I've got this:

enter image description here

I want to remove that gap, moving all strips to the right up to fill it. Normally I can do this by pressing backspace, but I can't do that here because of the audio track above --- Blender doesn't think that's a gap.

Is there any way I can tell blender to ignore the audio track while removing gaps?

Check out the addon Blender Power Sequencer. Pressing C will do that for you.

  • That looks like it only works on one channel at a time, though, which I don't want --- I have lots of other strips (mostly text overlays) in the three channels between the audio/video and the sound overlay which need to be moved appropriately. – David Given May 8 at 21:30

I think I've found a solution. I don't know if it's the best solution, but it does appear to be a solution.

Place the playhead in the gap. Select all strips to the right. This won't select the audio overlay because it doesn't start to the right of the playhead, but it will select everything else. Then Grab, and manually move left so it overlaps the strips to the left of the gap. On confirmation, the two strips to the right will have been moved so that there's no gap, and every other strip will have been removed the appropriate amount.

If, however, I come back in ten minutes discovering that everything's been garbled because all my carefully placed overlays and crossfades have been rearranged, I will scream here, and you'll know it didn't actually work.

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