Plugin Integration on Audacity

Hi everyone,

I am kinda new to Audacity and want to enrich the sound of my guitar recordings. I downloaded some free third-party VST plugins but they don’t sound good. Especially compared to other DAWs, the options are somewhat limited. Am I right about this?

So, my question is can I use other free plugins that are running just fine on say FL studio and other DAWs? Any help would be much appreciated.


What are you comparing? The only real DAW that I know of for mac OS X is Logic Pro, and that mostly uses AU plug-ins rather than VST.

I was referring to Windows OS based DAWs too. Since I am a beginner, I find Audacity much easier to navigate than other DAWs or audio editing/recording programs. So I reiterate, can Audacity run third-party VSTs like other audio editing programs and DAWs do?

Audacity supports “some” VST effects.
VST3 is not supported.
VSTi (instruments) are not supported.
Audacity does not support MIDI features in VST plug-ins.
More info:

I’m still confused about whether you are using Audacity on Mac OS X or Windows.

Thanks for the reply. I have Audacity installed on my Windows system right now though I will get it on my Mac pretty soon. Could you please list out some decent VSTs that work perfectly without any glitches?

Secondly, can I use VSTs (if any) off of this list:

Most of the VSTs on that list seem to be for DAWs and audio editing programs. I just want to get decent sounding tracks, that is all.

Here is our page in the Manual re. VST:

and it has a link to this Audacity Wiki page:
but many of those have not been tested on Audacity for a long time, so any feedback would be welcome.


On the Mac you will have access to the AU (Audio Unit) effects that Mac supplies - you will just need to enable them in Audacity.

Just be aware that a small handful of them look available but fail to register.

This only affects a few of the Audio Unit plug-ins: AUScheduledSoundPlayer, AUMultiSplitter, AUMultiChannelMixer, AUMixer3D, AUMIxer, AUMatrixMixer, AUAudioFilePlayer and AUSpeechSynthesis. This is an Apple issue and not an Audacity bug.


Thanks for hooking me up with that list of VST plugins. That cleared all my doubts. From what I understand, Audacity does support some third-party VSTs that run fine on DAWs and audio editing programs.

Just one final question: will there be a future update wherein VST instruments are also supported?

That will not happen in the foreseeable future. Virtually all VST instruments require MIDI control, but Audacity currently has no support for MIDI control. MIDI support needs to be greatly extended before work on supporting VSTi can begin. Although there has been some progress with MIDI support (Audacity can now play MIDI files via an external MIDI module / MIDI synth), MIDI development has been very slow. Audacity is primarily an “audio editor”, not a “DAW”.