I was trying to use spectral selection to filter noise. When I tried to set the upper and lower frequencies from the spectral selection toolbar, I couldn’t type in any numbers - or anything else. Pressing backspace seemed to work as “going back one character”. So, I checked the release notes…
Ah, yes, it states: "Frequency range cannot be changed in the session for scales other than “Linear”. Workaround: “Restart Audacity after changing frequency for non-linear scales.”
I’ve been trying this for more than an hour and couldn’t find any way to make that work. In fact, the behaviour is completely weird.
If I click “apply” and “OK” after changing to linear, it only seems to work on the selected parts of the track.
If I only click “OK”, nothing happens and after restarting Audacity, everything is back to default, log scale, no way to enter anything in frequencies. Other changes made don’t get saved either.
So, I created a second Audacity document, with only one track, to test, another weirdness showed up. I’d expect when saving documents, the top most window, that has mouse focus, would save in the first dialog offered, the second one in the second, and so on. Alas, no. The first save dialog is for the second window…
Works OK for me on El Capitan (though there are some bugs and weirdnesses that are logged on bugzilla, but basically it works for me)
You clearly have many settings that are non-default, so it’ll be tough to find what’s wrong or reproduce the problem.
With Audacity closed:
If you’ve got settings that you want to keep, make a backup copy of audacity.cfg and then delete audacity.cfg. (if your not bothered about saving your current preferences, just delete audacity.cfg)
Now try a simple test case - the simpler the better - and give step by step instructions for how to reproduce the issue.
You can’t type a number higher than half the sample rate of the track with the highest rate.
Minimum Frequency cannot be above Maximum Frequency.
If you want to test that, please do so in the latest alpha builds where a possible fix has been committed for the vertical scale not responding to a change in frequency range. However there are still quirks to be found and changes to frequency range don’t survive Audacity restart.
Please test that in the latest alpha build and give exact steps to reproduce the problem.
Linear is default.
Exact steps to reproduce are always good.
I see the save project dialogue appear over and relate to the window that showed the red, yellow and green window buttons before I opened the File Menu.
I don’t like such an obscure way to turn on spectral selection, and hope it will change.
Also I don’t agree with “Spectrogram Settings…” in the track dropdown being greyed until the track is in spectrogram view. Perhaps choosing “Spectrogram Settings…” (always active) should change view to Spectrogram if the track is not already in that view.
That is not correct. You can enter frequencies into Spectral Selection Toolbar when a track is not in Spectrogram view.
If you change to Spectrogram View and turn Spectral Selection on, you will see the frequency selection in the track that you selected in the toolbar.
IMO, enabling Spectral Selection Toolbar should turn Spectral Selection on, but that should not be the required and only method to turn Spectral Selection on. There should be a switch somewhere, without wading into a dialogue to find it.
That is correct. Spectral Selection Toolbar still shows dashes, meaning that the frequencies are undefined.
All you did is make a time selection. You have not yet selected frequencies within the time selection.
The error is correct. You have not yet selected any frequencies within the time selection.
When you drag a selection in Spectrogram view with spectral selection enabled then yes, you will drag a frequency selection as well as a time selection.
Is what you are really saying that if you go into Spectrogram view, you expect spectral selection to be already on? I have a lot of sympathy with that.
But some workflows (such as identifying clicks in LP recordings then deleting the clicks) need to be in Spectrogram view to see the clicks, but require dragging time selections without selecting frequencies. Otherwise the spectral selection “gets in the way”. Also, when more effects become aware of spectral selections it will be more important to have a way of selecting “time only” when in spectrogram view.
I like the solution of a split spectrogram/waveform view. If you select in the spectrogram area of the view, you select frequency as well as time. If you select in the waveform area, you only select time, but you can still see the spectrogram in that area.
If you have a time selection but no defined frequency selection, you can either:
Use the “Spectral Selection Toolbar” to set the frequency selection
Hover the mouse pointer near the top of the track until you find the white upward pointing triangle cursor - that’s for dragging the upper frequency bound - click and drag down. Hover the mouse pointer near the bottom of the track to find the white downward pointing triangle cursor - that’s for dragging the lower frequency bound. Click and drag up.
If you either don’t have a time selection, or don’t need to retain the current time selection, just click and drag to make a time and frequency selection (aka a “spectral selection”). Tip. click and drag across a diagonal of the rectangular region that you want to select. Only works when in a spectrogram view and spectral selection is enabled.
For my money the default is set correctly with it “off”
The real problem is the hard-to-find and arcane way of turnining it on …
One solution would be to have Spectral Selection always “on” in Spectrogram views - but have that spectral selection disappear if the user switches to one of the waveform views. For me, it is a real issue that such spectral selections can continue to exist invisibly when the user switches to waveform views.
Why is it an issue, other than in waveform view you are not aware there is a spectral selection present unless Spectral Selection Toolbar is on? In that case perhaps you should support my view that there should be a small widget displaying high and low frequency when in a waveform view.
We can’t discard the spectral selection when switching out of spectrogram view. If we did that, we would not be able to sensibly store the high and low frequency of the selection in the project (look at the AUP file).
We already have a widget that displays the high and low frequency selection. It’s called the “Spectral Selection Toolbar”. If you think that looks too big and clunky, or is in the wrong place, then perhaps it needs some aesthetic refinement. I don’t see why we would need more than one widget to tell us what the frequency selection is, unless we support multiple frequency selections, which currently we don’t.
Analogy: In my car I have one speedometer which tells me the current speed of the car, but I have three mirrors (two “wing mirrors” and a “rear view” mirror). Each mirror provides a different view. Each of these “devices” are designed and positioned for convenient use whenever needed. Having two or more speedometers would be clutter and unnecessary distraction.
Apparently Peter does not want to use it though. If he did, he would know there was a spectral selection present even if in waveform view.
I argue you need “something” given Spectral Selection Toolbar is not on by default. I think it not being on by default is correct, because its presence would be very confusing if you never use spectrograms.
And yes Spectral Selection Toolbar is clunky, I think many would not want to use it given you can also use a mouse to make a spectral selection. It serves the same accessibility (and accuracy) purpose as Selection Toolbar. I don’t see it could be made smaller, unless it was just a button that opened its current interface.
I believe enabling Spectral Selection Toolbar should be one way to turn Spectral Selection on, because it is ludicrous to enter frequencies into it that have no “effect”. If so, then we can’t enable Spectral Selection Toolbar as soon as a Spectrogram track appears because turning Spectral Selection on by default seems contentious. And then we are back to square one - you cannot see the spectral selection in waveform view, because the widget I propose for waveform view is contentious.
If you have some better suggestion than a waveform display indication that there is a spectral selection, please make it. Do you need me to make a mockup image to show you what I mean?
The only other suggestion I can think of is to have an on-by-default preference for Spectral Selection Toolbar to appear when a spectrogram track is opened, or when a project is opened that contains a spectral selection. Put a checkbox in Spectral Selection Toolbar that turns Spectral Selection on (the checkbox is off-by-default). But that makes the toolbar even clunkier. I think the least visually distracting solution is the one I suggest.
I think that waxcylinder’s post sums it up nicely. Still have to read Steve and Gale’s post though
Audacity is good, especially for beginners with moderate needs. But since it has grown naturally, the plan is missing. And those who make the features are so close to the subject, they cannot grasp the lack of understanding the beginner has.
Look at most Apple apps. To they have all the features? No, hardcore users hate these. Not “fast” enough, not enough advanced features. Beginners love 'em, because the makers do not start from the point that the user should know anything. A lot of thought has gone into really simple things, as in “In which menu should we put this feature”. The downside is that some features are left out, simply because nobody can find the right place for those…