Completed: Proposal Binding Effects to Hot-Keys

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Revision as of 16:30, 31 December 2011 by PeterSampson (talk | contribs) (minor formatting change for readability)
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Proposal pages help us get from feature requests into actual plans. This page is a proposal to enable the Binding of chosen effects to buttons or keyboard shortcuts.

This is not intended to be tackled prior to the release of Audacity version 2.0

Proposal pages are used on an ongoing basis by the Audacity development team and are open to edits from visitors to the wiki. They are a good way to get community feedback on a proposal.

  • Note: Proposals for Google Summer of Code projects are significantly different in structure, are submitted via Google's web app and may or may not have a corresponding proposal page.

The Problem

The Effects list has grown very long in Audacity, most users use only a small subset of these effects and finding the ones they need in the long list is difficult (and requires at least two or more clicks).

A typical user's use of effects means that they will use a small subset - but each item will be used many times in the editing process.

Proposed Feature

A limited number of keys to be assignable to commonly used effects.

The keys used and the effects to be bound to them to be definable by the user.

Developer/QA Backing

  • Peter
  • Greg Kozikowski

Use Cases

User transcribing LPs or tapes This user will typically be repeatedly using the following five effects: Fade In, Fade Out, Click Removal, Noise Removal and Amplify (or Normalize). In particular the Fades are used at the beginning and end of each track, so several time for each LP, these involve 2 clicks each to activate. Each use of the effect. The other effects will often inviolve more than two clicks to activate.


  • A limited number of keys to be assignable to commonly used effects. The keys used and the effects to be bound to them to be definable by the user.
  • I would suggest that 5 keys/efects would be sufficient for most users (7 at maximum as beyond that the user will struggle to remember the bindings). Although there is no real need to limit the number as there are plenty of available keys that are not currently assigned in Preferences>Keyboard.
  • The effects bindings to keys to be managed by the user through a new Preference page called "Effects Keyboard Shortcuts" (see GUI mockup below).
  • Checkbox by each effect in the list to indicate which keys are to be bound to effects.
  • User to define through radio buttons, where appropriate, whether the effect should "Use Last Values" or "Use Default Values".
    • Peter 31Dec: I suspect the GUI needs to ne extended to allow the user to input fresh values.
  • Audacity to check that the user is not attempting to define a key which already has a binding, either here or in Preferences>Keyboard - in which case the binding would be denied and a warning/error message raised.
  • Default to be no bindings assigned (I believe there is no really "typical" user).

GUI Examples

Effects mapping to keys.png

Thanks to Ed Musgrove for supplying this mockup.

Ed comments:

"This is real code but only built-in Effects are considered and only the GUI is implemented at this time. I have some ideas about how to install the shortcuts on the menu. I realize that post-2.0 the Developers have plans to add the Effects plug-ins to the Commands Manager – this should make managing their shortcuts a lot easier. My interim solution allows the user to turn any Effect on or off in the menu, select whether the Effect dialog opens showing the default values or the most recently used values and, obviously, allows the association of the keyboard shortcut. It also creates a separate Preferences page – the Keyboard page is already very long."

Please see the Talk page for further relevant details of the forum thread discussing this proposed GUI.

Previous Feature Requests relating to this proposal

This is one of the "Highest Rated" items in the list of Feature Requests on the Wiki.

Bind effects to buttons or keyboard shortcuts: including particular parameters thereof e.g. one keystroke to amplify + 3 dB, another keystroke -3 dB, another to compress (34 votes)

  • Effects for which this has been requested: Amplify; Change Speed; Fade In/Out; Generate Tone; Insert Silence; Noise Removal; Repair; DC removal ; Chris' Compressor