Save each track in project, but *preserving* blank space

I’m using Audacity 2.0.5 and Windows 8. Sorry if this is a noob question, but I haven’t been able to find an answer.

I have created a composition with multiple tracks, and I want to save each individual track separately so that other people can use them to remix the song. That much is easy. I use “export multiple” and I get a file for each track. But any track that doesn’t start at 0.00 on the clock has the silence at the beginning removed, so if someone now tries to mix it with another track they have to sync it manually.

For instance, say track A has all the instrumentals and track B has all the vocals for a song. When both are played together, the instrumental starts playing first (let’s call it 0.00 seconds), and the vocals come in two seconds later (2.00 seconds).

If I now “export multiple” on that song, I get a file for each track, but the silence at the beginning of track B (where the instrumentals start playing before the vocals kick in) is deleted. If I load these tracks into a new Audacity project, the vocal track doesn’t start at 2.00 seconds, they both start at 0.00, so the instruments start playing and the vocalist starts singing at the same time, completely out of sync.

What I want is that when I save each track, the sounds within that track remain in the exact same position in time, so that if someone wants to they can easily match some tracks up just as they were in the original mix and only change the things they want to do differently.

Any help would be much appreciated.

Click just after time zero in each of the tracks that does not have audio starting at zero, then hold SHIFT and press HOME to select from the click point to time zero, then Generate > Silence. Or just click and drag to zero then generate silence.

If multiple adjacent tracks don’t start at zero, then after SHIFT + HOME, you can hold SHIFT and press DOWN arrow to extend the selection into the other tracks, then Generate > Silence.

After that you can select a track to export then use File > Export Selection… or if you want to export all the tracks at one go you can use File > Export Multiple… .

Would you like there to be a preference to export silence at the start of tracks whose audio starts after time zero?


Thanks very much for the help Gale–I really appreciate it. And yes, I’d like to have it as a preference if there’s a way to set that up. I looked in preferences and didn’t see anything that looked right, but maybe I just missed it.

Thanks again for the help. That was really driving me nuts.


I think Gale is fishing for a vote in the “Adding Features to Audacity” section. It doesn’t exist yet.
I wouldn’t mind that feature, either.

It could be argued, successfully, I think, “What else could you want?”

The operator spends hours sliding tracks around to precisely arrange the sounds of the show in a particular order and duration.

A: Track exports carefully remove all the timing cues and durations destroying the rhythm of the show and obliterating hours of work.

  • Or -

B: Track exports carefully preserve all the timing information and durations leading to a successful show, happy client, large paycheck, and new sportscar.



As Koz said, we don’t have this preference but I’ve added your vote for it so we can measure “demand” for it. Koz has already had his vote counted :wink: .


Thanks for adding my vote, Gale. It does seem to make a lot of sense, at least as an optional setting. I would certainly opt to have it turned on as my default, and only opt out of it when a specific project called for it.


If my vote has not yet been counted, +1 from me.

Your vote is already counted too :wink: