Free Moving of Effect Preview

It would be very helpful to have a slider inside the effect window where I can change the starting point of the “assessment selection”…

Our situation: We are creating new songs with 16+channels. Each of us is at home and only records his own instrument. So each recording starts with approx. 5 seconds of silence, because a musician must have the chance to return to his instrument after pressing the RECORD button. Then follows a count-in by metronom, which lasts approx. 4 seconds.

In order to assess the impact of an EFFECT with the current version of AUDACITY, the preview starts at the beginning of the song and hence we always hear the effect only on the metronom, but not on the music. Making the duration of the preview longer is not realyl a solution because each assessment still would start with boring 9 seconds of “non-music”.

Alternatively, marking a selection before opening an EFFECT is only a “work-around”. Because to assess the same settings on other parts of the song would require to leave the effect in order to be able to mark a new selection. This again would mean losing the temporary settings which I want to assess.

The best solution for musicians would be to have a slider inside the effect window, which represents the duration of the whole song. This would allow me to easily “navigate” to different parts of my song to assess the impact of the effect there.

If the effect has a “Manage” button you can save your temporary settings as a preset.

Otherwise look for a (free) plugin of the required effect which allows real-time evaluation, e.g.

Saving the temporary setting as a preset is no solution and slows down the work flow. normaly you work like this: You check very fast and often little changes in settings on different parts of the audio. Always to leave the EFFECT is contraproductive.

Yes, a lot the free PlugIns already open a way to work with. But also the build-in EFFECTS, which are often used and have good quality, should be changed to work this way. Writing them all new to open them to real-time evaluation will be a lot of work. Adding a simple slider. in the context of “MANAGE” and “PREVIEW”…
… would change all build in effect at the same time and give them a possiblitly of quasi “real-time-evaluation”

I think a real-time DAW would suit your needs better than Audacity (for example “Reaper”).

@steve I thought this is a feature request board and it would be helpful to tell AUDACITY team, if a small change can make the software more comfortable. I’m standing for a group of 16 amateur musicians, which only can use a free recording software like AUDACITY. And AUDACITY is perfect for us, because it is easy to use and extremly self descriping, so that we can use it without long coaching or study. A pro tool is to expensive and to complex to work with amateurs.

I’m still convinced that the current way of preview in AUDACITY i not useful and realistic. f.e. the REVERB effect is good enough for finding a good setting for a lot of recording situations, but there is a need to check this on several parts of the audio. Without this the effect keeps a “blunt sword”. So give the idea a chance…

What you are suggesting is not a “small change”.

There have already been a number of suggestions that you have discarded out of hand. It seems from your responses that what you really want is for Audacity to behave like a real-time DAW. That is not going to happen because Audacity is a “sample editor” (also known as a “destructive editor” or “wysiwyg editor”) and has no aspirations to become a real-time DAW. There are however many real-time DAWs available.

To clarify: Audacity has two types of effects.

  1. There is the older style “normal” effects in which you make a selection and then apply the effect to the selection.
    Examples of this type of effect include: Amplify, Normalize, Change Pich,…
  2. There is the new style effect which has “real-time preview”.
    In this type of effect, the selection may be changed while the effect is open. Playing while the effect window is open will apply the effect to the audio stream that is playing. When you are happy with the effect settings and the selection, the effect can be applied to the selection.
    Examples of this type of effect include: Bass and Treble, Distortion, VST effects, AU effects, LV2 effects…

It is likely that in the future, more of Audacity’s built in effects will be converted to the new style.
The “new style” effect is probably as close as Audacity will get to what you are requesting.

Note that if you want to try a “new style” effect on different parts of a selection but you already have a selection that you don’t want to lose, you can save the selection, play with the effect, then restore the original selection and apply the effect. See “store” and “retrieve” Select Menu: Region - Audacity Manual)

Tip: (I find this way of working useful with the “old style” effects)

  1. Select a region of audio to test.
  2. Open the effect and use the “Preview” button to try different settings.
  3. When I have the settings that I like, apply the effect (click the “OK” button)
  4. “Ctrl+Z” (Undo the effect)
  5. Select the audio that I actually want to process
  6. “Ctrl+R” (Repeat the last used effect - this is the effect, with setting used in step 3)

“Sample Editors” are the best choice for some types of task. Real-time DAWs are the best choice for other types of task. It is perfectly acceptable (recommended) to use whichever is best suited to the job at hand.

Ah I understand, did not know this! Thanks for clarification. We indeed use AUDACITY as our DAW, because it is so easy to use.

e.g. Reverb Plugin with a Vintage Vibe [VST, AU, AAX] - OldSkoolVerb - Voxengo