Rhythm Track

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Rhythm Track generates a sequence of regular pulses at the selected tempo, beats per bar and either number of bars or track duration, using a selectable sound. It can thus be used like a metronome for setting a steady beat against which an overdub recording can be made.
Advice Note carefully that when you apply a Generator to a selected time-stretched clip the changed speed of the clip will be automatically rendered.
  • If you apply a Generator to a selection within a time-stretched clip then Audacity will split the original clip so that the selection can be rendered as part of applying the Generator
Accessed by: Generate > Rhythm Track
Rhythm Track 3-5-0.png

Tempo (bpm)

The total number of beats, (clicks) per minute, default is 120.

Beats per bar

The first beat of each bar is always louder than the remaining beats in the bar. So for example, three beats per bar will sound like a waltz in 3/4 time signature, and four beats per bar (the default) will sound like the 4/4 of a march or like most pop songs.

Swing amount

When set to zero, each beat has the exact length specified by the Tempo (beats per minute). When set to a non-zero amount, alternate beats are delayed or advanced to give a swing feel. At maximum / minimum settings the rhythm plays with triplet timing.

Number of bars

Beats per bar is repeated for the chosen number of bars. The default is 16 bars. The combination of tempo, beats per bar and number of bars determines the length of the generated track unless the rhythm track duration is specified (see the next control).

Rhythm track duration

If you enter a value into this time control, the generated rhythm track will be at or slightly longer than this duration. The end of the track is extended into a whole bar if the entered duration does not produce a complete final bar.

Start time offset

Makes the rhythm track start at a later point on the Timeline than the very beginning (zero seconds). The maximum is 30 seconds and the default is zero.

Beat sound

Choose which sound to use for the beats. The default is "Metronome tick".

MIDI pitch of strong beat

The pitch of the first beat in each bar. The MIDI values indicate what pitch to use. Examples:

  • C-notes are 24, 36, 48, 60 (middle C), 72, 84, 96, 108
  • C# (C sharp) above middle C is 61
  • The default is 92 (G#).

MIDI pitch of weak beat

The pitch of the remaining beats in each bar. The default is 80 (G# an octave below the strong click).

  • Once created, the track can be edited (for example, its volume changed) like any audio track.
  • When exporting your finished work, use the Track Control Panel to either close or mute the Rhythm Track, so that it is not audible in the exported file.


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