Add/Remove Plugins

What’s the possibility of automatically adding a plugin when you install one? You just went through the fuss of downloading Acx-check and drilling down to the Audacity System files and folders for installation.

And the plugin vanishes.

Of course you want to use the plugin right away. What else could you possibly want? Acx-check has the additional problem that it’s not an effect.

I understand you have to balance that against people who install plugin suites. Suddenly a whole pile of plugins would appear. How many people have that problem versus all the users wondering where their one new plugin went?

If it can’t be automatic, then restart Audacity and boop! There it is.


There’s a reason why Audacity doesn’t automatically load all of the plug-ins it finds:
If a user has several other audio programs installed, they could have hundreds of plug-ins installed (and that is not unusual).
There’s also a very high chance that some of those plug-ins will be incompatible with Audacity (VSTi, VST3, iLok protected, MIDI effects, …).

I think that Audacity is correct in NOT automatically attempting to load every plug-in it finds.

You could be installing a plug-in for Premier Pro or some other application. How would Audacity know that you intend to use the plug-in in Audacity?

If you install the plug-in into an Audacity specific location (such as “~/Library/Application Support/audacity/Plug-Ins” on a Mac), then your intention is pretty clear. If you install to "C:\Program Files\Steinberg\VSTPlugins" on a Windows machine, then we can’t assume that you intend the plug-in for Audacity.

When Audacity scans for plug-ins, it has a list of plug-in directories, based on some hard coded paths, some relative paths, environmental variables, and other mechanisms (such as the Windows Registry settings). Currently there is no way to pick and choose which paths to scan - it’s all or nothing.

I expect it would be technically possible for Audacity to have two lists of plug-in locations: Audacity specific locations in one list, and the rest in another list. It might then be reasonable for Audacity to load all plug-ins from the Audacity specific locations by default (unless disabled in the plug-in manager), and the default for other locations to be NOT to load.

automatically load all of the plug-ins it finds:

Not what I said. Automatically load a plugin you just installed into the Audacity default folder.


Sure, but two things that have to be considered:

  1. How does Audacity know that you’ve “just installed” it?
  2. Which “Audacity default folder”? (there are lots of folders where Audacity looks for plug-ins)

What do you think the user is expecting when they dump a plugin into this folder?


I’m not disagreeing with you Koz, I’m thinking about how it could be implemented.

Yes, that’s what I was suggesting previously:

  • If plug-ins are put into an Audacity specific plug-in location, then they are enabled by default (assuming compatibility). That would certainly improve the new Nyquist plug-in installer.
  • Plug-ins in other supported locations are disabled by default (as now).