Difference between revisions of "Proposal: Chris-like compressor"

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==Use Cases==
==Use Cases==

Latest revision as of 19:14, 11 March 2019

Proposal pages help us get from feature requests into actual plans. This page is a proposal to build a new Nyquist compressor based on Chris's Dynamic Compressor v1.2.6 and include it as one of our distributed Nyquist effects with the app
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

We often recommend downloading and using Chris's Dynamic Compressor on both the Forum (mainly Koz and Trebor - and occasionally Steve) and in several Places in the Manual (for example at the foot of the Compressor] built-in effect page on the basis that is simpler to use than our in-built Compressor and produces better results.

Chris's dynamic compressor by the late Chris Capel is a popular Nyquist plug-in that tries to even out abrupt changes of volume by employing "lookahead" (this attempts to anticipate volume changes by starting to apply compression before the volume rises to the threshold level). There are options to soften the softer audio and invert loudness.

We cannot host this or distribute it ourselves due to licensing restrictions. We have no control or guarantees regarding the plug-in hosting on theaudacitytopodcast.com (though we expect that he will continue to host the plug-in as I expect he derives a lot of traffic from it). The 1.1 version is very similar to other versions, so the wayback machine link gives us some assurance that a version of the plug-in remains available, even if theaudacitytopodcast.com goes off-line.

On this page Chris's Dynamic Compressor in the Manual we have long stated "We hope to make a freely-licensed version of this plug-in available for separate download later, based on Chris's 1.2.7 Beta version which has a free MIT License." Unfortunately the 1.2.7 beta version includes problematic experimental features which prevent us from recommending this version.

Proposed Feature

  • Develop a new built-in Nyquist compressor effect effect that is as easy to use, and as effective with voice and music as Chris's Dynamic Compressor v1.2.6.
  • Ship this bundled with the Audacity app as part of our standard set of pre-enabled Nyquist effects.
  • It does not need to be an exact copy of Chris's compressor, but the characteristics of Chris's compressor are nice - it can apply significant compression without "sounding" like it is compressed.
  • Document the new compressor in the Manual

Developer/QA Backing

  • Peter
  • Steve
  • Bill

Use Cases

  1. In spite of having our built-in Compressor effect we make frequent recommendations on the Forum to use Chris's Dynamic Compressor as being simpler to use and producing simpler results.
  2. In several places in the Manual (mainly tutorials - for example Sample workflow for LP digitization) we recommend downloading and use of Chris's Compressor.


To be provided.

  • We should attempt to remove the one drawback of Chris's Compressor whereby it doesn't handle the beginning and ends of audio well. The simple workaround is to temporarily add audio to front and back, run Chris's and then remove the temporary audio.
  • One thing that Steve thinks both Koz and Trebor would see as an improvement over Chris's Compressor, would be a slightly more aggressive default (they both routinely recommend using a slightly higher compression setting than the default).
  • One key advantage is that we would have to document the new compressor properly in the Manual. Despite recommending Chris' we have never provided documantatopn for it.

GUI Examples

Chris's Dynamic Compressor v1.2.6 at default settings

Chris 1-2-6.png

Previous Feature Requests relating to this proposal

No direct ones - but many votes for various Compressor improvements.