Additional Editing capabilities

This is probably a pie-in-the-sky request, I know. But I’ll put it out there for what it’s worth.

I’d like to see a macro facility added to Audacity, such that I could click a button for it to record what I do manually; and it would then create a command stream that could be tuned and re-used for applying the same changes & edits to other files. This is the sort of thing you can do in MS Excel (& probably other MS Office applications) to automate a series of repetitive steps.

Audacity’s “Chain” function is similar (but limited in the scope of commands available) …

It would be really cool to be able to record every comand and then save that state as a Chain.
so in the menu it would say save as chain next to where it say apply chain, edit chain.

Yep… I thought maybe they could do it by saving the History:

I could probably get this working with chains using my patch to post all changes to Log. Because Log has a lot of stuff in it which is not commands one would either have to make changes to Log so that only commands were logged (or use some textual prepend for non-command entries–or the opposite). Then we would have a Nyquist effect which read commands from a text file (I’d get Steve to write that !) or roll my own C++ function to do so or make some modification to existing Chain code…

There is absolutely no way that the Audacity Developers would implement anything like this–certainly not in anything like the foreseeable future!

One thing I can foresee is that this would probably only be of use when doing operations on the entire audio file. Other than doing a x second fade-in/y second fade-out on a bunch of files, I cannot see much reason to be doing effects on identical time segments of multiple files.

I really like the idea of usig macros.

I too do only voice and text editing and would be repeating the same commands.

Nice request.

I routinely filter out the same set of frequencies from multiple regions in a long track. These are paddle fan squeaks, air conditioner reed valve pings and motor noise, box fans etc. I wouldn’t apply the same chain to the whole track because different mics are in use at different times and because during the music portion these sounds are masked and I don’t want to filter these frequencies out of the music. A macro feature that operates on the current selection would let me take a break while the computer turns the crank. Being able to define multiple macros would be ideal. Presently, I document the string of filters applied on a label track to keep track of what I’ve done.

Moving this thread to Audio Processing section for retention - abd transferring the main gist of the request to the Wiki/Pending Feature Requests page (with a link back to this thread).


Photoshop can do that. It has some very serious “remember what I do” commands. The difference is that Photoshop has all of its tools available for batching and Audacity doesn’t.

Also I don’t think either has conditional tools. “If the picture is too bright, do this.” I don’t remember seeing that. That gets you into very serious production programming and is way outside of the scope.

For instance, to be able to tell Audacity to select all those segments where the sound is either clipping, or within, say, 5% of being clipped.

Can you get rid of clipping that way now – manually? Typically record clipping is permanent – and subject to some very long forum posts. We may be able to do “close” to clipping. The same tool that can sense level for silent sense and “mud suppression” might be able to be pressed into service here – just up further.


Are you aware that you can apply a Chain to the current selection?
If only part of the current project is selected, the “Apply Chain > Apply to Current Project” applies the chain to the selection.

Perhaps it would be better if the “Apply to Current Project” button were renamed “Apply to Current Selection”, except that if there is no selection then Chains will select all, regardless of the setting in “Edit > Preferences > Tracks > Behaviours”.

Hadn’t tried that, mainly because the examples I’ve seen looked like I’ll have to learn another language to use it. Of course, that’s true of most systems I’ve used that support macros. Just looked at the ‘Edit Chains’ topic in the Audacity manual, and it appears the language generation is automated. I’ll have a go at it.

I tried to create a chain of notch filters. Notch Filter does not appear in the File->Edit Chain edit menu, nor can I type it into the Command box. Can chains not invoke plug-ins?

Not yet, though there is currently a patch being tested that adds support for Nyquist Effects (which includes notch filters).
Current testing is very positive.