Audacity VST (Idea for developers)

Good morning/Good afternoon, I would like to present a new project / idea for Audacity. Over the past 3 years, I have delved myself into the world of sample-production, and messing around with audio in the Audacity program. Just to get my praises out of the way, the destructive editing and FX in Audacity have served me the best and I could not have found a better program to manipulate and make something new. I would call it the open circuit board of audio editing software!

The problem I have lies within the lack of VST programs that are similar, or try to be as close to Audacity as possible. Too many to name, but every sampling plug-in I’ve tried out on Ableton just doesnt seem to fill the void of a much needed Audacity plug-in. Either too many unnecessary features, weak editing capabilities, no way of undoing or redoing your progress, or just all of these combined. The way I see it, an Audacity VST would leap over these obstacles with ease and make sample producing for beginners, pros who need a change of pace, or anyone interested much more accessible. Here are a couple layouts and rough (SUPER ROUGH) templates for the general idea I had in mind.

These are just some rough digisketches, but if any more templates / information is required feel free to message me! This can really be a game changing idea if placed in the right hands, so please take it into consideration. Thank you.

It is unlikely that Audacity will ever become a VST plug-in. Several reasons:

  • Audacity is a cross-platform application, but VST is (mostly) Windows only.
  • VST architecture is designed primarily for real-time processing, which is not supported by Audacity.
  • As a VST plug-in, a host application would be required. There is little incentive for makers of VST hosts (DAWs) to support an Audacity VST as most of them already include a wave editor in their app.
  • Using Audacity as a VST plug-in would require that the user is also familiar with a (often very complicated) host application. User’s with such experience make up a very tiny proportion of Audacity users.
  • Developing Audacity as a VST plug-in would require a huge amount of development work, and I doubt that our very small team of developers would have the time or inclination to embark on such a huge project that has little to do with Audacity’s core purpose (being a stand-alone multi-track audio editor).

I do however like the idea of making Audacity able to integrate more closely with DAWs. Direct editing of uncompressed audio files would be a major step in this direction as it would allow “in-place” editing of a DAW’s data files. Suitable precautions would need to be put in place to protect other Audacity users from the risks of direct editing, and there would be some tricky file management issues that would need to be resolved.

I also like the idea of having a “file list” / “clip library” of some kind in Audacity. I don’t think this has huge benefits, because the simple alternative is to just have a file browser open next to the Audacity window, but it could certainly add some convenience. It would be particularly convenient to be able to export a selection by drag and drop.

Nice graphics by the way :slight_smile:

About the clip library. This is my need too. I have used extra audio tracks to store clips but better solution would be nice. Clips are important part of this days music technology.

Ardour has sample clip library system which worked ok enough for an amateur remix project.

I sometimes do that too, and I agree that a proper built-in clip library could be very useful for some jobs.
I’ll look on out “feature requests” list to see if we have that logged, and if not, I’ll add it.

I didn’t see anything like this, so I’ve added:

Audio clip library manager (built in): > Many audio editors / DAWs have some sort of “library manager” that allows quick and convenient access to audio clips for use in the current project.