Deleting Parts of a Song

how to delete parts of a song

Hello Folks,

does anybody know, how to delete a part of a song in ntrack?
For instance I want to delete a chorus from a song. I highlight everything of the chorus and say “delete”. In this case, every marked part of the song is removed, but the bars itself will be stay empty in the song, so I have to drag each following part x bars to the front.
Is there a possibility to remove a part of the song complety, without dragging the rest of a song manually to the front?

Best regards …

Do the same thing, only, go to “destructive wave editing mode” first. You can do this using the toolbar button just to the right of the “selection” button (cursor arrow). It’s icon is a red wave, and there’s a yellow arrow in destructive mode. (I believe the icon is the same in V4.)

I tried this just now in V3, and unfortunately, it only works correctly (sliding the deleted stuff over) for audio tracks. For MIDI tracks, it still leaves a hole.

In general, to drag parts around without worrying about goofing up the timing, you have to have the grid set up properly and use the grid. If you already recorded MIDI parts, before establishing a timeline and click track, you’re kinda hosed, without using an external program to rework the MIDI timing to a new tempo.

Good general rule: set up the time signature and bpm and do a click track before recording. Sure, some songs don’t want a regular click track, but most do, and it makes overdubbing and editing a lot easier. Like any rule, it’s fine to break when you have a good reason and understand the consequences.


Just a side note: if you were frustrated by having to move each track part separately, there is a way to move parts in multiple tracks all at once. I’m using 4.04 right now, so I haven’t tried this in version 3.3 and earlier, but you can move multiple parts at once in the timeline by (1) holding down Ctrl, (2) dragging a box selection across the tracks you want to move (the parts become highlighted when they are selected), then (3) while still holding Ctrl down, click and drag on one of the selected tracks to slide the whole selected group. [EDIT: I just tried it in 3.3 and it works the same.]

I don’t know why, but in ver. 4.04, the destructive editing doesn’t want to cut across all the tracks at once for me, so just in case you wanted to stay with non-destructive editing, perhaps this will make life easier if you weren’t using this feature already.



To do that you have to start your control-drag (to select) outside all tracks. So, scrunch 'em all down a bit and I bet it works just dandy for you in V4 too!

Hey Jeff,

I tried 3.3 just now, and it still didn’t cut all of the tracks at once in destructive mode–just one–BUT I found that that’s what it’s supposed to do! (Or NOT do, rather.) According to the section in the manual on destructive wave editing (what, me RTFM? :laugh: ):

If you drag on the time axis all the tracks will appear to be selected, but the wave editing operations will have effect only on the wave file that has the white border around its waveform.

This is what I’m seeing in destructive mode. Well actually the manual doesn’t say what happens if you have a “white border” around several waveforms, which can be done by dragging a selection rectangle around them. The answer appears to be that only the selected track (i.e., track selected by clicking it’s track label button, etc.) is affected.

With Non-destructive editing, however, I can drag on the time axis to create a highlight “strip” across several tracks, hit Ctrl-X, and N-track will delete the highlighted section across all the (audio) tracks simultaneously. The downside is, of course, that you have to close the gap manually, which is made easier by the Box-select–>Ctrl-leftclick-drag I mentioned.

Anyway, that’s where I was coming from. If you’ve found a way to destructively delete a portion of multiple tracks at once, please divulge it! :) In the meantime, I really need to RTWFM (W=whole) one of these days–there’s some good stuff in there! :p



Just to add my $0.02 to what learjeff said - another reason for putting down a MIDI click track is if you use any time based VST plugins (echo, tremelo etc.) you can very easily synch them to the track tempo to get some cool effects.

Any ideas how I could apply a click track after the event??? Some apps have an option where you can create a temp map by hitting the space key on the first beat of each bar or whatever (I think Logic did this when I last checked it out when it was still a PC app.)

Good one, Scantee – I was dead wrong.

It seems we need a Delete edit entry, similar to the “Insert” one. It should operate identically on wave and MIDI tracks. Or else fix Cut so that it can handle multiple selections, allowing you to Paste it in somewhere else.

Perhaps I’m missing something, though. I really did think there was a way to do this in n-Track. I know the question has come up before. But it’s something I generally don’t do.

What I do if I’m going to really rearrange a song is mixdown all the tracks and import the submix. (Of course, I have the grid set up.) I cut/paste/splice/drag this one track around until I like the composition, without worrying about clicks at the splice point. Then I carefully cut/paste/drag/drop the individual wave parts around as appropriate to fit the new arrangement, using new or cloned audio tracks below the rearranged mix. Mute the original tracks, and then work on the splice points for each track by zooming in and adjusting the end handles with the grid turned off.

But that doesn’t make a simple operation of just deleting measures or time from the song, and that should be an easy task.

Quote (learjeff @ April 21 2005,11:03)
It seems we need a Delete edit entry, similar to the "Insert" one. It should operate identically on wave and MIDI tracks. Or else fix Cut so that it can handle multiple selections, allowing you to Paste it in somewhere else.

Yes! I agree. I'd like it to be the exact inverse of inserting measures, and just as simple for the user.
Quote (learjeff @ April 21 2005,11:03)
I really did think there was a way to do this in n-Track. I know the question has come up before.

If there is, I hope someone shares it. This would also mean (a) it needs to be more visible in the interface and (b) the logic is there, so there would be minimal coding to make a "Delete Measures" option in the Edit menu, IMHO.

Hmmmm...when's the next feature vote? :D


Jeff, adding a click after the fact is doable but tedious. I’ve done it a number of times for collaborations, where what I got doesn’t have a solid timeline, either because there was no click, or because an external click was used, and which drifts off any straight tempo I try to apply. I’ve also done it to tracks from albums.

This is a lot easier if you don’t have a bunch of tracks already. But I’ll talk you though the harder case. It’s generally harder because you probably started at a random location in time, but you don’t want to move all the tracks to line 'em up with a new click. I advise not moving them (without the grid, anyway) to avoid wondering (when you see some bad timing) whether they were messed up all along, or whether you goofed when you moved them.

First, take a mix track or one track that has enough timing info in it to use as the “gospel”. A mix is usually best, so you can hear if the different tracks are out of wack at any one point.

With the grid off, drag the start handle to the first good solid beat in the song. With the grid on, slide that track left to the very beginning. Zoom in so you see a couple measures. Adjust the tempo in the toolbar until it looks close. Note that you can enter fractional tempos. Find the BPM that most closely matches the first few measures of the song, and make a note of it. This is the “starting tempo”.

Now, drag that track back out full length (as it was originally, so it lines up with the originals).

Set the upper timeline to use M:B:T timing. (Right click on the timeline to set it.)

Here’s the hardest part: Look at the beginning of the music, and mentally back up a whole measure or two (because you probably want a count-in for your click track – especially if you might get other folks to lay tracks for you in their studios). Mark the spot (e.g., put the time cursor there), and adjust the tempo in the timeline until a measure line lines up with that spot, more or less. Now right click in the timeline, just to the right of the beginning of the measure, and choose “Set BPM”. A popup appears, with the exact time in it. Edit the time in that popup to be an exact measure (set the ticks to zero), and enter.

Now, click in the timeline anywhere to the RIGHT of the BPM marker you just added. Adjust the BPM in the toolbar and set it to the “starting tempo” you found earlier. Now, click to the LEFT of the BPM marker and fine tune the bpm in the toolbar so that the first beat in the song lines up perfectly with the grid.

OK, now you have the song starting on an even measure, and with a couple measures before the song start to use as count-in. What remains is to find the places where the tempo drifts and add new BPM markers (and adjust BPMs) to keep the grid lined up with the music.

So, scan to the right for a discrepancy. (You’ll have to decide for yourself how much slop you’re going to allow.) When you see one, scan back for the last measure that’s nicely lined up, and add a BPM marker at the beginning of that measure, just like you did above (right click to add the marker, and edit the “ticks” to zero). Click to the right of the BPM change in the timeline, and adjust the tempo in the toolbar so that the next section of the song lines up.

Sometimes I have to make adjustments every few measures. Sometimes I have to make adjustments every beat, in a measure here or there with a ritard or a-tempo. (Or just a goofup!)

Once you have a grid, use the MIDI piano roll to paint in a click track. (Note: in V4 you should be able to program a measure or 4 measures or whatever, and repeatedly paste it in. In V3.3 and earlier, pasting MIDI across BPM changes doesn’t do what you want!)


Thanks for that - it all makes sense and I’ll have a play at the weekend if I get some time.