Truncate Silence

I am using Audacity 2.3.1 on a windows 7 pc

I need to truncate silence in a portion of a document but not all of it. For example, I need to truncate all silence between .25 seconds and one second by 50% leaving silence below .25 seconds and above one second unaffected.

This was possible with an older version of audacity but is not available or perhaps has been moved and I cannot find it now. As a result, I have to split the audio and apply to each section which is very time consuming.

Can some help me with how to do this in the current version?


In Audacity 2.3.1, “Truncate Silence” is still in the Effect menu:

Yes, but in an older version, we could select the entire document and only truncate silence within a range.

IE Truncate silence from .25 to 1.0 by 50% and leave all silence above 50% as is.

Select “Compress Excess Silence”.

When I select compress excessive silence, it will compress all silence to the selected percentage. I need to compress the silence that is only within a range. ie .25-1.0 would be compressed but silence above 1.0 would remain unaffected. This was available in a previous version but is not, unless I am overlooking something, in the current version.

I can’t work out what you mean. Truncate Silence has not changed for a very long time, so unless you were using an ancient version of Audacity, it has not changed. Perhaps you could describe an actual example?

It was a very old version that has this option available. Probably 5+ years old.

I do not know the version number.

On the older version, I was able to select the silence range to work on. The two ranges I used most often when recording voice were.

Compress all sound from .22 seconds to 1.00 seconds by 50%
Truncate all sound 1.00 seconds to 2.00 seconds to 1.00

Both would leave the silence above and below the selected range unaffected.

Now I have to label each section (up to 400 per file) and do each labelled section separately. As a result it takes much more time to process.

Probably even older.

Does your audio contain many silences longer that 2 seconds?

Probably even older.

Yes, It may have been longer than 5 years. Is it possible to get that option back?

Does your audio contain many silences longer that 2 seconds?

Normally the longest silence is 1.5 seconds. Although since it is spoken, there is occasionally a longer silence for effect after asking a question to the listener. This is rare.

So, in effect, what you want to do, is to compress short silences by 50%, and long silences (over 1 second) you want to truncate to 1 second(?)

How about running the current version of Truncate Silence twice:
First run: compress silences that are longer than 0.22 seconds by 50%.
Second run: Truncate silences that are longer than 1.0 seconds to 1.0 seconds.

The result will be slightly different from what you would get with the old method, in that silences between 1.0 seconds and 1.8 seconds will be a little less than 1.0 seconds instead of exactly 1.0 seconds, but the effect will be pretty similar. If you find that the compression is too much, you could perhaps compensate by compressing by less than 50% on the first run.

I have tried what you mention. Since most end of sentence pauses are between 1.o and 1.5 seconds, doing this creates to many short silences at end of sentences.

Is there not any way to get the old feature restored?

It appears that the change to Truncate Silence was made in 2010.

I’ve tested a very old version of Audacity (1.3.14 beta) to see how it used to work, and I’m not sure that it worked in the way that you describe, or at least not in the way that I interpreted your description.

The old version had controls for

  • Min silence duration
  • Max silence duration
  • Silence compression
  • Threshold for silence

“Min silence duration” was the minimum length that a silence would be after processing.
“Max silence duration” was the maximum length of silence that would be ignored by the effect.
“Silence compression” was a ratio of “original length of silence”:“new length of silence”

Example with some simple numbers:

  • Min silence duration = 1 second
  • Max silence duration = 2 seconds
  • Silence compression = 2:1

With these settings:
Silences less that 2 seconds would be ignored by the effect.
Silences greater than 2 seconds would become the greater of: (a) half of the original length (b) 1 second - the “Min silence duration”

So now on to what you are trying to accomplish: What settings were you using?

I think we are talking about the same thing.

Yes, we are talking about the same effect from the older version. Now each silence has to edited individually. Is it possible to restore this older effect?

With both the old version and the new version, you can:

  • Compress by 50%
  • Ignore silences less than 0.25 seconds

With both the old version and the new version, you can not:

  • Ignore silences longer than 1 second.