Feature Requests

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Revision as of 01:06, 6 August 2008 by Gscelsi (talk | contribs) (Added 1 vote to 'gather statistics' proposal)
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This is our Feature Requests page where users can suggest new or enhanced Audacity features. You can either add your vote for existing suggestions already listed, or add a new request.
You can also comment about the Wiki or about the main Audacity website.


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Highest-rated

Anything with 10 or more votes can be moved here by cut-and-paste. If possible, put those with the highest votes on top of the list.
  • Synchronize playback / recording without manual time-shift tool (54 votes)
  • Allow direct MIDI editing/playback and incorporate midi sequencer (41 votes)
  • Multi-channel output (e.g. mix down to Dolby 5.1, 7.1, 10.2, 64.4 etc, Playback w. ALSA and Export (maybe OGG multichannel ?) might also be nice to have standard old-fashioned electroacoustic 4 and 8 channel circular arrays). (36 votes)
  • Punch-in and punch-out recording (33 votes) *PLEASE!*
  • Panning envelope editing (this is a really basic thing that is sorely needed in the current version (33 votes)
  • Allow real time effects (29 votes)
    • could allow effect intensity/LADSPA plugin parameters/panning to be varied in real-time?
    • include something similar to the envelope tool to adjust the effect parameters?
    • I suggest that the Equaliser can be made adjustable as the sound file is being played .
  • Import/Export AAC/MP4 files using open source FAAC library. This would support AAC multichannel and AAC+ (low bitrate streaming-optimised variety of AAC) (28 votes)
  • Automation:
    • Extend batch processing to include features dependent on selecting parts of tracks (e.g. trim, fades) (26 votes).
    • Control Audacity from command line (25 votes)
  • BPM Detection and beats / bars timecode and automatic beat matching/syncing with 2 or more songs (27 votes)
  • Markers on Waveform Ability to drop vertical marks that are 'glued' to the waveform on the main track (not on a label track). They should move when when track is moved, and also be adjustable and label-able if required. Should be possible to snap a region to the markers. This is an extremely useful feature available in Sound Forge and most other editing programs. (If this feature were installed, [www.amarc.org AMARC] would recommend and distribute Audacity for the worldwide community radio editing norm. Add AMARC's 3000+ worldwide members to the votes here.) (21 votes)
  • Fast-foward and Fast-reverse to the Next or Previous Silence, Edit or marked Point. It would be nice if tab cycled through all clips/regions in all tracks (if no track is selected), starting from the current cursor position. Or, if a track is selected, tab just cycles through the regions/clips just in that track. Same for shift-tab. - (21 votes) Note that you can already tab between labels when the focus is in the Label Track, then click in the label to recall the point or selection area denoted by the label
    • It doesn't make a lot of sense to add support for MIDI files if Audacity can't also be used as a sequencer. Obviously this would take some time, but if sufficiently developed would make Audacity competitive even with ProTools and Sonar!
  • Import/Export AC3 files (18 votes)
  • Effects Categorisation/Favorites: Allow the effects drop-down menu capable of sub-folders or categorisation so that the user can organize his plug-ins however he wishes. This could include a Favourites folder which would be at the top for frequently used plugins. How about making the "Favorites" area be auto-generating (not something the user needs to create in the file structure) by having Audacity keep track of the top-10 (10 most used) effects, and placing the most-used effect at the top?? (16 votes)
  • Have a preference for monitoring to be on by default (13 votes)We initially didn't do this because of concerns about performance on lower powered machines. We've since had feedback on this that is works fine and that not having monitoring "on" is causing a bigger problem - especially with new users. This however is not such an easy change as it appears and it may not necessarily be fixed in version 1.4.
    • Until monitoring is "always on", there should be a way of indicating if monitoring is on or not, because on a quiet system, noise may be off the meter (1 vote) Possible ways of doing so: a different background colour for the meter bars; a dynamic tooltip (maybe not possible with wxWidgets)? Note that 1.3.5 lets you choose the display range minimum for the meters.
  • Record from multiple sound devices at once - a lot of multi-channel cards look like this to the application, rather than one multi-channel device. (14 votes)
This theoretical solution is really for Windows where you need ASIO drivers for multi-channel recording but release builds of Audacity can't include ASIO support. Try building Audacity with ASIO support (for your own private non-distributable use only) or find a sound device that uses EWDM drivers. See this Wiki page on multi-channel recording .
  • there must be the possibility of selecting, for any track, a recording source, from the ones available for a certain sound card (also with the possibility of using multiple sound cards)
  • for mono tracks a mono IN form the sound card must be chosen; for stereo tracks, two mono INs from the soundcard must be chosen (but they can also be the same)
  • for each track the INs can be the same or different, and there must be a key for selecting whether the track is selected for recording or not
  • a versatile possibility would be to be able to choose the default recording source from Audacity just the way it is done now, and this is selected by default for each track, but with the possibility, for each track, of selecting a different recording source, the way I just described
  • this would also allow the possibility of easily setting the sampling rate, depth and number of channels for a track, before recording, and not simply based on master Audacity preferences and project settings, with maximum versatility
  • Import (extract) and/or Export (burn) CD audio tracks (12 votes) There is experimental code for CD Import/Export in progress. Help welcome.
  • Extreme Stretch effect - see this extension page in the Wiki: Extreme Stretch Effect (12 votes)
  • Import/Export AMR (Adaptive Multi-Rate) found e.g. on Nokia/SonyEricsson/Blackberry/iPhone Mobile Phones' Voice Memo or Playing features (supported in FFmpeg) (10 votes)
Note that AMR support in FFmpeg can't be legally distributed, so user must build their own FFmpeg library
  • Scrubbing:
    • Basic functionality: Drag playback position left/right while playing, no effect until drop. (8 votes) Common in audio players, for example Foobar. Allows to judge the end of (long) selections without having to play repeatedly.
Note: There is a hotkey B for play to selection and various alternative means of improved navigation in Beta Audacity. See here for more information.
    • Audio reproduction while dragging: Drag cursor back and forth across a particular point and hear the audio as a function of the direction and speed of the cursor. Allows to zero in on the beginning of a plosive syllable or other distinctive sound as an edit point. Precisely analogous to rocking the tape back and forth on the playback head of a recorder.(3 votes)

Segmenting Tracks

  • Split on Silences: Parsing (automatically starts recording a new track) based on configurable "silence" period usually found between program segments (merged two items here) (8 votes) Note: try this script to create labels at each silence, then export multiple.
  • Expand-to-silence: Expand selection command - After recording from an LP or a cassette or a live session, a single track will contain multiple songs, which the user has to separate. Let the user place his cursor on a track, and then use a "Expand selection" command. Audacity should expand the selection on both sides (towards left and right) till it finds silence (or the beginning/end of the track) (2 votes) Also see the "Books on tape..." Use Cases for similar ideas.
  • Expand-to-non-silence: Double click on any part of a "silence" and automatically select the complete silence, having elsewhere set the parameters for what audio level comprises 'silence'. This would be very useful for voice editing. (2 vote) Don't forget Analyze > Silence Finder which labels silence, and Effect > Truncate Silence if you want to remove these silences.
    Or maybe add the ability to re-define "silence" for the "Edit>Silence" or "Generate>Silence..." functions as some clean sample of background noise.
  • Export Multiple
    • More Flexible Numbering: change radio buttons under "Name Files" to check box or drop-downs with. i.e. Label/Track name and Number consecutively, and Prefix (e.g. <album><track><title> would now be automated. Postfix label as well? (5 votes)
    • Progress dialogue should say "exporting 1 of 5, 2 of 5.." not string of "exporting entire Project" dialogues (5 votes)
  • Labels-while-listening: Define selection start and selection end via keyboard while listening (4 votes). Commands exist to mark the region without stopping: Try "[" and "]". Audacity also has 'stop and select' (shift-a), that allows you to stop and set the selection start at the point you were listening to. However, once you have the region defined, it seems that you can only operate within that region. See also this Forum suggestion.
  • Split on Labels: Command to split the project up into smaller multiple projects, similar to the "Export Multiple" command, splitting according to labels - preserving all tracks, each containing only the underlying audio files pertaining to that smaller project. (1 votes)
  • Multi-Label-Select: Ability to select multiple (not necessarily adjacent) labels (such as with control-click or shift-click) (2 votes)
    • Then pressing the play button would play all of the selected areas in the audio file, skipping the non-selected regions. This feature would be useful for comparing two regions of an audio file without delay between the playback of the two (or more) labeled regions.
    • Also there could be commands to select multiple label regions, to invert the selection, or to ignore specified labels. See extra detail here.
  • Play Labels Only: Set selection based on multiple time-points as "clipped in" or "clipped out," and then have the ability to play the track with "clipped in" points only -- standard feature on professional audio editing systems. (3 votes)
  • Adjust Clip Boundaries - Recovering original audio from adjoining split/deleted clip. Done in other programs (Audition1.5, Cubase, Vegas) with a drag corner at the start and end of clip. (3 votes)
    • This would be very very useful for helping to chop up interviews where you need to separate sound bites into separate tracks and then you may need to grab a second or two before or after the sound bite. Currently you cannot do this and must search out the source material in the original track. Very difficult. Really surprised this is not implemented yet.
  • Time Shift Tool:
    • Move Cursor Too! Cursor within the track being moved should move with the track, not stay at same time point. (1 vote) Additionally, if this cursor extended over other visible tracks, it would make it much easier to line up one track with the others.You can extend the cursor through all tracks by holding down SHIFT then clicking in the Track Panels  of the other tracks.
    • Allow multiple clips to be dragged onto a different track, not just single clips (1 vote).
    • Allow selection of clips by double-clicking whilst still in Time Shift Tool (1 vote).
  • Need display of Snap to { on | Off } setting (probably at bottom of screen) (1 vote) Note: already exists in stable version and has been fixed in Beta code.
  • Export cue sheets from labels for CD burning (and/or text file compatible with shntool) (5 votes)
NOTE: There is a Java-based tool called label2cue  that converts Audacity's exported text files containing label information to cue information. Instructions for use of label2cue and details of other similar tools are here.
  • Import cue sheets to labels e.g. to add internet database information to files. (2 votes)
  • Beat Finder Improvements:
    • Show BPM Beat Finder function should show you the actual BPM of the track (also see BPM Detection in Highest-rated)
    • Improve the beat finder by searching for periodicities, present the result to the user for refinement (for example maybe only the second and fourth beats are found..) and let the user add additional information like time measure (4/4, 3/4). Then redo beat finding with that information, eliminating wrong detection based on probability and interpolate beats where the first run gave inaccurate information.
    • Use the hopefully now correct beats and a dynamics analysis and/or analysis of similarity of the envelope to detect musical structures of the song like verse, refrain, ...
    • Could the Beat Finder get extended to more musical tool like a "Song Structure Assistant"? see Beat Finder Improvements
  • Split Project by time: an option to split large audio files/projects into tracks. Splitting by time or length would allow burning to CD with multiple back to back tracks. Labels would be automatically created at that specified interval, (presumably at moments of relative silence), so the user doesn't have to go through and manually create each break point in the long file. (1 vote)
  • Mark-in and mark-out: The I and O keys borrowed from video editors. Press the I key and it sets an Edit In Point. Press the O key and it sets an Edit Out Point. It doesn't matter at all what you do between those two actions; zoom around, scroll madly, play a bit. Once you press O, everything between those two is selected. This lets you select a half-hour long track in the middle of an hour show with waveform zero-crossing accuracy. This would probably involve substantial interface changes. There is an easy solution right now. Click where you want to "mark in" and hold SHIFT while clicking where you want to "mark out". The two points will now form the left and right edges of a selection area.

Frequency Analysis Capabilities

As this was a large section with many individual suggestions it has been moved to Suggested Frequency Analysis Capabilities. Please add any votes for these suggestions on that page.


Other analytical/statistical ability

  • Ability to gather statistics (Margin to dBFS, RMS volume, etc, see SF, WAvelab, etc) over an arbitrary length of audio, even the whole file. (1 vote)
This could work well with the new VAMP analysis plug-ins
  • Gather graphs An addition to Audacity or a way to automate Audacity to do the plot spectrum at given time intervals over a given time interval.
  • Find Clicks producing labels like "Find Clipping", possibly using sine-wave-curve-fit prediction algorithm and labelling where waveform diverges from prediction. (1 vote)
  • Remove 100kHz limit in spectrogram: view the spectrum of ultrasonic sounds recorded at 384KHz. Currently there is a hard upper limit of 100KHz for the maximum visible frequency in the spectrogram view. I understand that most users will have audio files with a sample rate of 192KHz or less, and that a 100KHz limit is a reasonable default computationally and memory wise. This can be done by changing lines 137-8 in the SpectrumPrefs.cpp file from 100000 to 200000. I was then able to view the full frequency content of a recording sampled at 288 KHz without any obvious side effects. Perhaps a better idea would be to replace the absolute limits with a warning message instead.

Automation

There is now a separate page for requests for better automation. Please add any votes for specific ideas there.

Audacity 1.3.3 Beta already has support for batch processing of imported files via an interface, using most of the built-in effects. See SOX  for alternative command line solutions.

We also have at an early stage of development the ability to drive windows versions of Audacity from a perl or other script via a named pipe. At this stage this feature is suitable for developers only.


Better transcription support

  • Control Audacity by a foot pedal attached to the game, serial or USB port so that hands are free for transcription work. Also useful for non-transcription applications, such as recording off a commercial two-way radio with a squelch output signal. (8 votes)
  • Extend features/interface of Transcription Toolbar. (1 vote).
  • Label Tracks more suitable for transcription: e.g. so they don't lock when audio track is not zoomed in far enough to create a scroll (4 votes) Gale: Create 30 second tone, zoom out until it half fills screen then type in a label. When label is full, can't add more characters unless you zoom in (zooming allows you to scroll). James If/when we improve transcription we want to support multi-line text and linking with a true text editor.
  • Add search functionality so you can search for keywords within labels. (1 vote)


Effects

See also Highest-rated

New Effects

  • Treble Boost just like Bass Boost (1 vote)
  • Room Panning: Pan different tracks to different parts of a room for suround sound effect.(1 vote)
  • Smoothen effect, perhaps using a weighted average (or a better method)(1 vote)
    • I wonder about a tool to easy removing of noise could be useful in the program. Like the rubber tool in f.ex. photoshop. The rubber tool should flatten the noise when you touch the noise. It would then be possible to remove noise with less zooming. And maybe it could be useful to have the possibility to set the pencil to (f.ex. with SHIFT ) only go complete horizontally.
  • Vinyl effects for post-processing records (like GramoFile ) (8 votes)
  • Noise gate (not noise removal, just a simple binary gate) (8 votes)
  • Voice-changing effects (one-step): Change gender, Chipmunks, Zeus (2 votes)
Note: in the case of a track where the vocals are not solo but mixed in with other audio, how well this works depends how amenable the vocals are to being isolated. See Vocal Removal
  • DirectX effects not just VST (1 vote)
  • Dolby B and Dolby C input and output filters (for converting to/from tape recordings in Dolby) (3 votes)
    • Will need quite a lot of trial and error by ear, as the Dolby process is recording level dependent. Needs expander and treble cut.
    • I agree. It would be tricky to get it right without straight-up copying the actual process. This would be a licensing no-no. Trust me, I work at Dolby.
    • There is a Winamp plugin which simulates Dolby decoding here.
  • Exciter to enhance album or tape recordings. It is actually an easy effect and only needs a high pass and distortion. This is widespread use in recording studios and radio stations.
There are definitely some entries in the Forum for this - I will count votes later
  • Deverb/Echo Cancellation:
    • Negative Roomsize: Did this ever exist in GVerb? This could improve back-of-the-room recordings. (2 votes)
    • Echo Cancellation: Sliders are "Liveness," "Room Size," "Room Oblongedness," and "Dirt" (same as sliders in an Echo Generator. A couple could be automatic (speech will always get shorter with fewer echoes, if you miss it, they get longer). Fine tune Liveness and Dirt manually on headphones for final affect. Those two assume furniture in the room so could be called 'Furniture" and "Carpeting." There are analogies with echo cancelling in video conference units and auto-nulling telephone hybrids which manage to separate two different voice conversations from one telephone line, in spite of complex line characteristics and echoes. (1 vote)
Deverb is exceptionally difficult and virtually unknown in audio software except Postfish.
  • De-essing (3 votes)
  • Re-essing: This is to improve the sound of already low bandwidth voice recordings by adding higher frequencies.
  • Parsell tongue effect. Lengthens the duration of esses. Would be achieved as a two-step effect, first analysis, then 'stretch where labelled'.
  • Multiply two frequencies multiply waveforms together as in AM radio
  • Convolve two audio signals.
    • Yes, I realize that there is a lot of difficulty involved in avoiding clipping. Audio convolution can be used to make very convincing reverb effects. Please don't set limits for the length of the convolution signal. I want to be allowed to convolve much longer "regular audio" signals together.
  • Chorus: All it would need to have are rate and depth controls.(2 votes)
  • Chop with segments of silence:
    • Merely adding in a definable length of silence after a set amount of time from the original stream. This would produce a cutting in and out effect, much more abrupt than a tremolo. It would need only two or three parameters, length of silence and length of audio.
  • Suppress quiet signals. A squelch level suppression to squelch out signals below a adjustable preset level. (originally this was in the recording enhancements section - but it's better as an effect.).
  • EQ Matching: SmartEQ function to sample the frequency spectrum of a given piece of audio with a pleasing equalisation, then bring a second piece of audio to the same spectral content. Useful for most cassette recordings and other other medium- and low-fidelity sources. Also usable for sfx. Note: where frequency content falls to the noise floor, this may increase noise level heavily in an attempt to compensate. This is easily addressed afterwards with the Noise Removal, or can be addressed during frequency correction with more coding. Possibly could be incorporated as a third radio button in the current 1.3.x equaliser, with a "Get Frequency Profile" button and ability to add useful profiles as a custom preset. (2 votes)


  • VCO-Synth: Something like a combination of Voltage-Controlled Oscillator and the "Sample and Hold" modules of the old ARP 2600 Synthesizer [analog].
    • You could sample another waveform (in another track) at regular time intervals, and the instantaneous level of the sample determines the frequency of a tone generated for the same interval of time. In the real-world Arp 2600, you could patch the output of a VCO (or other audio source) into the input of the S&H module, then patch the S&H output into the control voltage input jack of another VCO. In the Audacity version, the user makes a selection in the track to be sampled (analogous to the first VCO) , and then (in a dialog box) selects the time interval between samples, the minimum and maximum frequency to be generated. The duration of the resulting sequence of tones to be generated in a new track would be the same as the duration of the original selection. Optional - select sine, sawtooth, square, or triangle waveforms for the generated tone. Another option would be to be able to sub-divide the length of the selection into X number of sample intervals, as opposed to specifying the duration of the interval. Typical results would be a sequence of discrete pseudo-random (frequency) tones at regular intervals, like a retro movie sound effect for a computer that's busy thinking. Another example: Sampling a triangle waveform whose period is much longer than the sample interval would result in a series of ascending and descending stepped tones.


Other Improvements to Effects

  • General:
    • Preview effects for whole duration of a selection with option to loop the preview(3 votes)
Note: Ability to choose preview length has been added to the Beta.
    • Preview Original button to listen to "dry" (unmodified) audio for comparison.(3 votes)
    • Visual comparison between dry and wet. (2 votes)
    • Loop preview between dry and wet for easier comparison. (1 vote)
    • Curve Editor for each effect to adjust how ferociously the effect changes the sample by time (posted on behalf of nitrotrigger on IRC)
    • Bind effect functions to buttons or keyboard shortcuts: including particular settings thereof e.g. one keystroke to amplify + 3 dB, another keystroke -3 dB, another to compress (10 votes)
    • Recallable presets and/or remember last settings after exiting Audacity. (6 votes)
      • Should apply to effects under the divider too especially GVerb where built-in presets are unsuitable for direct application to track (4 votes)
Currently only Equalization in the Beta 1.3.3 has this ability. Note Gverb presets are intended for mixing with original track - see GVerb
    • Live Effects while recording (4 votes)
  • Noise Removal:
    • Ability to save Noise Profile for re-use in another session such as the current method in Beta (last grabbed profile saved to a file when CleanSpeech mode enabled in Preferences).(4 votes)
  • Generate:
    • Generate tone provides a drop down list of notes to set the frequency - i.e. middle C (264Hz), etc. (3 votes)
  • Change Speed/Tempo/Pitch:
    • to be controllable by a change factor (e.g. 0.5x means half as fast, 2x means twice as fast) so that users are not confused that whereas -50% doubles the length/halves the frequency, you need +100% to halve the length / double the frequency (2 votes)
    • apply to labels as well as audio, otherwise, labels become out of step.
    • control in terms of change in length of selection (show current length of selection, enter new length for selection). (3 votes)
    • Gradually increasing/decreasing tempo changes (without pitch change) to facilitate DJ-style mixing (3 votes)
    • Allow changes in tempo/speed to be applied on the fly from the current (and ongoing) playback position. Currently changes in speed forces reverting to the start of cursor. (1 vote) Edit > Move cursor... > to Selection End?
  • Normalize:
    • Percentages: Would it be possible to have a percentage normalisation option (as an alternative to decibels)? Many people have problems with decibels. (1 vote)
    • use David Robinson's Replay Gain algorithm: The current normalize method in 1.3.2 uses peak value as indicator of loudness, which is far from what human ears perceive. The algorithm outlined by David Robinson in Replay Gain  seems to approach human perception better than simply taking the peak value. In the Replay Gain algorithm, if the "equal loudness filter" is hard to implement, we can start with "RMS Energy Calculation" and "Statistical Processing" first. (4 votes)
    • An option to calculating the track gains together to avoid changing the stereo balance: When multiple tracks are selected, only the highest peak level of ALL tracks should be considered to adjust each track by the same amount so that the volume of each track relative to each other will stay the same. (1 votes)
This is what Effect > Amplify does. Some people would argue "Amplify" should be called "Normalize", or as you suggest, we should have what Amplify does as an option inside "Normalize".
  • Compressor:
    • "Lookahead" by a certain number of milliseconds and pre-emptively applies the compression
  • Equalization:
    • 2-step 78 EQ: Saves having to flatten the curve of a 78 RPM disc recorded into Audacity via an RIAA pre-amplifier, then apply an appropriate 78 RPM EQ. Add more 78 RPM presets to facilitate this.
    • Add a grid: Would be nice if the background could be toggled on/off. (2 votes)
    • Add cursor readout and possibly text input to choose custom band (3 votes)
    • FFT Filter seems to be missing in 1.3.3 (and in 1.3.5)
The linear frequency scale in Equalization provides the same functionality

Improved Resource Control

  • IdlePriority
  • More indicators of when Audacity is busy: When I do a control-f (zoom to fit in window) in audacity on a 2 hour recording it takes a while before the waveform is displayed. Some busy indicator, maybe even progress bar might help. Same for moving around in a file, which can take time. (even on striped disks) This also affects re-drawing of the waveform after applying pretty much any Effect. (2 votes)
  • Disk use limit for recording (9 votes)
  • Clean up files after batch processing: In Audacity 1.3.2 beta, if you apply a chain to a group of files (with File, Apply Chain, Apply to Files), it will import each file, write uncompressed temp files during open and edits, export the file to complete the chain, and then proceed to import the next file. This process leaves on disk all the temp files created for all the files in the batch, which can cause the system to completely run out of disk space rather quickly. Instead, Audacity should clear out the temp file when closing each file. (7 votes)
  • Capability Hints in GUI: Search and recognize existing hardware capabilities. Specifically, note limits on quality achievable due to RAM configuration, DAC bit counts, soundboard specifics such as db gain at recording levels (41, 44, 96), and other software installed on the machine (iTunes, other popular players / organizers). Then customize recommendations by what is doable on that machine, but still allow anyone to get extreme if they wish. (0 votes)
  • Undo buffer management:
    • Compress undo buffers (2 votes)
    • (You can already clear the Undo buffers by opening the Undo History dialog box, and compressing will take lots of CPU and have little space gain unless you use a lossy compressor, which kind of defeats the point of undo...)
    • Save undo history into the project file(s) - useful for picking up on a project at a later time (2 votes).
    • Save undo history as a .txt file - it would be very useful for documenting what steps had been done.
    • Option to export a meta-data file that records all changes made (5 votes)
    • Per-track undo history and stack. So you don't have to undo a bunch of changes you DO want on some tracks to get rid of something you did a while ago to another track. Also, the history would be viewable per track so you can remember what effects and such each track has had applied (so you don't mess up the effects chain order or over-do anything). (2 votes)
  • Reduce storage: Better space management. (2 votes) True, selecting a smaller sampling rate could take up less space, but there's no reason why a comparably small amount of data (a couple 4-megabyte mp3s with very minor edits) should take up as much space as it does (~500 megabytes). The concept of the _data folder is confusing, and the small file size of the .aud itself is misleading. If a user accidentally moves the _data folder or modifies it, the program refuses to accept it, and the user must either figure out what they have done wrong and attempt to repair it (not very newbie friendly), or start from scratch. Perhaps an incremental version check to the audio files (a la Volume Shadow Copy) would be beneficial, because as of now, it seems to save anything it can and wants.
  • Multithreaded/multi-processing support: I'm not sure how easy this would be to do. However, it would be nice if I could use the full potential of my Dual-Core and multi-processor machines when exporting to different file formats and/or editing the audio. (2 votes)
  • Configurable undo for memory saving: Currently undo is always enabled, but in for example my case, changes are not that important, on the other hand -- memory is. I would prefer to disable undo completely to save some memory and being able to edit more tracks at the same time.
  • Take advantage of unused GPU cycles: Graphics processing units have the processing power to run 3D image but Audacity doesn't use hi-res 3D. This unused power could potentially be harnessed to speed up audio processing. (1 vote)


Imports and Exports

There are some file formats and effect interfaces we can't support for commercial reasons. Please check our Features We Can't Implement page before adding features to the list below.

New Import/Export Formats

  • Import/Export:
    • Speex. Codec similar to Ogg Vorbis but optimized for voice. (9 votes)
    • QuickTime files on Windows/Mac (6 votes) Note: Support for importing QuickTime based formats has been reintroduced in 1.3.3 for users on OS X
    • OMF multi-track to/from ProTools /Cakewalk, etc. (3 votes)
    • Aud-X (mp3 5.1) files (1 vote)
    • BWF. Support reading and exporting the timestamp information embedded in Broadcast WAV files (BWF format) (8 votes)
    • MBWF (new multichannel extension for Broadcast WAV format) (1 vote)
    • MPC files (Windows) (2 votes)
    • DSS (3 votes)
    • OFR files: (OptimFROG files, a lossless audio format that's smaller than FLAC).
    • DSD 1-bit Pulse Density Modulation (PDM) audio e.g. used in top-end portable recorders or for storage on SACD's. (1 vote)
    • RCA.Voc Support for G.729a RCA.Voc: compression codec for voice (1 vote)
    • .BIN sound files.
  • Facilitate importation of MP3 or other sound formats from video files or program/transport streams (e.g. by demuxing the audio) (4 votes)
  • UseJACK or any audio-server to record/import the audio output of other programs, such as programs reading steaming audio (like putting my speaker's line-out in my computer's line-in)(3 votes)
  • Ability to extract and import Vorbis portion of Ogg files encoded with non-audio tracks, such as Theora. Currently gives an error "unknown format", straightforward modifications should do the trick. (1 vote)
  • support import and export of AVI files including the video (7 votes)
    • what would you do with the video? - also, AVI is a wrapper, so would need dozens of codecs to cope with range of AVI file compressions. Could easily double the size of audacity just to open and play video files (look at Mplayer, Xine etc)
    • i guess the idea is, at least that's what I would need it for, to edit the "soundtrack" of a video while keeping the image reference. there is no need for audacity to actually modify the video itself, only play along the video to the audiotrack of the avi / mov whatever. audacity wouldnt need to handle any video codec issues, the user has to take care of that himself. I guess it would even be helpful if you had to export the video to one specific codec & format, i.e. .mov with "mjpeg A" codec. its only to keep the video reference for the sound editing, the process of combining the exported audio track with the full resolution video is usually done (for example with protools) in the video editing software.
    • - alternatively, Audacity could send/receive SMPTE or MTC timecode data somewhere, somehow, to connect with eg VLC or mplayer.

Other Import/Exports

  • Export File window:
    • New checkbox “Export at current Play-at-speed". (1 vote) by Penguin on 19 July 2008;
  • Templated Command Line Export: Add variables to the Command Line Export Options that reference the contents of the various Metadata fields. These would be similar to the %f variable for Filename already available, allowing totally automated export of files to programs that support writing Metadata to files/understand the variables being passed. (3 votes)
Until then, a workaround to get the metadata exported when using the command line would be to disable Metadata Editor in Preferences and enter the metadata in the command line options using the relevant tag switches (for example in MP3s with LAME, --tt <title>) as described on the LAME usage page .
  • Cross-platform project files - somebody on Mac got burned by being given Audacity Project files from a PC. Audacity doesn't warn you that you should export WAV instead and there’s nothing in the instructions.
Projects saved by Audacity 1.2.2 and later are cross-platform, but you have to supply the other user with the _data folder as well. See Sending your work to others
  • Command line presets in an .ini or .xml file rather than retype over for different formats. (1 vote)
  • Command line pipes: For example [sox -t wav - -r 44100 -t wav - polyphase | lame -V6 --vbr-new - "%f"]
  • VBR as Default: Export MP3 should use by default variable bitrate to efficiently allow best quality, probably also with a low-pass filter enabled. It appears to me the available bitranges are still too narrow in the current (1.3.4) version. Please see http://jthz.com/mp3  (1 vote) The MP3 export options dialog does have to balance offering more advanced options with being usable by the majority of users. All you need to do if you want more exotic options such as those allowing the exported VBR MP3 to contain a wider range of bitrates, is to put LAME.exe in the Audacity installation folder then select "external program" instead of "MP3 files". Then enter your command string. For example, for the highest quality command that page suggests, you'd enter:
    lame -V1 --vbr-new -b112 --lowpass 21 -q0 - "%f"
  • Set frequency for export in export options: (1 vote)
  • Set bit rate for export options for all formats: (1 vote)
Bitrate would be very confusing for most users where WAV/AIFF are concerned - it's (<bit format> * <number of channels> * <sample rate>) so 1411 kbps for a stereo, 16 bit 44100 Hz sample rate WAV."
  • Easier file selection:
    • Ability to right-click on multiple audio files in Explorer and have them open a project and then add to that same project (not just add each to different projects. (2 votes)
    • Allow multiple import from different directories by specifying in a list box (1 vote)
  • Automatic snap-to CDDA boundaries when exporting multiple with labels: Avoids small gaps when burning CDs, saves changing selection format and turning snap-to on manually. The FLAC encode actually has an option to do this. (2 votes)
  • Label Export
    • ODF Label Export with the timecode of each label in an ODF document. (1 vote) James: We already have CSV. Already easy to get ODF.
    • XML/SMIL Label Export for using Audacity to analyze interviews or to generate Audio-Picture-Slideshows e.g. for educational use). Nodes: "trackname" with Nodes "start, end, label" or using SMIL . (2 votes)
  • Import/Export playlist file like M3U/PLS. Playlist is 'converted' to a track with separate clips, each clip being loaded from the specified file (2 votes) Note: you can as a workround edit playlist files into a .lof "list of files" format as per instructions here. Audacity will then import the listed files, albeit into separate tracks
  • Hierarchical Projects Importing a project into another project: Importing an Audacity project into another one could highly facilitate the development of big projects, because one can maintain the different parts separated (1 vote)
  • Separate ID tags for each imported file not each file take the tags of the first imported file (3 votes)
  • Import/Export Project to Advanced Authoring Format (AAF): Or use AFF instead of .aup. Makes Audacity projects compatible with many other audio (and video) editing programs. AAF supersedes OMF. See AAF on Wikipedia  and AAF framework on SF .
  • New Preferences:
    • Always import at Default Sample Rate (3 votes)
    • Export to directory from which original file loaded: (like Save Project does). (3 votes)
    • Export to current directory: Much easier for command line users (3 votes)
  • ID3 via MySQL: connect Audacity's "Edit ID3 Tags" function to a (MySQL) database of metadata, so one can select a song from the database and "push a button" to fill in the data for a recording in Audacity.
  • Write loop points in imported WAVs like Wavosaur. (1 vote)
  • Export Multiple Projects: Split the project up according to labels, similar to the "Export Multiple" command for files -- preserving all tracks, each containing only the underlying audio files pertaining to that project.
  • Easier Lame: Rewrite the Lame selection panel so non-techies can understand it. We're considering an .exe LAME installer for Windows users. Just download and run it.
  • Import Multiple: Import multiple files to a single track, joined end-to-end with labels containing their filenames. Would allow re-assembly/re-processing of LP/tape recordings for which no Audacty project exists. (3 votes)
You can always Project > Import Audio and SHIFT + click or CTRL + click to select and import multiple files into a project as separate tracks. But there is no automated process beyond that. And no players can read the labels in the joined track other than Audacity - they aren't bookmarks in that sense, as there is no agreed standard for reading divisions within files. The labels can be exported to form the basis of a cue sheet.

Interface Tweaks

These are suggestions for minor changes to the program interface. If it would take more than a day to implement and test, it does not belong in this section! Please put it in Interface Extensions instead.

In many cases the below are differences in user preferences, and would be best provided for in Preferences.

Also, see Use Cases for a number of ideas for hot-keys that would be used during playback or recording.

New Buttons (or menu items)

  • Edit Toolbar:
    • Select Current View button (1 vote)
    • Select All button (2 votes)
    • Split button. Cut (scissors) is too easily used for Split by mistake.
  • Select Menu separate from Edit menu
  • Halve/double selection length via Edit > Select > Halve Selection, and .. Double Selection (1 vote)
  • Shift selection by length of selection: via Edit > Select > Shift Left and .. Shift Right e.g. if a bar of music is selected, the next/previous bar becomes selected. (1 vote)
  • Zoom to Maximum (sample level) (4 votes)
  • Next and Previous Labels buttons in panel of Label Track. (1 vote)
  • Save Project button
  • Delete Project function
  • Move cursor with short key and value e.g. 1.5 minutes forward by pressing +180 [enter], -10 to go back 10 seconds.
  • Edit Menu
    • Paste Special: "Replace", "Mix" and "Insert Before" as well as the standard "Paste" for "Insert After." (2 votes)
  • On Macs, allow Audacity when editing text to support Option - arrow to skip back and forth one word (1 vote)


New Shortcuts

  • Keyboard Modifiers in User Interface: Could speed up the working process significantly... for example Soundforge has the shift modifier so you could move a selection without changing the duration. For me, the more the better, once you know the modifier functions it's much more comfortable than changing tools before doing something.
  • Effects (6 votes)
    • Normalise
    • Fade In and Fade Out
    • Repair
    • Insert Silence
    • Change Speed
    • Noise Temoval
  • Play-at-speed:
    • Start and stop with same key (1 vote)
    • Open text box to enter exact speed for VI users, like gain/pan sliders (1 vote)

Other Interface Tweaks

  • ALT + F4 or [X] to quit as well as File > Exit: Normal behaviour for Windows applications, so that only File > Close clears to an empty project when the preference to quit on closing last window is unchecked. (4 votes)
However on Mac closing the window does not quit the program but leaves it running. Only the equivalent of File > Exit (Audacity > Quit) does so.
  • Use right mouse button to move clips around, rather than having to switch from the Selection Tool to the Time Shift tool.
  • Seek left during playback should seek behind cursor position (2 votes)
  • Delete track with Track Panel [X] when playing or recording (1 vote)
  • Default (or remember) the zoom. Currently defaults to 10 seconds or so depending on screen width, where I would like it to default to 3 minutes.
  • Persistent Track Height: When I open up tracks in the new beta program they are very small, is it possible so that I can resize them to always open approx. the same size as 1.2.6?
  • Spacebar and other keyboard controls should always work without the need to click on the track.
  • Remember import data for raw: When importing raw data, the sample rate is not remembered from last time. If I change from 44100 to 8000 I want that to be default next time I import something.
  • New Preferences:
    • Turn off "Save project?" question when quitting: Just save in format "Audacity recording 23_12_08 22:56" that is, date and time. (1 vote)
    • Default Open or Save Folder which is always accessed when opening the file dialogue.(1 vote)
If you only ever use one directory Audacity would always open it as it already remembers the last used.
  • Import preferences from HKLM: It would be very helpful in deployment situations if you could easily specify program defaults. Specifically on windows, if the 'Audacity' HKCU key doesn't exist, 'Audacity' in HKLM could be checked for and copied across to HKCU if it exists.
  • More Context Menu (right-click or CTRL-click) functionality (5 votes)
    • Right click functionality on selection:
      • Send to new track: or to a labelled position in an existing track.
      • Apply filters: Workflow and reduced mousing benefits.
      • Set Envelope Points: creates start and end points on the envelope automagically.
  • Allow user customisation of waveform colour and option to see average value as a lighter colour within the waveform; allow user customisation of the background colour of the waveform editing area (or simply make it white) to improve contrast (1 vote)This will be added in a future Audacity along with other interface customisations. Average value (RMS) already is light blue
  • Tracks Fit vertically zoomed:
    • should be on by default (1 vote)
    • should be capable of toggling off as well as on in the View Menu, (so that unchecking it reverts all tracks to default height) (1 vote)
  • Shortcuts for buttons more discoverable e.g. by Status Bar message or dynamic Tooltip (1 vote)
  • The pitch view to actually show the pitch of simple piano, guitar or vocal selections with a piano labelled diagram in place of the level indicator and markings shown next to the correct pitch. Right now this view is useless. user yanky5cool
  • Horizontal and vertical grid lines on the waveform, turned on and off on the fly. This would help with the task of aligning sounds over multiple tracks. (With no grid this is quite difficult to do by eye, especially over four or five audio tracks.) There would be a fixed number of vertical lines on the screen - about 30 (or user could chose a number). For super-accurate alignment the user would simply zoom in - expanding the audio tracks time scale - whilst the number and pixel distance spacing of the gridlines on screen would not change. (3 votes)
  • Logarithmic Y axis in the spectral track view. This is so that played notes are easily transcribable to music notes (1 vote)
  • Automatically join tracks end to end: New option under the Project > Align Tracks menu that would align the selected tracks end to end. (8 votes)
    • This could be extended to allow import of multiple files end-to-end, see Other Import/Exports
    • When aligning tracks it would be great if you were able to produce a line that went vertically so you could line up one track with another. alternatively if you knew the spot you wanted to shift a track to then it would be cool if you could type it in, ie shift section 'x' to start at 1.38 secs. this would eliminate the back and forth of time shift.
Audacity Beta already has a vertical line for snapping clips to each other/labels/time zero, and a selection bar for typing in time values for cursor point or selection region.
  • Secondary horizontal scroll bar (above the existing standard horizontal scrollbar) that scrolls only the extents of selection. When you've highlighted, one bar of a song, then want to zoom in to the sample level. You want to scroll back and forth in your selection, but the standard project-wide horizontal scrollbar isn't granular enough and you whiz way out of your selection. (1 vote)
  • Add the ability to silence a selection and later un-silence it (not just with undo, since we might want to do some other things before undo-ing the silence). Perhaps can be done similar to cut-lines.
  • Put a * in the title bar when the present version of the file has not been saved yet (1 vote)
  • Put the time remaining for a current operation (e.g. noise removal, mp3 export) in the title bar (1 vote)
  • Snap to zero-crossings: a very useful feature for "silent" edits and particularly looping. With "snap to zero crossings", and dragging the pointer to make a selection, the start point would be at the first zero crossing encountered, and the end point would be at the last. Adjusting the ends of the selection would then "snap" to zero crossing points as they were encountered (or snap back to the previous one if no zero crossing was found). (2 votes)
  • Set "all supported files" as the default filter for opening instead of "all files" on a fresh install
  • Smaller buttons on "control" toolbar (single height rather than double height) and the ability to show the "tools" as one row of 6 icons rather than 2 rows of 3. This would allow more space for the wave view window.
  • When "update display while playing" is enabled in preference - if the display is "zoomed to selection" - once the selection has been played, the screen "updates" to start immediately after the highlighted section. This is most irritating. If a selection is highlighted and played, I would assume that most users are wanting to work on that section, therefore it would be more convenient if the screen did not move to the following section.
  • Change number of recording channels without going into Preferences.
    • Audacity in CVS now records in stereo by default, which should reduce this problem, and a "Transport" menu has been proposed to access some playback/record controls and frequently changed recording preferences.
  • Waveform/Spectrum default setting: Set the default waveform display settings, for example to Waveform (dB) or Spectrum. (6 votes) I've also noticed that compared to Cool Edit, lower level sounds seem smaller or even unseen in Audacity, like the dB range of the display is different (such as 0 to -60dB vs 0 to -40db or something like that).
    • Set at "Minimum of dB mode display range" on Interface tab of Preferences


Interface Extensions

This section is for substantial extensions, enhancements or changes to the interface that will require significant coding and testing.
  • Look up feature for online databases like Gracenote, Allmusic. (1 vote)
  • Cubic-Spline Interpolation: Instead of drawing a straight line between samples when zoomed in, draw an approximation to the actual reconstructed signal as it would result from a conversion to analog. This would show as a smooth curve through the sample points, bandwidth limited according to Nyquist. Probably the best way to achieve this is to use sample rate conversion. Various curves could be tried. More math is required than the current approach, (so might have to be a preference) but yields a better display. Could lead to overshoots beyond Full Scale, which would have to be handled. (1 vote)
  • FTP/RSS support for podcasters (6 votes) Experimental FTP support was previously available in Audacity 1.3.3 Beta. FTP is not supported in current Beta releases, but copies of 1.3.3 are still downloadable from our file archive 
  • Auto normalisation (option) for Mix: Automatic normalisation to calculate right gain of all tracks without distortion aka "Mix and Scale" (4 votes)
  • Track scrolling on Playback: Keep the cursor in one place but move the track - gives smooth visual playback without continual cursor back and forth (3 votes)
  • Presets for Track settings: "Track Settings Template" to set name, gain and pan of on-screen tracks to pre-set values (2 votes)
  • Envelope Tool:
    • When setting control points, have in Status Bar or tooltip the gain amount and position in the timeline. (2 votes)
    • separate mouse click e.g. ALT + click for adding control point without adjusting envelope. At the moment, clicking adds a control point and drags. If you are far from a control point and want to tweak the envelope, but don't want to add a new control point, you need to go back to the control point. (1 vote)
    • Linear envelope editing When using the envelope tool, the applied fades are concave curves (logarithmic fades?). If I want to make a linear fade using the envelope tool, I need to create multiple small fades to create an envelope that approximates to a straight line. I think that it would be a useful feature if Audacity could apply different shaped envelopes, perhaps using "Shift" + drag for linear envelopes and "Ctrl" + drag for inverse envelopes.
    • Better control for Envelopes:
      • Hold down CTRL button and click on Envelope creates a control point but doesn't alter the envelope (it currently starts dragging the envelope straight away which isn't very helpful)
      • Hold down ALT key and drag between two envelope points to move only that section up or down (the two above points are handy for changing the volume of a section of audio without having to drag individual points around).
      • Modifier keys to select moving the envelope point in either the horizontal or the vertical
  • Improved audio clipboard:
    • Import audio direct to the clipboard (1 vote)
    • Multi-item clipboard with "thumbnail" view where tracks can be stored instead of cluttering the screen. (1 vote) Great for organising multiple "takes".
See also Space Savers
  • Native format editing Add capability for limited editing of lossy compressed audio in its native format, rather than decompressing into a full waveform and recompressing the processed audio. This would be ideal for quick editing of formats such as MP3, OGG, etc. especially at low bit rates without altering the quality of the track. (1 vote) Note: For non-destructive cut, paste and volume edits see MP3 Direct Cut (Windows) and Audion (OS X) James This would be a big task to add, and is unlikely to happen.
  • Tap delay, and tap bpm input (1 vote)
  • Group tracks together as an expandable/collapsible tree, not as a list. (4 votes)
James 6 Oct 2007: See Space Savers for detailed suggestions on how this might work. People who don't want this can use Audacity as now by having a tree with everything at the same level. We should be able to operate on collapsed nodes just as if they were tracks in their own right. They become submixes, and the effect is applied to the mix. Similarly cut and paste should work in the same way, as long as you don't try to paste a mix of 7 tracks to a mix of 3 for example, which is like pasting stereo data into a mono track.
  • To make alignment and analysis simpler it would be nice to be able to overlay 2 tracks. Each track would need to be displayed in a different color and/or density. Since moving left/right would probably be difficult with an overlay, it might be best to let the user select the 2 (or more?) tracks to overlay and just present a temporary view. Then the existing tracks could be manipulated with the effects displayed in the overlay view.
  • Time counters at the bottom are not adequate. They only display to 1 millisecond. Almost all the time I am ending up going to the ruler to measure the time period when I'm zooming, and when the time is in microseconds. This is very important when I am trying to measure exact frequency of a certain cycle.
  • Two finger scrolling on my MBP. For instance left/right would scroll through the song and up/down would automatically zoom in/out. This would cut my work time in half by not having to select the zoom tool or physically clicking the scroll bar to navigate through a song...
  • Monitoring meter to display the input that it's metering (I understand that this info would have to initially come from the drivers and that it might be named poorly). Even better, I'd like to change the name of each of these inputs myself. For instance, I have a card with 8 analog inputs, and 5 different input names, multi (for access to all the inputs), and 1/2, 3/4, 5/6, 7/8. In the Edit -> Preferences menu these all have the words "M-Audio Delta 1010LT" in front, but I don't need to see that. I'd like to define all the input names myself for the display.
  • Clarify distinction between Save Project and Export audio file for other programs: (4 votes)
    • A few people like the Export distinction for example because it has an analogy with flattening layers in images.
Audacity 1.4 will have a new welcome screen that will try and explain common user difficulties including the Save and Export difference
  • New repair toolbar containing (left to right) Zoom In/Repair/Zoom Out buttons. Both Zoom buttons zoom by (say) factor of 10 if Control key depressed. Breaks monotony of using the keyboard all the time and holding and releasing the mouse to highlight the repair area.
  • Zoom Enhancements:
    • zoom in on either the beginning, or end points of a selected region.
    • "zoom to selection" has small space at right and left so the selection may be adjusted (4 votes)
  • Draggable Viewer for Selection Area: (8 votes) Useful for previewing loops, to see how well the ends match. Could incorporate zooming like the Windows magnifier.
James would like to see a more detailed proposal. Also see proof of concept for a Focus-Plus-Context Audacity interface 
  • Finer Gain/Pan: The Gain and pan sliders: it's a bit annoying that they move by intervals of 3 by default (yes i know if you can hold ctrl and move them by one). What would be better is if the were designed so that if you click your mouse on the slider it activates it, then using your mouse roller you could roll up or down in intervals of 1. Alternatively it would be useful if the gain value could be displayed by hovering the mouse over it. At present to find out what the gain is set at i have to click the mouse but if the cursor is not exactly in the right spot then it shifts the gain slider to where the cursor is.
  • When recording a new track it by default puts it at the bottom, it would be great if you could set the the track to display where you want to. ie record new track in position 1, or 2 etc, or below/above click track.
  • Enable switching between having both input and output level metering, and having one meter which can be stretched across the full screen width to show input level when in record mode, and output level when playing back. In Cool Edit/Adobe I prefer to have a 24dB meter across the full screen width, for accurate metering.
  • More colorful: I think It needs to be more colorful. All of the grayness is boring and depressing. (theming of audacity is on the way post 1.4.0).
  • Audacity could use a facelift: This is such a great application but still very utilitarian and generic in appearance. I also sense there must be some resistance or complication to the idea of changing the look as it's been this way for quite a long time. (7 votes)
      See this Forum topic  for some suggested new skins/logo.
    • Reintroduce the "Themes" functionality to enable users to re-skin the application (8 votes)
    • As with Windows, there should be an easy way to revert to the "Audacity Classic" look
  • Start-up actions dialogue: Would it be possible to have Audacity to start up with a small window with a couple of options such as New Project or Open Existing Project. If the user hit New Project it would ask what the name of the project is to be and create a folder for all the files to be saved in a location of their choosing. Advantages I see to this is that if the user starts work on their project and doesn't save it (as they inevitably do) and the computer crashes then their work will be safe, since auto save will be turned on and that all the project files will be stored in one place.
Gale: I think it might have to be a Preference or possibly something clever like holding a key down while it loads, because many would not want this just for a quick record or edit. Also auto save "should" be equally safe whether the data is in the temp folder or project folder.
  • Log Scale Markings on Linear Scale: Currently there are 2 possiblities to view the wave form: view it linear with linear scale or to view it logarithmic with logarithmic (dB) scale. I'd replace add a third with linear view with logarithimic scale; It's so much natural to look at a sine wave, being a sine wave - not a distorced sine wave; and the dB amplitudes are almost a standard (look at audacity effects and filters: all of them work in dB!) (1 vote)
  • Hierarchical Projects: Importing the tab concept. For each project, I would have a "master" multitrack tab (that would be non closable) and optionally any number of unitrack tabs. I say it unitrack because is simple, big and uncluttered. More than one would be just confusing, although I suspect that a project with a huge number of tracks could benefit of "gouping" tracks and put that "group" under a tab.
  • Make Input and Output controls independent of each other: Currently the input and output controls are stuck together and in my honest opinion, they shouldn't be, the audio output should be controlled either at a system level or by using the volume controls on your monitors. I'd also like to see the input/output level meters split apart as well or at the very least make them collapsible into each other as needed. If your editing you don't need the input levels on show all the time.
  • Effects Layers: Much like Layers in Photoshop but with this you could apply an effect and it creates a collapsed layer containing the effect which you can alter or remove if needed. Also you could create an envelope for the effect which works the same as envelopes on the audio track so you could increase or decrease the level the effect alters the track. Obviously this would need a more powerful computer to playback multiple effects layers but the easiest way around that need would be for Audacity to quickly render the effects to temp files contained within the project which would give you the flexibility to remove the effect if you later decided you didn't like it or it doesn't quite work.

Recording Enhancements

Multi-channel/multi-device issues

See also Highest-rated.


Some suggestions for applying effects 'as you record' have been moved to the effects section.
  • Allow nonconsecutive set of input channels to be selected e.g. to deal with devices that send special outputs on the higher numbered channels. For example, Alesis's MultiMix-8 returns its mixed outputs, which is the only outlet for its on-board effects, on channels 9 and 10. A common setup for me is to use channels 1-3 for instruments and mics, and mix in some effects from the Alesis unit; I'd like to have Audacity record channels 1,2,3,9,10 instead of 1 thru 10.(5 votes)

Other recording enhancements

  • Timer Record:
    • Make it a multi-event timer to faciltate multiple recordings over a period of time - like programming a PVR/VHS recorder (2 votes)
    • Accessible from File Menu so when you hit record button, options dialogue would come up (1 vote)
    • Store last used settings to start recording on a daily basis (1 vote)
    • Auto Save to a user-defined project name/location on successful completion of the recording, set in an in-situ dialog. (1 vote)
    • Disconnect internet stream as well as stop the recording (1 vote)
  • New Loop Record feature: records while loop-playing a selection region in other tracks. (1 vote)
It is not recommended to capture the loop in the recording, as this would rely on a "stereo mix" sound device, hardware playthrough and the result would probably be out of synchronisation (which could not be fixed).
  • Recording limiter that reduces the input level when it approaches clipping (5 votes)
Will lead to recording with compressed dynamics and possibly abrupt volume changes. Many would argue a limiter in the analogue chain (for example, connected to the microphone) is preferable, so that clipping never reaches the sound card.
  • Mixer Toolbar:
    • Add L....R balance control (2 votes)
    • Set a default input source to be always loaded when Audacity launches (3 votes)
  • Should be MTC/MMC slave and master
  • Simple voice recorder build or interface/toolbar: a "stripped down" version that simply records and spits out to mp3. Or an "always-on-top" enabling Start, Stop, Pause, with monitoring and control of input levels like the current input on the toolbar. (2 votes)
  • 8 bit recording. Quality more than sufficient for many lower quality sources such as cassettes, speech, etc. Reduces file size & cpu use (both important for multitrack conference recording). Also reducing cpu use would make audacity usable on more machines. (1 vote)
  • "Azimuth Setter" displays tape azimuth setting before and during recording. Enables quick easy & accurate azimuth setting, and shows any real time variation during recording. This is described in more detail in the recording from cassettes section of Use Cases. (1 vote)
  • Automatically set recording settings": Audacity would capture several seconds of incoming audio and analyse it to decide what bit depth & sample rate was appropriate to use for recording. Makes life quick and easy, and results in consistent success and non-bloat for the majority of non-technical users. Automatic sample rate is fairly easy, just detect what highish frequency never raises itself significantly above the noise floor, and translate this to a suitable sample rate. Automatic bit depth setting raises a few worms:
  • the input must contain at least a moment's silence
  • there would be more than one answer to best depth setting depending on use
  • A solution to that could be to show a little text box saying the source is n bits deep so n+1 bits is good for recordings where no effects will be applied, or 32 bits where many effects can be applied without degradation. (1 vote)
  • Actual Clock Time: Preset options so that when you go into record mode, the time scale from the computer clock is automatically used (real time).
  • Prevox mode that records to ram and then moves to disk a second or two before the vox trips and until vox drops plus a second or two, and last at least long enough to have a auto timing mark for that segment.
  • Warn user of filesize overflow: users experience difficulty trying to make very long wav files (12 hours or more) - there is a maximum file size for wavs, capped at 4GB. Audacity should not allow the user to create mutant wav files larger than this.
  • Option to record a new track in a project backwards. It's all PCM data, so it's possible. We all know backwards electric guitar is the coolest thing ever.
      Better to use the reverse effect later.
  • Saving while recording (3 votes) - very useful for doing post-processing of a selection in advance of the end of a long recording, or for increased safety. See Saving while recording.
  • Automatic latency correction
  • single track recording: A checkbox to "create new tracks" (in preferences) when start/stopping recording AND a prefence to stay single track and act in a similar way to the old Cooledit Pro when editing, ie stop recording, move back to flag, record over error and continue recording... (2 votes)
  • Better management of DC offset:
    • Automatic removal of DC offset after recording (rather than just as an option in Normalize) (6 votes)
    • Audacity should block DC at source because of the problems it causes. DC is not sound, and passing DC should only be a fringe purpose for scientists/researchers. (2 votes)
      • Blocking DC at source raises technical issues which we may well not want to address.


Playback Enhancements

  • "Play-at-speed" button/slider:
    • Shift-click on button to loop at the different speed (1 vote)
    • Export at selected speed. On the right side of Transcription Toolbar, add a checkbox “Export at this speed”. (1 vote) by Penguin on 19 July 2008;
    • Finer gradations on/wider slider: (2 votes)
A text box for entry of a playback ratio is available by double-clicking over the slider.
    • Record while playing back at the different speed: Often singers like to record vocals at a lower speed than final playback, it adds an "edge" to their voice. (2 votes) RoscoHead 20:04, 17 February 2007 (PST)
    • Pre-set speeds e.g. 50% slower or faster as in Jet Audio Basic . (1 vote)
    • Change speed while playing 22.47, 10 May 2007 (GMT+10) - Nickdella (1 vote)


  • Loop:
    • Separate button for loop play (1 vote)
        You can currently press shift while clicking play (discoverable by a tooltip when the mouse hovers over the Play button)
    • Timed track loop as an alternative to repeat, to potentially help increased ram efficiency. With adjustable time it would be easier for matching tempo. In the render it would repeat the desired sound and have silent intervals when repeat time exceeds the time of the sound.
    • Looping tool: play a metronome click (ideally of your own choice) on beat divisions of your selection. This would help to be sure that the loop to be cut is syncopated. (see SoundForge's Acid looping tools and Wavosaur's selection gridlines). (1 vote)
    • Batch-looping tool with auto loop finder and slice marker like fl-studio. (1 vote)
  • Multi-channel device output routing. Create a patch panel to define routing of multi-channel audio to specific channels of a multi-channel device.(2 votes)
  • Close a track without having to press the Stop button first. (4 votes)
  • Multiple overlapping Play Regions (1 vote)
  • More options when selecting audio pieces. For instance a time selection, Select x number of seconds from cursor. A negative number would man select back x number of seconds.

Editing Enhancements

  • Non-destructive editing/undo should not be stepwise: (3 votes) For example after trimming out unwanted audio, de-trim to reinstate the original audio, without losing your other edits in the meantime. Especially useful for effects e.g. put some echo on a file, then realise a click needs to be edited out, I now have to edit out the echoes of the click as well as the click itself.
    • See also a -devel list discussion  about a proof-of-concept patch for non-destructive effects stacks.
  • Select multiple sections, e.g. in word programs etc. you can use the control key to select multiple but separate areas of a file so several areas to processed at the same time.
  • Audio pattern matching: In a recording, remove the same 20 second tag scattered throughout. I want to identify the same piece of sound and remove it from a number of files. (2 votes)
  • Trim by Dragging left or right edges of clip - This would give us a non destructive way of editing instead of cutting an entire section out and finding that you need just a little more audio to either the start or end of the file (depending on where your working from) and having to undo then cut again. If you do make a cut you can just as easily drag the edge out to extend back out.

Clipping

  • Color code levels for clipping: On the waveform display have a colored background that goes yellow .7 then red .9, the levels where clipping will occur. Red colouring for samples that are outside +/-1.0 is already in latest Beta releases.
  • Better peak / clip indications (3 votes): Something I'd like to see added to Audacity would be an indicator for each track showing the peak meter reading for the track. This would be especially helpful in live recording scenarios, so we can see if we clipped. Right now, I have to watch the meters in real time, and even the sliding peak indicator only holds it's position for a couple of seconds. I note that Cakewalk Sonar has this on each channel (with a reset button) and it's very helpful. Possible implementation options: a max level (i.e "-3.5db") per track at the far left track info box, which could be turned red if it ever went to "0.0".
    • It would be really good to have some basic tool to do a final check that nothing is distorted. If this is too tricky to do on-the-fly, then perhaps a plug-in under "Analyse" menu item, called 'detect peaks', that can be run on the project as a whole or on tracks, and would return the maximum peak detected, and warn if that is 0dB. It would be easy enough to do this in nyquist (see silence detection above), except that it seems to be the case that audacity only passes a single track to nyquist processing, and there is no option for passing the stereo mix to a nyquist plugin. Discuss in forum.
  • Headroom Indicators: On the waveform display, a horizontal line (actually two lines) at a user-specified number of dB below and above 0dBFS. This is for compliance with SMPTE and EBU standards calling for program material to have a specified amount of headroom before full-scale clipping. As previously suggested, the waveform trace could change color when it exceeds the specified headroom level. This would be in addition to the previously-suggested horizontal line at the DC level.
  • The VU meters should likewise have headroom indicators: a line drawn at n dB below 0 dBFS. In addition, the color of the meter fill should change colors when the headroom level is exceeded. My suggestion for colors is green for levels below headroom, yellow for levels above headroom, and red when the level is 0 dBFS (clipping). The headroom level could be set using the existing Meter Preferences dialog. See more suggestions about the VU Meters and vote for them on this page if you wish.
  • A `peak hold` line on the compressors and limiter so that you can see what the maximum amount of compression/limiting was since starting. This can help in finding the right settings without having to watch stuff very closely.
  • Allow 32 bit floating point samples to go over 0db without forced clipping. 32 bit floating point can handle levels over 0db, so it would be preferable to clip only the audio that goes out to the soundcard, or is exported to a format that can't handle levels over 0db. Advantages:
    • Effects that amplify the signal could be applied without worry.
    • Files produced by certain utilities that measure impulse responses contain 32 bit data over 0db. Those could be imported into audacity (at the moment they cannot).

MIDI

See also Highest-rated
  • Allow direct import of MIDI files into Projects as sampled audio waveforms, which are then editable and exportable as WAV, MP3 etc. (11 votes)
  • Note recognition: WAV or MP3 to MIDI capabilities (10 votes) This is hard to do except with pure tones. We'd want to leverage existing open source sound analysis software. Any suggestions of what? If you do it with pure tones, that is still great!
  • Export/playback using several pre-installed midi devices. 1 vote)
  • Ability to render a MIDI file using samples from suitably 'free' sources such that the eventual full file was also 'free'. Some kind of 'tracker' would allow a user to convert a MIDI or other forms of tracker file (i.e. Protracker) into RAW audio. Old PD Music can be scored and performed without the need for actual musicians. I want conversion of sound-like files without having to payout for commercial tools. ShakespeareFan00 10:15, 30 January 2007 (PST) (1 vote)
  • Allow MIDI files to control VST Instruments (1 vote)
  • Import meter/key meta-events from MIDI-file (to represent time in measure/beat) & markers. (1 vote)
  • Edit, create and filter MIDI files, using VSTi instruments.(1 vote)



Unclassified Feature Requests

Requests which don't fit into the above categories or need a very long description can be added to our page for unclassified requests. Click here to add a short request that doesn't match with any current requests, or here to add a long description of the feature you want. These unclassified requests will be eventually be categorised, summarised if necessary then amalgamated back into this page.