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DetectSilence : Filter : PureUGen : UGen : AbstractFunction : Object

Detect when input falls below an amplitude threshold


When the absolute value of the input signal remains below the threshold for a given window of time, output 1. Otherwise, output 0. If the output transitions from 0 to 1, doneAction is also evaluated.

If the input signal starts with silence at the beginning of the synth's duration, then DetectSilence will wait indefinitely until the first sound before starting to monitor for silence. To avoid a hanging silent sound where the input may remain zero, you can add an to its input.

DetectSilence does not distinguish a DC-biased signal from a loud signal. If your signal has DC bias, you should wrap it in LeakDC.

WARNING: DetectSilence can be tricky with multi-channel input! See below.

Class Methods 0.0, amp: 0.0001, time: 0.1, doneAction: 0) 0.0, amp: 0.0001, time: 0.1, doneAction: 0)



The input signal.


When input falls below this for long enough, evaluate

doneAction .


The minimum duration for which input must fall below

amp before this triggers.


An integer representing the doneAction. See

Done for more detail.


This UGen outputs 1 if silence is detected, otherwise 0.

Inherited class methods

Instance Methods

Inherited instance methods

Undocumented instance methods


From extension in /SuperCollider/Contents/Resources/SCClassLibrary/Common/Audio/



DetectSilence and multiple inputs

Be careful feeding multiple inputs into DetectSilence, since multichannel expansion can lead to confusing behavior. This code[left, right] +, doneAction: 2)

spawns two DetectSilences, and the enclosing Synth frees itself when left OR right becomes silent. (The is there to ensure that DetectSilence starts detecting silence right away rather than waiting for non-silence.)

Usually you want to detect silence for both inputs, so what's a good way to change that OR into an AND? The solution is not to sum (left + right) / 2.sqrt, because there may be phase cancellation in that sum. Instead, use DetectSilence's output instead of its doneAction, and use FreeSelf to do the freeing. Recall that DetectSilence outputs 1 if silence is detected, and 0 otherwise. Taking the product of multiple DetectSilences will return 1 only if all the DetectSilences are 1. So here is the correct solution to freeing a Synth when both left and right first fall silent:[left, right] +

It's also possible to mix the signals with full-wave rectification to avert phase cancellation issues ([left, right].abs.sum / 2.sqrt).