Cut or shorten the tracks?

Hi all.
I have a number of tracks for each song I recorded. In almost every track there are zones containing silence.
I haven’t tried to do it yet, but I was wondering about it.
I suppose that taking all the zones where is the silence away, it will allow to reduce the size of the file.
My question is: if I shorten the zones where is the silence, instead cutting and deleting them, do I obtain the same result? Or is it better just to cut them (split) and delete them?
Thank you.

For audio, Ardour is a non-linear non-destructive digital audio workstation. No edit that you carry out will ever change the audio file on disk. The data on disk remains unchanged at all times.

So translated it means, if I understood correctly, that if a track it’s, say 12MB on the hd, if I cut and delete the zones where’s the silence, it will remain 12MB no matter what?

Correct. The audio file will still be the full 12MB, and there will be an Ardour XML project file containing a list of different sections of that 12MB file to be played in sequence.

I like to cut out the silent zones in an acoustic recording for other reasons. If it’s a live mic and not really silent but picking up background sound in a section where the instrument is silent or the vocalist is not singing, cutting out that background spill gets a cleaner sound, but it doesn’t save any file space.

Just get a big enough HD and don’t worry about file sizes!

Hi Ana, that’s good I understood. Actually I don’t have any problem of space since my HD is about 500TB but as soon as I finished with a song, I move it on an external HD and store there. So basically my HD is always empty. I only have the project I’m working on.
And yes, the reason to cut silent zones is quite true. I use mic for vocals and acoustics, so it might pick any sound in the studio.
The only problem, which is not really a problem in the end, it’s if you apply an effect, say a reverb, to a vocal or acoustic track, the zone where is recorded must be cut longer than if it wasn’t any effect otherwise you’ll end with cutting the sound.


That shouldn’t be true.

What will happen is you will cut the input signal into the reverb, but the reverb should continue processing and you should hear the reverb decay naturally. What might make a difference is to add a fade to the end of the region so that it isn’t as obvious that you have cut the input (Something i teach my students to do anyways), especially if you have lots of background noise in the recording. A simple crossfade with no second region will do this fine in many cases, but no matter what the reverb should always decay naturally.

There is an option to silence plugins on transport stop, so if your session end marker is to soon after the end of a region, you can get an unnatural ‘stop’ on previewing and exporting, to fix that merely make your session as long as it needs to be to give time to decay naturally.