I’ve been recording music with the latest version of Audacity (3.4) and I found things that are rather unintuitive to a relatively new user coming from other DAWs.
I should clarify that before the update I only used Audacity to record audio from the desktop and I mainly use Reaper, Live or ProTools for music.
I know Audacity is used for voice over work, podcasts, etc. so I don’t know how some of my suggestions would affect those workflows. Feel free to correct me.
• In Audacity you can drag audio clips to before the 1.1 measure. Why is that? Playback starts at 1.1.
I know there is an option for “Enable scrolling left of zero”, but when it’s disabled it shouldn’t let you drag the clips left of the first measure.
• The time and label track should stay on top of the arrangement.
• Labels don’t snap to the beats and measures ruler.
• Why multiple label tracks? Isn’t one enough? You can already overlap multiple labels.
• Split Clip: The default is ‘Ctrl + I’. Why not just ‘S’? It’s more intuitive.
• Mute Track: Why ‘Shift + U’? Why not ‘M’?
• I think the Solo Button should use the Multi-Track mode by default.
• Input settings per track would be a nice addition if there’s plans for recording multiple tracks at the same time in the future.
• “Join Clips” has no shortcut. Why not ‘J’ or similar?
On that note, why “Join”? Isn’t “Glue” or “Consolidate” more commonly used?
• You can only select one clip by clicking in the handle:
In other DAWs you can select a clip then press ‘Shift’ and click on another selecting everything between them. Audacity doesn’t allow this, even if you can select multiple clips with the selection tool by doing it outside them.
Also, ‘Ctrl’ and clicking on multiple clips should select only the clips you want.
Another easy way of selecting clips could be with a marquee tool but there’s nothing like it in Audacity. (You can still use the selection tool between tracks though)
• Pressing shift while moving a clip should ignore the ‘Snap’ option.
• It should be possible to mute selected clips by right clicking on them or using a shortcut. (E.g. Ableton Live uses the shortcut ‘0’)
• There is no way of duplicating a clip. When you use ‘Ctrl + D’ it duplicates the whole track.
Other DAW’s duplicate based on what is selected which feels more intuitive.
• Fade In/Out directly on every clip would be a great addition. The only way of adding a fade is through Effects → Fades and it’s destructive.
Maybe dragging inwards from the edges of the clip (like Reaper) or doing a time selection and ‘Ctrl + F’ (like ProTools).
• There is no way of knowing if a track has effects on them unless you open the ‘Effects’ tab.
Reaper is a DAW that also has an FX button, but it changes color when the track has effects on it, or if the effects are bypassed.
• Auto Punch based on loop region would be a nice addition.
• Would it be possible to allow editing while Audacity reproduces audio? You can’t manipulate clips during playback.
• Why is there a ‘Select’ on every track? Isn’t it redundant? This is not related to the music tools but I find it weird
I know there are a lot of features that are necessary for music that won’t be implemented in the short term (Mixer; VSTi; etc.) but I tried mentioning only stuff affecting features that already exist in Audacity.
After the addition of the Beats and Measures ruler I think a metronome should be the next big feature to be added, as rhythm tracks feels a bit weird coming from other DAWs.
That’s all I have for now.
Congratulations to the team on the release of the last update, it’s amazing!