Cannot use nyquist plugins


This occurs in audacity 2.3.2 as well as 3.0.2

For work related reasons, I use the zip install of audacity on a USB stick. I want to use the plugins relating to levelling out audio (Level Speech, Chris’ Dynamic Compressor) but nothing is working. The only feedback I get, if I get any at all, is a prompt that says “Reply from Nyquist:” with some decimal value.
The debug button pops up with error: unbound function - DB-TO-LINEAR in the case of Level Speech 2.
I have heard this is related to installation issue from long ago forum posts. I have used a fresh install of 3.0.2 and this issue will not resolve.
Non-Nyquist plugins do not have any such problems.
I would appreciate any assistance in dealing with this bug greatly.

Are you using a “Portable Settings” folder on the USB stick?

When using “Portable Settings”, the plug-ins should be placed in "\Portable Settings\Plug-Ins".

You may also need to check in the Plug-in Manager that the enabled plug-ins actually exist in the location specified in the plug-in manager. That could get messed up if you run the USB version of Audacity on a computer that already has Audacity installed.

I wasn’t but now I am and unfortunately it’s introduced frequent application freezing (seemingly at random) and the bug remains unchanged. I removed the non-portable settings in appdata but this didn’t solve anything unfortunately.

Did you get your portable Audacity via the Audacity website (

(I’m aware that some modified versions of Audacity exist on the Internet, but we don’t know in what ways they have been modified).

In Audacity Preferences, look in the “Directories” section - where does it say that Audacity’s “Temporary Files directory” is located?

Yes, using only links available on the official website

It was difficult to access given the frequent freezing, but here’s the directory

This is identical to my non-portable (not using the Portable Settings folder you specified) version

How exactly did you put Audacity onto the USB stick?

Sorry for the very late reply.

I extracted it and moved the whole folder over.

I’d recommend that you try Audacity 2.4.2 (just because I’ve used that on a USB stick and know that it can work well). You can get it here:

If you prefer to use Audacity 3.x, use the latest version (currently Audacity 3.0.2, though Audacity 3.0.3 is due to be released soon), and format the USB drive to NTFS rather than FAT. (The FAT file system is very old and has limitations that can cause problems for Audacity 3.x).

Note that Audacity 3.x uses a different project format from older versions of Audacity (see:

Open up the folder on the USB stick that contains “audacity.exe” and add an empty folder. Rename the empty folder to “Portable Settings”.
When you next launch Audacity, it will use the “Portable Setting” folder for it’s settings. If ever you need to reset Audacity back to factory defaults, just delete the Portable Settings folder and replace it with a new, empty Portable Setting folder.

When you use the “Nyquist Plug-in Installer” (, it will install plug-ins into a subdirectory of the Portable Settings folder.

Depending on your Windows security settings, you may still need to mess around with setting necessary “permissions” to allow Audacity access to audio devices and file access for saving / exporting and writing temporary audio data.

Thank you steve. Unfortunately, I already was using 2.4.2 and tried those exact steps earlier. I’ll try them again. This is a work device I don’t have administrator access to, so it’s quite likely it’s a security settings issue.

Are you able to test with Audacity on that USB drive on your own PC?
If it works on your own PC and not the work PC, then yes it could be a security setting issue.

I am, yes. I’ll update you when I can.
Additionally I couldn’t use the standalone version of Chris’ Dynamic Compressor