Two concise, simple questions

Help for Audacity 2.x.x on GNU/Linux.

ImageThis forum is for Audacity 2.x.x on GNU/Linux and Unix-like operating systems.
Please state which version of Linux you are using, the exact three-section version number of Audacity from Help > About Audacity... and whether you installed your distribution's release or daily version of Audacity or compiled Audacity from source code.

Audacity 1.2.x and 1.3.x are obsolete and no longer supported. If you still have those versions, please upgrade at https://www.audacityteam.org/download/.
The old forums for those versions are now closed, but you can still read the archives of the 1.2.x and 1.3.x forums.

Two concise, simple questions

Permanent link to this post Posted by Veerstryngh Thynner » Wed Aug 30, 2017 7:31 pm

Hello all.

Can someone please answer this question:

Why is it that Audacity isn't considered a "genuine" DAW?

I come across this allegation ever and anon, up and down the web, but the reasons why this "is" so are never explained. From which logically follows question 2:

What more is needed to turn Audacity into a "serious" DAW?

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Re: Two concise, simple questions

Permanent link to this post Posted by kozikowski » Wed Aug 30, 2017 7:48 pm

Why is it that Audacity isn't considered a "genuine" DAW?

Digital Audio Workstations are much broader and comprehensive. Audacity is a simple, one-trick audio editor.

People accustomed to larger programs are always shocked to find, for example, that Audacity "burns in" effects and filters and you can't take them out either out of order, or later, at all. It is strongly recommended that you Export a WAV (Microsoft) backup of your original work. If Audacity goes into the dirt while you're working on a production, that could be the End Of The World without a backup.
What more is needed to turn Audacity into a "serious" DAW?

Doubling the number of developers. Are you volunteering? I can take this off-line if you are.

We receive pages and pages of suggestions for new tools and services, but a great deal shorter list of people wanting to work on achieving that list.

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Re: Two concise, simple questions

Permanent link to this post Posted by steve » Thu Aug 31, 2017 10:41 pm

Veerstryngh Thynner wrote:Why is it that Audacity isn't considered a "genuine" DAW?

Usually when people talk about a DAW, they are referring to a multi-track audio recording application with real-time processing, support for MIDI and virtual instruments and "non-destructive editing".

Audacity isn't that type of application.

Audacity is a multi-track audio recording application (like a DAW), but beyond that it is a very different type of program.
Rather than "real-time processing", Audacity is "WYSIWYG". In a real-time DAW, effects are not actually applied to the recorded audio until the track is "rendered" (typically that is when you save / export the finished project. In contrast, when you apply an effect in Audacity, the effect is applied immediately to the audio, and in most cases you will see the waveform visibly change.

Each type of application has its own strengths. Real-time DAWs are particularly good for mixing and mastering, whereas audio editors are particularly good at detailed editing and "post production". There a lot of cross-over between the two types of program. Many DAW applications include an audio editor, though not usually one with as many features as Audacity.
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Re: Two concise, simple questions

Permanent link to this post Posted by Veerstryngh Thynner » Fri Sep 01, 2017 2:54 pm

What more is needed to turn Audacity into a "serious" DAW?


Doubling the number of developers. Are you volunteering? I can take this off-line if you are.


Sorry to disappoint you, Koz, but I'm not a programmer of developer. I don't have any talent for that, I'm afraid.

Each type of application has its own strengths. Real-time DAWs are particularly good for mixing and mastering, whereas audio editors are particularly good at detailed editing and "post production".


I like Audacity especially for its multitudinous editing facilities. But for my next home studio incarnation, I may need a DAW more "hands-on" with MIDI. LMMS and Ardour I found a little hard to handle. I also heard of Reaper and/or Reason versions native to Linux, but reports on that have been rather contradictory, so far.

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Re: Two concise, simple questions

Permanent link to this post Posted by steve » Fri Sep 01, 2017 3:52 pm

If you struggle with Ardour, you are also likely to struggle with Reaper. They are quite similar to each other - fairly typical DAWs.
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Re: Two concise, simple questions

Permanent link to this post Posted by waxcylinder » Fri Sep 01, 2017 5:28 pm

steve wrote:If you struggle with Ardour, you are also likely to struggle with Reaper. They are quite similar to each other - fairly typical DAWs.

I struggle with Reaper :?
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Re: Two concise, simple questions

Permanent link to this post Posted by cyrano » Fri Sep 01, 2017 10:36 pm

Everybody struggles with REAPER.

It's a DAW development environment. Sure, you can use it as a DAW out of the box, but there's so much tailoring, depending on the job at hand, that it presents a steep learning curve.

Once you've built your environment, it's a dream.

There is a Linux native version, but it is experimental. Most Linux users have it running with Wine, including some Windows plugins.

There's also an unsupported recent build for Apple's G4 and G5 processors that runs very well on an old Mac G5. And these can be had for a hundred bucks or so. The later G5's also have digital audio in and out on real Toslink connectors.

I use Audacity for most odd jobs (noise removal, destructive editing), as they are usually not repetitive. But I need REAPER because Audacity has only 2 output channels. What I do in REAPER is mostly "assembly" of ready-made music and sounds. Output is stereo, 4-channel or 8 channel ambisonic, or 5.1 on rare occasions.

The only real downside to REAPER is that performance isn't optimal on high DPI screens and it looks a bit dated, but that can be fixed with one of the "skins" you can find on the stash of the REAPER forum.

Before REAPER, I used Logic and BIAS' Deck. Both were very unstable at moments.
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Re: Two concise, simple questions

Permanent link to this post Posted by deniskx » Sat Sep 02, 2017 12:43 pm

kozikowski wrote:If Audacity goes into the dirt while you're working on a production, that could be the End Of The World without a backup.

In Ardour too - just now fall with data loss. Audacity has autobackup, as I remember. I do not respect programs that do not have autosave. Delete immediately.
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