Plot Spectrum drop-down settings not sticking

My next issue:

The FFT window(Spectrogram) does not “keep” my settings when I close Audacity and return to it later on.

It depends what you mean. The type of waveform (Spectrogram(f), Waveform(dB) or whatever) is not saved in the project. The default waveform (for any tracks) can be set to one of the Spectrogram view in Tracks Preferences. The Spectrogram range is saved in the Spectrogram Preferences (for any Spectrogram tracks).

If you vertically zoom on the spectrogram scale, the zoom position is not saved in the project either (for any of the waveforms). There is a (small) case it should be, given horizontal zoom is saved in the project.


What I am referring to is available under the “Analyze” drop-down: “Plot Spectrum” (of selected song or audio)

Since yesterday when I reset preferences the Spectrogram appears it is always in default settings: Algorithm = Spectrum, Window = Hanning, Size = 512, Axis = Linear, etc.

I have already been into Spectrograms under Preferences and changed the two attributes to suit my needs: Size to 2048 and Axis to Logarthmic.

These changes DO NOT STICK as they USED TO BEFORE resetting preferences.

The Spectrograms Preferences have nothing to do with Plot Spectrum, hence my reply above.

Your last choice for the four drop-down menus and the “Grids” box in Plot Spectrum are always remembered so you need to do nothing after resetting preferences except change them back as you like them in the Plot Spectrum window itself.

From 2.0.2 onwards any Plot Spectrum changes are saved immediately in the audacity.cfg settings file ( see ).



Then explain why both locations(the spectro itself and in preferences) have most of the same settings. Size, Log vs Linear, Type. Even my CATS would make that correlation.

Anyway, the fact remains: Regardless of where I make the changes(in the spectro window or in prefs) - it returns to defaults when I reopen Audacity, since resetting everything Wednesday. They USED to stick before resetting.

I’m not jerking you around Gale, I’m not Fox News :slight_smile: I don’t have the time or inclination to make up problems and report them on here.

Please show me an image of where in Spectrograms Preferences you see “Log” and “Linear” choices.

Compare the “size” values in Preferences and the Plot Spectum window. What do you propose should happen if you choose a size value in Preferences that does not exist in the size values in the Plot Spectrum window?

Obviously I tested what I wrote before replying. The only thing that I can guess you mean is that you open a Plot Spectrum window (call it A), change the drop-downs, then leave that window open and open a new Plot Spectrum window (call it B). In that case, the new Plot Spectrum window (B) will not have the changes you made in (A) because you have not closed window (A) and so not written those changes to audacity.cfg. This is expected, and not a bug.

So to set default Plot Spectum drop-down values that you always want when opening a new Plot Spectrum window, simply close all the Plot Spectrum windows, with the last one you closed set as you want the values set. We don’t make those values a Preference because we figure users would want to toggle settings on the fly. Maybe you’d want to do that with a Spectrogram track too, but currently there is nowhere put such choices in the track.

We are all volunteers and don’t have a lot of time either. As with the Noise Removal problem, please help us by giving us exact steps to reproduce a problem (1, 2, 3…), exact commands used and the exact values that any controls are set to.


I have never had multitple plot spectrum windows open, but yes, I did set the settings in the spectrum window itself: “Size = 2048(default is 512 I think)”, and “Scale” to Log(linear is default).

Again, and maybe I’m just not being clear enough: Those settings stick DURING THAT AUDACITY SESSION. When I close Audacity and open it later on to start another project, the settings in the Plot Spectrum window are BACK TO DEFAULT.

My personal settings in the Spectrum window, as I have said repeatedly, USED TO STICK even after exiting Audacity and reopening it. As of the Wednesday October 17 reset they no longer do. If this is still not clear please let me know.

This is the first time you have narrowed the problem down to losing your Plot Spectrum settings on restarting Audacity, so thanks for that.

It’s clear now you have removed the suggestion that the Spectrogram Preferences are to blame, but I still cannot reproduce the problem in 2.0.0 or 2.0.2. Exit then restart of Audacity was the first thing I tested.

I’ve now exited Audacity, set audacity.cfg to NewPrefsInitialized=1, restarted Audacity, recorded some audio, opened Analyze > Plot Spectrum, then set Size to 2048 and Axis to “Log”. I pressed OK then exited and restarted Audacity, recorded and opened Plot Spectrum. Size is 2048 and Axis is “Log”.

How did you reset Preferences, exactly and when? Obviously if you change the Plot Spectrum settings, exit Audacity then set NewPrefsInitialized=1 in audacity.cfg you will lose your Plot Spectrum settings.

If you are still concerned, please launch Audacity, set Size to 2048 and Axis to “Log”, exit Audacity then attach audacity.cfg to your reply so I can look at it. Please rename the file to audacity.txt before attaching. Here is how to attach a file .



How did I reset preferences?
Per Steve’s instructions(dated October 10):

If you are using the current Audacity 2.0.2 installer there is an option to reset preferences. Audacity 2.0.2 is available here:"

As far as “audacity.cfg” is concerned, I’ve tried searching high and low for that thing. Remember I have Veesta! :slight_smile: Regular rules do not apply. And I shouldnt have to do anything in there anyway to get certain settings to stick(didn’t have to before Oct 18th). And even if I could get into that cfg, I’d probably mess it up Gale. I’m a soundman not a computer programmer.

OK, so if you did that reset after choosing your settings in Plot Spectrum, you would have wiped those settings changes out. Is that what you did? If not, read on.

  1. Launch Audacity, then in Plot Spectrum, set Size to 2048 and Axis to “Log”, exit Audacity
  2. Follow these steps to show hidden files and folders
  3. Navigate in Explorer to UsersAppDataRoamingAudacity (note, replace with whatever your user name is)
  4. Right-click over audacity.cfg > Copy. CTRL + V to paste “audacity - Copy.cfg” into Explorer. Select “audacity - Copy.cfg”, press F2 and rename the file to “audacity - Copy.txt” (without quotes)
  5. Follow the steps here to attach “audacity - Copy.txt” to your reply.


Forget it. I’ll just keep selecting the options each time I Plot Spectrum.






You shouldn’t need to. No else has to. And we can’t do anything about it if we can’t make it happen.

In case the .cfg file got corrupted, I would File > Exit Audacity. Run the installer again with “Reset Preferences” checked. Then try again.


Good news! As of this reply the settings are sticking in Spectrum. Size = 2048 and Axis = Log Freq. I did not do anything different. I just reopened Audacity and the settings are as I left them yesterday.

Welcome to “Veesta” Gale - do you have what it takes?