Can't access the Macro Menu in Tools for batch-conversion of several files

Hi, I’m using Audacity for speech recording of my seminars. (Audacity 2.3.0 on Mac OSX 10.14)
After recording several days I would like to apply a few effects and export all the tracks to MP3. I adapted the MP3 Export Macro for my needs and it works fine for projects, but if I want to apply it to several files Audacity asks me to safe and close the current project, which I do. This leaves the menu bar of Audacity with only two entries: “Audacity” and “File”, the “Tools” menu, under which the Macro entries are, is not visible.
How can I access the menu-items?

I tried to find a solution for this for hours now and I just wonder if nobody else ever encountered this problem as I can’t find anything about it. On another Mac I have an older version of Audacity in which the “Chain” is listed in the “File” Menu which would be available without a project being open.

rather than closing your project, try opening a new Audacity project with File > New shortcut Cmd + N

You should than be able to use this new empty project to apply your Macro to a set of files.


Do you want to apply a Macro to a number of Audacity projects? Audacity can’t do that. Macros can be applied to the currently open project, or to a selection of audio files. See this page in the manual.

– Bill

Thanks waxcylinder and billw58.

Yes, I wanted to apply the makro to several Audacity projects, learned that it won’t work this way.

Does anyone have a work-around (maybe with Automator on Mac) for the following task:

I record my seminars, usually there is like 5-6 tracks (projects) per day. These track will be edited with Meta-Data (like Track Title, Artist, Date etc) and then are giving to my participants in the seminar as MP3s. If I have a week of seminar it is usually something like 20-30 tracks (projects) and when exporting them to MP3 it would be great if I could have a batch-process opening all projects in a directory (one after the other), apply compressor and normalization to it and export them as MP3, close the project and open the next one.

Since you have to open each project to edit metadata, that would be the time to do the audio processing and export as well.

Audacity does not expose it’s user interface to Automator, so I don’t think that is an option.

One of the problems of applying compression in a batch process is that parameters such as threshold and make-up gain need to be set according to the characteristics of the recording. If the levels in your recordings are consistent from one recording to the next you might be able to find compression settings that work. You could then at least create a macro that applies compression, then normalization, then exports to MP3. You would still need to apply that macro to each open project in succession.

Otherwise I think you’re stuck manually processing each recording and exporting as MP3.

– Bill