High Quality Audio Streching in Change Tempo


I’ve been trying to figure out this strange issue for a while, and I’m kind of convinced I’m just missing something. First, I’m using Audacity version 2.4.2 on Pop!_OS version 20.10. I’m using the .deb release from the default Pop!_OS package manager.

I’m trying to slow down some audio to use during my lessons. It is often helpful to make things go slower to notice things. I’ve been using the Change Tempo for a while, but I always had to use “High-Quality Audio Stretching” or else it would sound like a mess. However, that option disappeared a few weeks ago.

I’ve looked all over the place for it and even tried to find some other way to do it. Does anyone know how to get that option back OR have a workaround?



Unfortunately Debian decided to disable the “high quality stretch” library (SBSMS) because Audacity requires a later version than their version.
Hopefully they will update their version of SBSMS and enable it in Audacity, but until then the best workaround is to build Audacity 2.4.2 from the source code, or make do without the HQ option.

Oh that’s too bad. I’ll see if I can figure that out. Is there a way to know if it ever gets added back?

You could keep an eye out for an update to “libsbsms”. The current Debian / Ubuntu version is 2.0.2. Once they update it to 2.1 or later, they will be able to enable it in Audacity.

The same seems to be true for the sliding scale pitch changer; it’s in my effects menu (2.4.2 on Ubuntu 20.04, btw) but when I click on it I get the “report a crash” box opening with oops, something went wrong…that must use the same library…
You could try using the change speed to slow it down with no loss of quality; if you have an instrument that you can tune…slow it down 6% for approximately one half step down; then you could tune your guitar down a half step like Van Halen used to do and practice right along.

Yes, that also uses the SBSMS library.

The good news is that the “upstream” repository for this library has now moved to GitHub and there is a new release (the same as is used by Audacity), so hopefully Debian will now update their version and enable HQ stretch in their next Audacity build (https://github.com/claytonotey/libsbsms)

@steve; Does this mean that some time soon, after the software updater does it’s thing, my high quality sliding scale pitch/time effect will suddenly start working, or will I still have to download and install something (I am trying to take a crash course in Linux to put the lockdown period to good use, and hopefully I will know these things in the near future -then I will start asking reasonable questions rather than newbie ones).
This issue kind of overlaps into something more apt to be found in a forum devoted to “repositories” and apt-get and all that; where I am frantically reaching out, as I still have 3 icons for audacity in my applications menu and am about to delete some .desktop files; but not before going to that tab here and asking experts who share my own enthusiasm for helping out those that are being held back in life by not knowing things that I know.,
But, how would I know when they do that rebuild (I think I have done some of my best effects using the sliding time thing) and will it get patched in automatically when I do the “new software is available for this computer [install now] {remind me later| not|” thing.
Thanks in advance

I don’t know. It depends on what the Debian / Ubuntu / Mint maintainers do.

What I hope will happen, is that Debian will package a full version of Audacity 3.0.0 when it is released, and include it in their repository. When / if that happens, Ubuntu are likely to pick it up and include it in their updates. Debian / Ubuntu / Mint users will then receive the new version in their normal updates, but note that it is the distro maintainer (not us) that decide the update timetable.

Ubuntu are pushing their “Snapd” platform, (I think that’s because it fits well with their “App Store” model).
My personal experience is that neither Snap or Flatpack are as reliable as the old “apt” packages where complex apps with plug-ins are concerned, though they are improving.

For now I’d recommend completely uninstalling all versions of Audacity, then reinstall the “apt” version. Although not perfect, the apt versions are generally pretty reliable and security updates are easy and quick for the maintainers to roll out (if / when necessary).