Skip selection on playback for precise editing

This is with Audacity 2.1.3 on Fedora 27 on a Thinkpad X1.

I recall using this function owith TripleDAT extensively, so I was looking for something similar in Audicity.

I have a audio recording of a piano piece (live recording and the pianist [made an error in] one bar, but immediately played it again, so it should be possible to edit the mishap out. The expected behaviour would be like this:

  • Zoom into the passage in question

  • Select the passage as editable

  • Place the playback something like 5-10 seconds before and after the passage in question

  • Start playback and have playback skip that selection seamlessly

  • fine tune selection by zooming in more closely and place the beginning and end of selected region precisely

  • Only when it’s perfect actually delete the selection

The closest thing I found was “Cut Preview”, but I was unable to precisely adapt the selection. Whenever I placed the cursor, the selection was lost.

Have I overlooked something, and if so, what is it and does it doe what I described as steps in the list above?


Those are called Edit Marks (Set-In and Set-Out) and Audacity doesn’t have them. If you edit video, coming to Audacity is something of a shock.

We do have Sticky Labels and you can do some of those jobs with those. You can also make good use of UNDO to test your edit.


Cut preview will do the job.
After selecting the unwanted section, (perhaps using zero-crossing, “Z”-key, for seamlessness),
Just keep pressing the “C” key to preview the cut, (don’t use the cursor to play, you’ll lose the selection).

You’ll have to increase the cut-preview before/after times in Audacity preferences
Audacity, Preferences, Playback, Cut Preview.png

OK, now contrast that with Edit Marks.

Get close to the In Point > Command-I. Scroll forward to roughly the out point > Command-O.

Preview. Scroll up to the In Point and push it forward just a bit. Preview. Push it a bit more > Preview. The Out Point sticks through all this until you move it.

Got the In Point OK? scroll forward to the Out Point. Preview. Move it a bit. Preview, Move it a bit. Preview. The In Point sticks during these gyrations.


You can see if you come from one of these other editors and discover to your horror you can’t set sticky edit points. Ummm. How else would you do it?

I will admit video editing has one condition that only happens in video. There is no edit shorter than one frame and there is no cut. Everything is a one-frame dissolve. Nobody is going to stop in the middle of a large production to find the zero crossover points. That does mean on occasion the sound bed has to be recut on an audio editor to get rid of the frame boundaries. But not often.


To adjust the selection after Cut Preview (without losing the selection), hold down the shift key and drag the end of the selection.