REQUEST: Split-delete silence plugin

I would love to see someone develop this plugin that would have multiple applications.

What it would do
Split-Delete Silence would turn a project that looks like this:
Screen Shot 2012-04-05 at 12.35.57 PM.jpg
into this:
Screen Shot 2012-04-05 at 12.36.22 PM.jpg
Why this would be useful

Looking at my sample podcast recording above, you can see one track with constant audio, which is my vocal track. The second track is my sounds track that recorded my live-mixed-in music, sound clips, and voicemails (essentially everything but my in-studio mics).

Split-deleting the silence allows me to move sounds around as I please, or to more easily edit or adjust individual clips.

If the track has been completed embedded into the Audacity project, the long silences are wasting space. Split-Delete Silence would thus help reduce the file size of an Audacity project.

How it would work
Split-Delete Silence would look at a track or selected audio and split-delete any portion of “silence” under __ dB that is longer than __ seconds.

Interface options

  • Split delete silence under __ dB.
  • Only split delete silence longer than ___ seconds.
  • Preserve a padding of __ ms around silence to be split-deleted (subtracted from the previous option).

I would love to know what you think of this idea, or point me to something similar that has already been done.

Edit > Clip Boundaries > Detach at Silences (Ctrl+Alt+J)
Note that this only works for absolute silence.

If your “silences” are very low level audio but not absolute silence, use this noise gate to make the “silence” absolute:
(I added the ability to gate to absolute silence specifically for this purpose - Level reduction below -96 dB the gate will ‘shut’ to absolute silence, see the included help screens for full instructions.)

Note that this is the exact place that many good ideas fall over. The normal timeline display only shows you the top 20dB or so of the 60dB show. The fact that you can still see waveforms in your “silent” illustration means this isn’t going to work. Your “silent” isn’t even close. Watch the sound meters during the silent gaps.

You can still force this to work, but it would take a lot of adjustments and messing with settings for it to happen cleanly, exactly the problem with Silent Detection, Vinyl Groove Detection, and other gating tools. They’re violins, not light switches.


That’s why I think this would require a “silence threshold” option, just like the Truncate Silence effect has. It’s effectively running a like a noise gate, but split-deleting anything below the noise floor.