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White/gray bars and/or blue lines at the top and bottom of the track

Posted: Wed Sep 11, 2019 8:25 am
by waxcylinder
We often get users writing to ask: "Why have I got white/gray bars and/or blue lines at the top and bottom of the track - as in this example:
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Simple Envelope.png
Simple Envelope.png (62.82 KiB) Viewed 5684 times

This means you have either turned on the Envelope tool or the Multi-tool either in the Tools Toolbar - or more likely by inadvertently turning on the alternate tool by pressing its shortcut key (note that only one tool can be selected at a time).

In the example above the user has also inadvertently created an amplitude envelope (not the blue lines are not at the top of the track - and note the blue dote.

This is all too easy to do on many computers as the function keys are always active with a single press - on some it is harder to do accidentally, as to invoke the function keys you need to use the Function button on the keyboard to access the function keys.

Even more dangerously the shortcut keys A and D will cycle you through the tools in turn, clockwise or anti-clockwise. - this is true for all computers.

The function keys F1 to F6 select one of the six different tool from the Tools Toolbar.
Tools Toolbar - I-beam selected.png
Tools Toolbar - I-beam selected.png (6.53 KiB) Viewed 5689 times

All you need to do to revert is to press function key F1 - or click in the I-beam in the Tools toolbar:
I-Beam.png
I-Beam.png (379 Bytes) Viewed 5686 times

This will revert Audacity to using the default Selection tool (the I-beam) in the Tools toolbar.

But before you do that, if you have inadvertently also created an amplitude envelope - you will need to restore full amplitude. Do this bay dragging the white dots to the top of the track until the blue line is at the top. If you do not do this your amplitude will remain restricted by the envelope.

See this page in the Audacity Manual: https://manual.audacityteam.org/man/tools_toolbar.html