Completed Proposal Import/Export Eq Curves

From Audacity Wiki
Revision as of 11:25, 16 March 2010 by PeterSampson (talk | contribs) (Discussion: typo)
Jump to: navigation, search
Proposal pages help us get from feature requests into actual plans. This page is a proposal for importable and exportable preset curves for the Equalization effect.
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.

Proposed Feature

To provide a simple method to import/export curves for the Equalization effect. This would allow a "library" of curves to be made available for simple download and installation by any user.

Developer/QA Backing

  • Martyn Shaw?
  • GA

Use Cases

  • The Equalization effect is a versatile multi-purpose tool used by most users:
  • The current Preset list is dominated by "vinyl equalization" curves.
  • Many other curves that would be useful to many users are excluded.
  • What may be a useful set of curves for some users will be irrelevant to other users. A simple method to import "preset" curves will allow users to load the Equalizer effect with the curves that are most useful for them.
  • A simple method to export curves will allow users to easily share their custom curves with others and quickly build a library of Equalization settings.


It has occurred many times on the forum that a user has asked how to achieve a result using Equalization, for example how to simulate the sound of a walkie-talkie, or remove the harshness from a vocal recording. While it is simple to produce suitable Eq settings, passing that information on to the user either requires that they try to copy a screen-capture or manually edit the EQCurves.xml file. Neither of these solutions are convenient or user friendly.

There has recently been a revised RIAA curve produced. The facility to easily import curves would allow users to immediately make use of this and similar resources.

A selection of "general purpose" settings such as "bass boost/bass cut/treble boost/treble cut/telephone/loudness/rumble filter" would not only be useful to a wide audience but could have "educational value" for people that are new to audio processing.


From a user perspective, a simple way to implement import/export of Eq curves would be the addition of 2 buttons on the Equalizer interface. Clicking the "Export" button would bring up a browser window allowing the current curve settings to be exported as an XML file. Clicking the "Import" button would bring up a browser window allowing a correctly formatted XML file to be imported and become the current Custom curve.

The name of the curve could be included in the XML file but this poses potential issues of duplicate curve names. Alternatively the curve could unnamed and simply become the "Custom" curve that the user can Save into their preset list in the normal way.

Position of the buttons:

There are various options but at present I would favour placing the Import/Export buttons after the Save/Delete buttons. The "Grid" checkbox could be moved lower down to the same line as "Preview" button.


  • Gale: I think curves would have to be named - the average user will have little idea from a row of figures what the curve is. There should be a dialogue to ask user to choose a new name if an imported curve bears the same name as an existing one.

    Although we don't want to get too advanced to begin with, clearly the most useful way this feature will develop will be that packages of curves will be available such as "Robots and automatons"; "Radios"; "Genres" etc. So I think we should at least be planning for that at this stage e.g. selecting multiple/all items in the curve list or in the browser window exports/imports a batch of curves as one named xml file.

  • Peter 16Mar10: I support the idea of simple import and export of EQ curves. The method of doing it right now by editing the EQCurves.xml file is far too "programmery" for many of our users. Since it is possible to have many EQ curves and one could soon overload the Equalization drop-down list, I would prefer an interface whereby we could provide a few basic ones in the Equalization effect as a default - but also provide an EQ curve library from which users could download a required curve from the library into their Equaliation effect list. And users should be able to remove items from their EQ list - but should not be able to remove items from the library.