” are a kind of “virtual” or “placeholder” blockfile. They behave like normal blockfiles, but they don’t actually exist and use no space other than the record of their existence.
This is easiest to see in the old .AUP format:

	<wavetrack name="Audio Track" channel="2" linked="0" mute="0" solo="0" height="150" minimized="0" rate="44100" gain="1.0" pan="0.0">
		<waveclip offset="0.00000000">
			<sequence maxsamples="262144" sampleformat="262159" numsamples="1323000">
				<waveblock start="0">
					<silentblockfile len="262144"/>

Here we see a waveblock that starts at time = 0, with a length of 262144 samples, but it is a “silentblickfile” that does not exist on disk.

If it were a “normal” blockfile then it would look like this:

	<wavetrack name="Audio Track" channel="2" linked="0" mute="0" solo="0" height="150" minimized="0" rate="44100" gain="1.0" pan="0.0">
		<waveclip offset="0.00000000">
			<sequence maxsamples="262144" sampleformat="262159" numsamples="1323000">
				<waveblock start="0">
					<simpleblockfile filename="" len="262144" min="0.0" max="0.0" rms="0.0"/>

In this case, the blockfile has a unique name “” and contains 262144 samples, each with zero value, and occupies 1,060,956 bytes on disk.

When possible, Audacity will use silent block files rather than normal ones because they are much more efficient (no disk reads / writes required other than maintaining a record of where they are in the project and the sample count.

Hi PRO810

Well, no more to be said then.

Whenever I was dealing with .aup’s, even though there were lots of silent .aup’s, I would have the feeling that there should be way more still. Virtual blockfiles explain it. It seems to me that even the simpleblockfiles with pure silence should be virtual as well. I fail to envision a situation in which silence being saved as an .aup is beneficial. Individual tracks can be vertically enlarged as much as you wish, or collapsed. I have noticed that sometimes, at certain vertical ranges, a silence area will show a little thickness as if there is a ultra ultra quiet waveform present. In such a situation, when I select the area of little thickness and silence it, the little thickness vanishes. Do you think that the .aup’s with silence may actually have ultra low audio contained within, which is why they exist instead of being virtual blockfiles?