Spectral Edit Multi tool Error

I am using Audacity 2.3.2 on Mac OSX 10.14.4.

I am trying to clean up an audio monotrack.

I have clicked on “Enable Spectral Selection” in my track’s spectrogram settings. I then select the band to which I want to apply the spectral edit multi tool. Then, when I try to apply the spectral edit multi tool, Audacity gives the following error message:

"To use Special effects, enable “Spectral Selection in the track Spectrogram settings and select the frrequency range for the effect to act on.”

Please help me figure out what I am doing wrong.

How exactly are you doing that?

I select a range in the track being edited that has noise. I look for a line in the upper parts of the spectrum. When I select that range a band appears and I position it around a line cutting across time. I can then apply the spectrum multi tool to that selected range. No problem when dealing with a small range.

When I try to extend that range to the whole clip using select all, I manage to select a narrow band selected covering the entire clip (about 30 minutes). It is when I try to apply the spectrum multi tool to that long narrow band that I get the error message.

Perhaps the problem is that I am being overly ambitious.

However, I did succeed applying the effect across the entire clip a couple of times. I just don’t know what I did differently that time.


Are you doing that with your mouse? (click and drag on the waveform in “Spectrogram” track view)

Could you post a screenshot of the entire Audacity window while that message is being displayed. It sounds like you are doing everything correctly, so it’s mysterious why that message is occurring. From a screenshot I may be able to spot what’s wrong.

Just had a thought - Do you have more than one track in the project?

screen shot of tracks and settings.
Screen Shot 2019-05-17 at 4.33.03 PM.jpg
Screen Shot 2019-05-17 at 4.32.38 PM.jpg

That explains it. When you “Select All”, all tracks are selected.
Spectral effects can only be applied to audio tracks that are displaying the spectrum. The second audio track in your project is select, but is displaying the waveform and not the spectrum, so that is what is blocking the Spectral effect.

If you wish to apply the spectral effect to all audio tracks at the same time, you need to set all audio tracks to Spectrogram view.

If you only want to apply the spectral effect to the first track, you need to select (only) the first track.
To extend the initial selection in the first track so that all of the first track is selected, press “Shift + Home” then “Shift + End” (I’m on Linux, but I think these shortcuts are the same on macOS).


I only wish to apply the Spectral effect to the first track. It is late here now, but I will try the short cuts you suggest first thing tomorrow.

Many thanks,