Experimental Features

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Peter 15Dec15: This page appears to be out of date. Surely we have sync-locking, some RTP plug-ins, Science Filters (now known as "Classic Filters" and spectral editing formally released already and as such are no longer "experimental".
  • Full WASAPI has been enabled and released too.
  • Gale 16Dec15: Updated (at least partially). EXPERIMENTAL_REALTIME_EFFECTS has been removed but EXPERIMENTAL_REALTIME_AUDACITY_EFFECTS is still valid. The other items you mention are still experimental defines, even though the defines are enabled.


These are some experimental features that are enabled/disabled in Audacity in src/Experimental.h.

#define Status
EXPERIMENTAL_FULL_WASAPI Enabled. Works but with bugs/limitations noted in bug 652.
EXPERIMENTAL_KEY_VIEW Enabled. Works well. Used in Keyboard Preferences.
EXPERIMENTAL_EFFECT_MANAGEMENT Enabled. Replaced EFFECT_CATEGORIES. Menu item leading to the Plug-in Manager
EXPERIMENTAL_MODULE_PREFS Enabled for evaluation of new method where users may enable "new" modules in these preferences.
EXPERIMENTAL_REALTIME_AUDACITY_EFFECTS Enabled for evaluation. Allows realtime processing in Audacity effects that have been converted.
EXPERIMENTAL_SCIENCE_FILTERS Enabled. Works, but this effect is still disabled by default and must be enabled in the Plug-in Manager.
EXPERIMENTAL_SPECTRAL_EDITING Enabled for evaluation. Allows frequency selection when in a Spectrogram view and editing that selection with three new Nyquist Spectral edit* plug-ins.
EXPERIMENTAL_SYNC_LOCK Enabled. Graphics and name make it unclear/confusing. Too useful to disable, but needs further work.

#define Status
EXPERIMENTAL_EFFECTS_RACK Disabled. Provides a virtual "rack" to enable/disable effects and open/close their UI.
EXPERIMENTAL_EQ_SSE_THREADED Disabled. Close to working. Minor problems with boundaries between FFT windows. May have already been fixed.
Disabled. Works. Too tricky to use. A new mechanism is in the works which will be in a plug-in. It will re-use some of the code. It will use a zip file containing the theming data, rather than attempt to tile the images into a bitmap.
EXPERIMENTAL_EXTRA_MONITORING Disabled. Slightly broken. AU14 Track Panel will support monitoring from the first play or record rather than (as here) from when Audacity first opens. This helps make it clearer when a crash is caused by a soundcard.
EXPERIMENTAL_ROLL_UP_DIALOG Disabled. Works. Not liked. It makes the screen too busy.
RIGHT_ALIGNED_TEXTBOXES Disabled. Works. No reason to switch it on. Probably should become a ShuttleGui option, rather than a compiler one, and possibly from there become a preference.
EXPERIMENTAL_VOICE_DETECTION Disabled. Seriously broken. Little prospect of anyone putting in time to fix it any time soon. Any code that is worth having in here should become a plug-in.
Disabled. Status unclear. Logf spectrum already mainstream. Features by Andreas Michaelander.
Disabled. Slightly broken.
Disabled. Status unclear. Ask Roger. Both depend on MIDI support.
EXPERIMENTAL_NOTEBOOK Disabled. Works. Used to add extra pages to the main panel. Probably the hi-jacker module approach will be used instead, as that also provides a new window for new stuff.
Disabled. These are all essentially place holders, invitations to talk about these currently sketchy features. Most likely route ot any of them is now via plug-in modules.

Some descriptions

Sync-Lock (for Label Linking)

Currently labels do not move in all cases when you cut/paste or apply effects to the audio, even if the label track is included in the selection. Sync-Lock allows labels to move without selecting the label track and is enabled. Sync-Lock works well for many effects, but there are still some which it needs fine-tuning for. The feature is documented in the Manual at Sync-Locked Track Groups.

Extra Monitoring

We'd like the audio monitor to be on by default, but this experimental modification is still causing some problems. The monitor gets switched off again when it shouldn't.


The ability to change the 'skin' of Audacity. The current method is cumbersome to use and inhibits adding new bitmaps into Audacity. One proposal has been to use wxFormbuilder to build up the theme so that we have a graphical tool for doing it.

Roll Up Dialogs

An experimental feature for hiding/showing a larger dialog dynamically. Not polished enough for mainstream use yet.

Transcription Toolbar

An extra toolbar to help with annotating recordings of the spoken voice. The full toolbar has some buggy algorithms for creating labels at spoken words. It lives on in release versions as a shortened toolbar that allows variable speed playback.

Effect Categories

Now removed and replaced by EXPERIMENTAL_EFFECT_MANAGEMENT. Was a GSoC project to organise the very large number of effects anticipated with LV2 support. It was discontinued because without user customisability the hierarchical classification proved to be not that useful in practice, and was not extensible to all effect formats.

Find Notes

A spectrumLogF-like view mode with notes quantization. This is used to find notes in a recording.

On-Demand Loading for FLAC

On-Demand loading of audio is mainstream Audacity for WAV and AIFF files. It is still experimental for FLAC, though released for FLAC on Linux because FLAC imports can use libsndfile on that platform.

Score Align

Align audio with a MIDI score.

Automated Level Adjustment

Tries to find an optimal recording volume, increased to get full scale deflection but that does not clip.


These features are so small, old or experimental they don't have headings for themselves.

  • Right aligned Textboxes: More a user preference than anything else.
  • Nyquist Inspector: More an experiment with extra panels in the main display than anything else. The intention was to make Audacity GUI elements available for scripting, first in Nyquist and then with external script.
  • Spectrum View Features: Grid, skip points etc.
  • Seek behind cursor: Allows "seek left" during playback to move behind the editing cursor. Disabled because as implemented, it caused other undesirable behavior.
  • RealFFTF: A faster FFT than what we had. This is mainstream now and not experimental.