Apply Macro to Files Doesn't Seem to Change Them

Macros don’t seem to actually affect the files you apply them to.

After creating a macro with something simple like selecting all then adding a Compression effect, confirming that it works for an open project, when I click “Apply to Files…” then select one or more WAV files, it shows the contents as it brings each one up, then closes it.

Upon then opening that file, it still looks the same as without having applied the macro.

I recall selecting “edit file in place” the first time I did it, checking the box not to prompt again.

Is there something extra you need to do to actually write the output files?

Version 2.3.0 on Windows 10.


When applying Macros to files you need to ensure that the last step in the Macro is an Export command. Audacity will then export a file of the same name but in folder called cleaned alongside the original file(s).


When batch processing files, you need to put one of the “Export” commands at the end of the list of commands in the Macro. When Audacity gets to that step, it will export the processed track, in the appropriate format, to a “cleaned” folder. (the folder is called “cleaned” for historical reasons).

This caused me to have a look at the Manual (I am the current main editor) and I made some changes to make the need for an export step much clearer. This will only show in the upcoming 2.3.1 Manual as I cannot edit the already released 2.3.0 Manual.

You can see the changes I made in the alpha Manual for 2.3.1 here:

Hopefully this will make it clearer for future users of Macros.


I find myself wishing that we instead called it something like “Macro Output” or similar.

The transition from Chains to Macros would have been the ideal time to make that change.


I agree that would be better, but better still would be an option to specify the export folder in the Export command. Currently this is only available (for more than one file) when using Nyquist-Macros or an external scripting language (via mod-script-pipe).

:+1: That would be ideal.

That was it, gracias.

One wonders whether perhaps even a warning would be prudent when applying a macro to multiple files without either an Export command or something else that would create a tangle change - is there anything else you would do in a batch run of a macro that wouldn’t involve writing the result somewhere?

Glad we got you sorted

That sounds like a sensible idea - I’ll try to find some time to discuss this with the developer who worked om Macros.


This has been done for the upcoming 2.3.2

The former “cleaned” folder has been renamed to “Macro-output”.