Installing Effects Plugins Into Audacity Package Contents

I’m attempting to clean house in the User Library of all the VST and .ny plugins in 10.6.8 OS from previous Audacity installs, currently at 2.2.2 which no longer has an Audacity folder in Application folder, only the Audacity app icon. The previous versions I have do have folder and I’ld like to get rid of them.

I notice in Adding/Removing plugins dialog box there are several plugins that have install paths that are in “contents” which is inside the Audacity app icon by control clicking and selecting “Package Contents”. I installed Steve Daulton’s Channel Mixer.ny into this path with the others and all works fine. I just close the Package Content folder and move on. Now I have two Channel Mixer listings where the former is installed in User/ Library /Application Support. etc. It’s disabled in Audacity Add/Remove plugin dialog box listing and the other in Package Contents is enabled.

Can I put all the plugins in the Package Contents Audacity app icon instead of the User Library? And is it safe to trash the old Channel Mixer in User Library?

Audio Units ‘AU’ plugins I don’t mess with.

Thanks for the feedback.

That is not recommended.
The Package Contents should contain plug-ins that are shipped with Audacity. Future upgrades may overwrite these files.

Custom / 3rd party Nyquist plug-ins should be placed in:
~/Library/Application Support/audacity/Plug-Ins
where “~/” refers to your “home” directory: /Users//

For example, if your user name is “tim”, then you should place Nyquist plug-ins in the hidden folder:
/Users/tim//Library/Application Support/audacity/Plug-Ins/

This will ensure that they are not overwritten or deleted when you next update Audacity.

Additional information:

Thanks for the clarification, links and instructions, Steve.

I take it to stop either of these Channel Mixer listings from showing up in the Plugins Add/Remove list is to reinstall Audacity?

Will it cause performance problems if I leave everything as is (with duplicates) and not clean house of ANY already installed plugins?

I’m not having any performance issues so I’m not going to fix what’s not broke. I have to remind myself when installing any new plugins downloaded off the web that I should always install in the User/Library/Application Support path.

Thanks, for getting back to me on this.

Audacity has three main configuration files:

  • audacity.cfg
    This stores your user preferences, recently used files list, and other Audacity settings.
  • pluginregistry.cfg
    This stores the list of installed plug-ins.
  • pluginsettings.cfg
    This stores the settings of installed plug-ins.

All three of these files can be found in: “~/Library/Application Support/audacity/”
(see: “Where the Preferences are stored”)

The “plugins…” configuration files work pretty well at keeping track of which plug-ins are installed, whether or not they are enabled, and what their settings are, but they can become cluttered with redundant entries when plug-ins are deleted from the system, moved to other locations, or if duplicates are installed. Audacity cannot yet manage these types of changes.

The simplest solution to duplicate / non-existent plug-in entries, is to close Audacity, and then delete the two files pluginsettings.cfg and pluginsettings.cfg.

When Audacity is restarted, it will scan the computer for plug-ins and register them in a new pluginregistry.cfg file, and all plug-ins will be restored to default settings.

No noticeable impact on performance, but I find it annoying and confusing when plug-ins that no longer exist are listed in the Plug-In Manager. Once you know where to find the two plug-ins configuration files, it only takes a few seconds to fix it.

Do you mean pluginsregistry.cfg and pluginsettings.cfg? There are duplicate “pluginsettings” as named in your original response.

Since you mentioned these .cfg files, after installing Audacity 2.2.2 for Mac OS 10.6.8 there was an orphan “Audacity.cfg” either moved or part of the install into the Applications folder. see screengrab…Can I toss this?
OrphanCFG fileMacOS.png

I sure do :wink:

I’d go with “yes”, but as a general tip, if in doubt, rename it (for example, to “audacity.cfg.bak”). That gives you chance to test thoroughly before you permanently ditch it.

Thanks, Steve, for your time and knowledge.

I’m just trying out your Channel Mixer after I figured out the difference between Custom and the Presets. I thought it was broke for years. Just turned out I needed to read the instructions. It’s too simple looking an app to go thru that much trouble. Oh well, live and learn.

Successfully fixed the stereo imaging of Herbie Hancock’s “Fat Mama”. It’s really a handy tool.

Thanks again.

Unfortunately, a limitation of the Nyquist Plug-in format is that it is not yet possible to include presets that update the controls in the graphic interface, and that can lead to confusion / thinking it’s broken.

Personally I find the Channel Mixer to be one of my most useful plug-ins. I’ve used it for all sorts of things. At some time in the future, I’d like to convert it into a “built-in” effect, and include “real-time preview” (so you can hear the effect while moving the sliders), and meters (so that you can see what it is doing). That’s probably a long way off, but hopefully some time in the future :wink:

Just want to get a second ear on the effectiveness and use of your Channel Mixer on a 30 second A/B sample of Herbie Hancock’s Fat Mama in the mp3 file below. The first is the original made the same loudness as the second edited version with Channel Mixer.

I used a custom setting of (-100) 50/-50 (100). Applied an EQ to boost the drums, low end kick drum and Roland piano which did lose its center imaging. I tried other Channel Mixer settings to get back the piano but it threw the phase off on the bass creating a muddy low end where I couldn’t boost the bottom end of the kick drum.

Would like your thoughts on what you’re hearing. I think it’s an improvement listening on headphones but I haven’t tried it out on regular speakers.