I’m hoping there’s an Audacity expert in the house, this little issue has been driving me insane for far too long!
Okay, so in Audacity, you can playback your audio from any position in the waveform. You click somewhere and you either press the play button or press the space bar. Now, you can also LOOP the audio if you press SHIFT + Spacebar or by selecting Transport > Loop Play.
What I have never worked out how to do however (and I’m not even sure if this is possible) is, have LOOP Play selected AND be able to start playing from any position in the waveform. Basically, what I am trying to do is double-check the quality of the loop. So instead of having to initiate LOOP Play and listen to the ENTIRE track, I want to initiate LOOP Play and start playing towards the end of the track so the track finishes and then loops back to the start. Not sure if it matters, but for the record, I’m using the Mac version of Audacity. I can’t work out how to do it – is it even possible?!
I messed with it and that just seems to be the behavior of the app. I think that might be a feature request, to be able to toggle loop mode on and off. SO far I haven’t seen a way to do that. Hope I’m wrong. I use iTunes to check my loops and that seems to be working out.
I was thinking about this last night, and I seem to remember being able to loop from the position of the cursor, within a region, and maybe one other way but not from the position of the scrub head. I think I may have gotten around this with using the pause feature creatively, like you can in Logic. Pause a song where you would like to begin the looping from, and rather than hitting space bar or the play button, use the pause button to resume play. Not at the computer with Audacity on it right now, but figured it toss this out there to see if it could help.
I still use this trick in Logic to get around resetting loop regions, and when wanting to listen to longer tracks with sustained midi notes that start before the desired playback area. Come in handy.
It is a shortcoming. It’s free software, yet for the price still offers a fairly respectable arsenal of tools.
What you could try for checking loop quality on long files is this procedure:
- Copy the last few seconds.
- Paste into new Audacity file.
- Copy the beginning few seconds.
- Paste into new Audicity file, ensuring cursor is at the very end of the original paste.
- Listen carefully for any discontinuity at the “seam”
- Edit if necessary in the original source wave
It’s not ideal, but does at least get you past having to listen to the entire n-minute loop.
Hope that helps.