Compiling instructions for non-programmer?

I need ASIO compatibility. I’ve read the compiling instructions in the wiki (, and am totally intimidated. Sorry, it looks like a major project with no guarantee of success, and it would have to be repeated with each Audacity update, right? No way I want to start into that.

I suppose Steinberg would prefer we use Cubase or other of their products, and that’s a reasonable attitude. But, if we would really rather use Audacity, has anyone asked Steinberg to release their own compiled version, for a price? That seems likely. What was the response? Or would their selling such an enhanced version violate Audacity’s terms?

Is there ANY solution for those of us who aren’t programmers and don’t want to be?

I really don’t want to get into a big project, but I’ll also ask: Is there a more detailed compile step-by-step guide that aggregates and distills all the various tools and instructions?

PS: I have found a detailed guide for total compiling novices, but it is for an ancient version of Audacity. I must assume the related software is also changed somewhat since then. Searching further still turns up nothing suitable or recent. So my question remains. (Sorry, I don’t see a way to edit my original post.)

To it, I’ll add yet another. I have Pro Tools 11, but it is gross overkill for what I usually need to do, and I am still learning to get along with it. Is there an alternative free or (more likely) low-cost (<$100), ASIO-compatible, Windows 7 DAW that compares to Audacity? Primary need is voice recording and processing, and light mixing for, say, radio commercials production. I have several “lite” versions that came with the audio interface, but they’re pretty long in the tooth and I haven’t tried them in Windows 7.

Just trying to get some work done. As I’ve told a major operating system manufacturer for decades, “I don’t need another hobby.”

I agree that building a program from source on Windows is intimidating unless it’s something that you are familiar with, but are you sure that you really need ASIO? What advantages does ASIO have for you over MME or direct sound?

My audio interface is an E-MU 1616 MicroDock. The routing software that is integral with it, PatchMix,is ASIO-based. PatchMix is more than a bit confusing at first, and E-MU appears to be out of business. But I’ve gotten over the start-up hump and both the hardware and software are extremely versatile.

I have tried to see if PatchMix will send a non-ASIO signal to Windows, but apparently not, and I’ve never heard of an “ASIO converter” or interpreter.

I don’t want to replace my audio system just to use Audacity. I suppose one solution might be to add a second A/D interface for situations where I need to just need to do a quickie recording, but that, too, would be a kludge.

As for MME or direct sound, is there a way for the 1616 to go that route? Some of my needs are for simple, unmixed line-in recording or transfer, so ASIO’s low-latency advantage is probably not always needed.

Another thought… (I know I’m jumping the gun here, but am open to any practical, affordable solution that doesn’t interfere with my other needs.)

It’s not okay for a third (fourth?) party to compile Audacity with ASIO and give it to someone else, whether as a paid service or not. It’s probably not okay for Steinberg to do that, either, if they charge for the service or product. But would it be possible, and acceptable, for a developer to provide software that would do the compiling automatically. An OS “macro,” as it were. I have no idea what variables and other restrictions are involved in the compiling process, and maybe it’s a technically absurd suggestion. But searching here, I see a lot of mentions that something or other may not work because of the ASIO situation, so if such automation is do-able, maybe there’s a market?

Once the development environment is set up, compiling a new version of Audacity is automatic, just amounting to pushing a couple of menu items in Visual Studio. This is true whether you have set Audacity to compile with ASIO support or not.

I think compiling Audacity could be made much more intuitive for novices if lengthy step by step instructions were given, but one of the Audacity lead developers is strongly opposed to providing such help, because it would duplicate the existing instructions in compile.txt which are intended for developers to follow and which thus lack explanations and complete steps.

So following compile.txt, you have to be prepared to search online and follow links on other pages for things you don’t know where to find or how to do.

It’s a licensing issue. There is as yet no open source version of ASIO, so Audacity must use the Steinberg ASIO support. Steinberg will not allow us to disclose their code, which we must do because Audacity is open source. And so we only allow ASIO support in Audacity to be enabled if the user compiles Audacity and promises not to distribute their ASIO-enabled build to anyone else.

Yes - at your own risk you could try Audacity 2.0.4 release ( ) which includes support for WDM-KS host. This host allows latencies almost as low as ASIO, and may allow your device to record multiple channels at once - is this what you want to do that you cannot do under MME or Windows DirectSound?

You should be aware that the implementation of WDM-KS support in Audacity could cause your computer to crash - hence WDM-KS support is not available in the current 2.0.5 release of Audacity.

You said you had found such for an old version of Audacity - which document is that?

The nearest we have to a hand-holding guide (not official documentation) is .


There is an “ASIOBridge Package” at which (as I understand) is intended to allow standard audio API’s like MME or Windows DirectSound to access real or virtual ASIO devices. I think this will not have latencies as low as ASIO is capable of, but do feel free to try it and more importantly - let us know how you get on with it.

There is some documentation here: .


According to this article:

The 1616M PCIe also ships with ASIO2 > and WDM drivers > for Windows XP, XP x64, Windows Vista and Vista x64

(emphasis mine).

The standard 2.0.5 release version of Audacity will probably be able to use the 1616M with the WDM drivers, though you will probably lose the added functionality of the special routing software and only have the basic controls in the Windows Sound Control Panel.

Some kind of script to checkout the wxWidgets and Audacity sources from SVN version control, then build Widgets and Audacity is perfectly possible (though no Audacity developer will spend time writing it): .

What is not possible is to compile wxWidgets or Audacity without the development environment (MS Visual Studio and an appropriate Software Development Kit) or the version control tool (Tortoise SVN) installed.


Thanks to all for the thoughtful responses. Although, I don’t see what problem there could be in providing an optional detailed version of any instruction, for anything. There are even several ways to present it that would not cause duplicate content. In any case, learning otherwise unneeded (for me, that is) products just to use another product is the long way around.

It will take me awhile to digest it all. I’ll have to evaluate my needs and set some priorities. Meanwhile, I’m checking out Sound Forge trial. If I were on a Mac, I’d be trying Twisted Wave. Sorry, I was just getting used to Audacity again after many years away from it.

I don’t know what my previous version was, but I did record mic input (using the same OS, etc. as now) without any problem. I updated, and no more mic.

Topic split to .