Equalizer presets gone?


I always use Audacity to record my music and in order to give my vocals a nicer sound, I always use the Treble Boost preset of the Equalizer. This afternoon, I was recording, using it as always, when suddenly, out of the blue, the Equalizer didn’t work anymore and showed a straight line, without any curves. This turned out to be the case with all presets(Walkie Talkie, Treble Cut, etc.), not just Treble Boost, rendering them all useless.

Here’s a picture of it: http://imgur.com/a/wEEmj

Now, the question is of course: how do I get them back? And what went wrong? As far as I know, I didn’t do anything different or clicked anywhere I shouldn’t have.

Thanks in advance!

To quote a tired line, when was the last time you restarted your machine from power off?


My PC you mean? This morning, like every other day. Start it up at morning, turn it off at night

OK, that was the low-hanging fruit.

I attached a very tiny XML program called LF_Rolloff. It’s a custom equalizer filter for difficult voice recordings.

Download it, install it and see if it shows up properly. This is a very old illustration, but the rough shape of the curve is about right.

Adding Audacity Equalization Curves
– Select something on the timeline.
– Effect > Equalization > Save/Manage Curves > Import
– Select LF_rolloff_for_speech.xml > OK.
– LF rolloff for speech now appears in the equalization preset curve list.

LF_rolloff_for_speech.xml (299 Bytes)

One more. Which three-number Audacity version do you have?


Wait, hang on a sec. What does this do exactly? Re-create the lost presets or is it a different preset all together?

I have version 2.0.2

is it a different preset all together?

Whole new one. If it appears, then only the collection of older presets is gone. If it doesn’t appear, Audacity may be broken.


This one does appear. So, I suppose only the collection of older presets is gone for whatever reason. Any way to fix that?

I don’t know if this means anything, but the EQCurves back-up now shows this:

<?xml version="1.0"?>


\ \ -

So no weird codes(to me at least) for the preset ones, only for the new one

This may be the time we wait for a Windows elf. I don’t know enough about the Audacity Windows structure to be helpful.

I know what some of that code is. That’s the simple XML programming for LF-Rolloff. This is what it looks like in a text editor.




Okay, well, I hope he makes his way over soon then haha

Isn’t the solution then not as simple as just looking at what the XMl programming is for all the presets and importing that in my Audacity?

Some are burned into the Audacity code and some are stuck on with library paste.

I predict one of the first things the senior elves are going to do is bump you up to Audacity 2.1.2. But I’ll leave that up to them.

I turned on the bat signal.


I’ll wait for their arrival then.

Thanks anyway!

It’s 4am in England, so it may take a bit.


Is there a reason you want such an old version?

EQ curves have not been built into Audacity for many years now. They depend on an external file, the last fallback for which is EQDefaultCurves.xml which ships with Audacity in its installation folder. When you use Equalization, the curves you have and their settings are copied to Audacity’s folder for application data as EQCurves.xml.

It looks like you may have a corrupted file, given you have the curve names in the dropdown in Equalization.

Using 2.0.2 you can right-click this link: Audacity default curves, save it to your computer and put it in Audacity’s installation folder. The curves in that link are the current Audacity curves, not whatever was shipped with 2.0.2.

Then go to Audacity’s folder for application data, in your case Users<your username>\AppData\Roaming\Audacity\ , and rename EQCurves.xml and your EQBackup.xml (for example, remove the first “E” in the name). Then Audacity should read the installed EQDefaultCurves.xml and copy it to its folder for application data as EQCurves.xml.

If that doesn’t help you’ll have to install 2.1.2 from http://www.audacityteam.org/download/windows which will install the curve file linked to above. I suggest you enable the option to Reset Preferences half way through the installation, although that doesn’t directly affect Equalization. If you have no reason to use the old 2.0.2 version, you could just do that anyway. You will still need to rename the old EQ curves in Users<your username>\AppData\Roaming\Audacity\ .


That fixed the problem, thank you!

That solved the symptom. Nobody knows why the original file vanished. That’s concerning. Operating files don’t just vanish. Is your virus software up to date? Isn’t there a Windows drive health check you can do?


If there was no EQ*.xml file in Audacity’s application data folder or the installation folder, there would be no curves to choose from. As I said, the problem seemed to be that whichever EQ file was being read, it was corrupt, rendering the curves as flat lines. I vaguely recall corruption bugs in Equalization around that time, but that is a problem with running an old version of Audacity.


From the original post: …“suddenly, out of the blue”…

I don’t think earlier versions of Audacity had the habit of trashing their operating files in the middle of a show, that I know of.