Truncate Silence feature like in Audacity?

I’m still searching for a good solution to this issue for my podcast editing needs.

I edit a podcast with 4-7 guests each week, plus a few tracks of transition sounds, chatter, etc.

In editing with Ardour, I cut out the parts I don’t need throughout the recording, then export it as a FLAC file, but that leaves sometimes long silences, so I import that file into Audacity and run the truncate silence effect, use .5 seconds, and all the silence is shortened to .5 seconds and it’s perfect. Then I export to the formats I need, mp3, flac and ogg.

I’ve heard I can use ffmpeg in Ardour when exporting in order to achieve this but the commands I had found previously didn’t work so I kept my edit in Ardour, and truncate silence in Audacity, workflow.

I’d love to figure out how to do it all in Ardour.

It also looks like I could do all 3 file formats at the same time in the export window, but that would only work if I can get a script going that would shorten all the silences to no more than .5 seconds.

I’m also willing to pay someone for an hour of their time if it’s a detailed answer. I have searched and searched, and I’m not the only one requesting this, but I have not found any answers.

I have been trying to use some of these parameters in ffmpeg. FFmpeg Filters Documentation

Did you try Region > Edit > Strip Silence ?

On Export, Ardour can trim silence. Have a look at unfa’s latest video 45:30 mins into it:

However if you use preferences from older ardour, you will have to edit them first.

While ardour is not running open ~/.config/ardour6/config in a text-editor and change

<Option name="export-silence-threshold" value="-60"/>

value is in dB. By default ardour uses absolute silence. so even slight noise will cause export-trim to to keep it otherwise

or Ripple edit mode? (Slide/Ripple/Lock options located under the transport bar)
…when you cut what you don’t want, everything that follows closes the gap

I have not tried that yet, I just looked, but I’m not sure how that will work. One guest speaks, then doesn’t speak for another 20 minutes, I don’t want the next thing they say to be moved up in the timeline.

I started watching that one yesterday but I hadn’t gotten to that point yet. It’s only 1 track though right? Will that work with multiple speaking tracks?

Maybe I’m not explaining this very well. Here’s a screenshot of my timeline when I’m about to export.

I can’t use ripple delete because then everything to the right will move up, and the conversation will not be in sync.

If I trim silence, how will that work as this is across 7-12 tracks each week.

When I used to edit everything in Audacity, I used to edit it all, then mix it down to one track, then apply the truncate silence. In Ardour, it’s still across multiple tracks, do I have to do something similar and mix it down to one track then do the trim silence?

Maybe I need a different editing workflow. Since I know I can always truncate silence, I don’t worry too much if I cut out a bunch of mistakes, leaving 10 or 20 seconds of silence. It makes editing go faster. I guess I could do ripple deletes along the way to keep everything aligned, but it feels like that would add a lot more time for editing.

On Export, silence trim operates on the exported file(s), not on individual tracks.

I did this first, but it didn’t look like it did anything. I exported it next and when I opened the file, the silent gaps were still there.

After doing this step, will anything change in the timeline or is it just something that should happen at export.

The thread has made it more clear what you are looking for, and it’s definitely not anything that currently exists in Ardour. It could probably be implemented very rapidly as a Lua script, except for the problem that there are likely some parameters that the user (you) would want to set, and that means some sort of GUI dialog, which can’t be created with Lua scripts.

EDITED: it appears that you want an operation that happens after export OR happens on just a single track. It would move audio within the exported file (or single track) so that there are no silent sections longer than N seconds.

It seems clear that you do not want an operation that would operate on multiple tracks, since it would be quite hard to determine how/if to move regions so that the result is as-desired.

That corresponds to Ardour’s trim silence on export.

When you export, everything is mixed down to Ardour’s master-bus which is used when exporting. Silence is trimmed from the exported (mixed down) audio.