Synchronising Hydrogen in Audacity


I’m new to this forum - nice to join and some good info here.

I have been playing with Audacity on an old laptop installed with Ubuntu 10.04.

I have recorded a simple tune by creating a drum track with Hydrogen and imported that into Audacity before recording other tracks with other instruments (kybd, guitar etc). Seems to work fine.

But what if I then want to then modify my drum track? Is there a way of importing a newer version of the drum track from Hydrogen and easily synchronising with the old one? Or synchronising with a click track?

In the days of yore with tape multi-tracking (yep - I’m an oldie…) one could record a SMPTE code on a track and use that to synchronise in real time any SMPTE compatible instruments (eg drum machines). So changing drum patterns post-recording was not an issue as only the sync track was recorded and not the actual audio.

Was wondering of there’s a software equivalent - anyone got some ideas on this? Looked in the FAQ but nothing obvious.

Thanks kindly in advance.


You know you can buy an SMPTE generator and record it on one track of Audacity? From there, you can play that back in “multi-track” configuration to whatever equipment needs it.

Audacity doesn’t natively support any sync or TC and doesn’t generate SMPTE. One odd problem with asking the computer to generate time is that SMPTE is frequently much more accurate than the crappy timer inside the computer. Who or what is going to tell SMPTE what five minutes is?


Jack Audio System includes a mechanism for synchronising “Transport”.
Basically what it does is to send master “Play / Stop / Back / Forward” signals to any software that supports “Jack Transport” control. The sample rate in and out of each application is locked to a common sample rate that is set by Jack. Using this mechanism you can synchronise, for example, playback from Hydrogen, playback from Rose Garden and recording in Ardour. Unfortunately Audacity does not support Jack Transport :frowning:

The solution for Audacity is the old fashioned way. Always start your tracks with a count-in: “Click, click, click, click…”
Then when you want to drag in a new drum track, you just line up the count-in clicks.