Swap a selection of audio between tracks [SOLVED]

Audacity 2.0.6, mac 10.6.8, dmg

Is there a quick way to replace the audio in one track with the audio in another track, or swap the audio between the two?

In this case, I was playing with a looped room tone track (“silence”), and my audio track. Rather than cut and paste (requiring mouse precision on both), it’s easy to select a bit in both tracks, and then…? If I could only say, now, put the “silence” up into the other track.

Related: Is there a way to tell Audacity what “silence” is? Give it some room tone to sample, or use as silence, and THEN, the silence generator would be real useful.

I sense somebody trying to rescue their noisy performance.

There is a home-built tool called Noise Gate. It forces silence into a natural segment it thinks is below a certain volume. It seems to be a gift from the angels, but after you use it, you may find it does what it says on the tin, but that’s not what you actually want.


noisegate.ny (6.71 KB)

After enough of these post-production patches and rescues, actually shooting a quiet performance gets more and more attractive.

One of the ways you can fail ACX AudioBook acceptance, as an example, is a note they thought your submission was “overprocessed.”


None of the above. I don’t want to gate. My noise floor is excellent, and I always pass.

No matter how quiet the recording, it is necessary to edit out audible breaths. Even Audible editors do it by cut and paste using clean room tone. Users of other programs can do it with a room tone track, but Audacity doesn’t seem capable of it.

Can you answer my question? Is there a way to swap or replace audio between tracks?

No, you can’t tell the Silence Generator what to generate. It generates zero amplitude samples (absolute silence).

Long method: assuming your room tone track is the length of your speech track, do the following using UP/DOWN arrow to change the track focus and ENTER to toggle the focused track’s selectedness:

  1. Select the breath you want to replace.
  2. ENTER to deselect the breath.
  3. UP arrow on your computer keyboard.
  4. ENTER to make the same selection in your room tone track.
  5. COMMAND + C to copy
  6. ENTER to deselect the room tone.
  7. DOWN arrow.
  8. ENTER to select in the speech track.
  9. COMMAND + V to paste in the speech track.

Shorter method: Use the Punch Copy/Paste Nyquist plugin. You only need to copy the room tone once, then paste using the “Looping” method so that the paste always fills the selection rather than shortening or lengthening it. See here for how to install Nyquist plugins: http://wiki.audacityteam.org/wiki/Download_Nyquist_Plug-ins#install.


Whoohoo! Thanks for your help.

WOW!! Thank you. This helped me tremendously when recording identical vocal tracks, swapping out phrases that were great in one version, but crummy in another. I am so happy someone else asked this question. This “long” method worked perfectly for me so that I didn’t have to copy-and-paste and hope that I pasted the track in the right place. Thank you X 100 !! :smiley: :smiley: :smiley: