Problems to set up effects.


As an old Amadeus audio editor user, I’m quite disturbed by the way Audacity works.

I used to set up for example my equaliser effect while listening my settings. I can’t in Audacity. I always have to set up first then listen what I’ve done.

It’s quite a waste of time and definitly not the best way to get a correct result.

Is there any way to set up correctely my effects while listen what I do to the sound ? Even installing plug ins.

Thank you.

That has traditionally been the way that Audacity works.
However, Audacity 2.1.0 introduced “real-time preview” for some types of effects. In 2.1.0, real-time preview is supported for LADSPA, VST and Audio Unit (OS X).

In Audacity 2.1.2 we will see the first built-in effects to support real-time preview (so far only Wah-wah and Phaser).

In Audacity 2.1.3, real-time preview should be available in more built-in effects. The Bass and Treble effect will almost certainly be included, and I hope that we will also have a “Graphic Eq” and “Compressor” with real-time preview.

It is also possible on Linux to use Audacity with Jack and route the playback from Audacity through any Jack aware effects (example: “Jack Rack”), and then record the processed audio back into a new track in Audacity. It’s a bit fiddly working this way, but it does provide “real-time” processing.

It is also possible on Linux to use Audacity with Jack and route the playback from Audacity through any Jack aware effects (example: “Jack Rack”), and then record the processed audio back into a new track in Audacity. It’s a bit fiddly working this way, but it does provide “real-time” processing.

Anyway, this is not a too bad answer. I understad what you mean.

If I’m ok with audio editors, this is not the same with midi softwares.

Let me explain you frist the situation of my knowleges in this domain :

I don’t really know about midi tools. This is not a problem to install it. It’s simply I don’t know what software I have to install to do a playback with the effects I wish to do (basic ones).

I know that Calf sudio gear have some great effects. I don’t know if this could work. I have installed it, I have iy in my menu, but it does’t seems to start any graphical tool as it shows in the web site. And it doesn’t seems to work with audacity.

I will also have to make the route between Jack and Audacity. I don’t know how to do it. Patchage seems to do it.

Any other suggestion or is something seems to be impossible ?

You’ve not said what exactly you are wanting to do, but if you want to make a lot of use of real-time effects, you may be better to use Ardour rather than Audacity.

You’re rigth Steve. I should have started there.

My biggest problem is knowing what I do with equaliser in real time for any kind of recording (voice or music).

There are two avaliable versions of Ardour in my dependencies. The version 4 seems much more complicated than the version 3 but the aim is to have a real-time preview.
Have you got any suggestions ?

Thank you for you help.

This is the Audacity Forum, not the Ardour Forum. Please ask at the latter place if you want to know which version of Ardour is best for you. :wink:

Did you look at the pink panel at the top of the page? It would be considerably easier to help you if stated what version of Linux you are using and what version of Audacity you are using.

Calf plugins are LV2 plugins. Calf include a Bass Enhancer and three different Equalizers. If you have Audacity 2.1.1 you can run LV2 plugins in Audacity as real-time preview effects. In Audacity 2.1.1, assuming you have installed Calf properly via your package management system, use Effect > Manage… then select and enable the Calf plugins.

If you are on Linux Mint or Ubuntu, you can install an unofficial 2.1.1 PPA package of Audacity that works properly from

If your distribution does not have an Audacity 2.1.1 package or PPA that is built correctly with wxWidgets 2.8.12, then it may be possible to compile Audacity 2.1.1. How hard that is depends what version of Linux you are using.


Ok Gale ! You’ve “got the balance rigth”… :wink:

I have checked my Audacity version which is 2.0.5. on Trisquel GNU/Linux 7
I have already tried the ppa packages before and the latest version on an older version of Trisquel, so it will be ok to install it !

I don’t know about kinds of plug ins like LV2 (I saw there are other kinds but I don’t know if they are still compatible with Audacity). But this is ok if it’s working with Audacity. Fine !

I haven’t tried your solution with latest Audacity yet.
But would you suggest me like Steve did to do a play back with my EQ settings and record it in a new window ? Or will I be able to apply my setting to my file ?

Thanks !

I’ve just had the latest Audacity version but it does’t seem to always work with Calf plug ins. Audacity is bugging with a lot of Calf plugins.

I haven’t got the interface of Calf plug ins as well.

There are also VST plugins - current Audacity supports those on Linux. In many cases Audacity will display the VST effect’s interface if the effect provides an graphical interface. See

LADSPA plugins in Audacity only have a textual interface, so no fancy knobs, button or graphs.

Steve would advise you on specifics if you want to do that. I mainly use Windows. I know how to record from a real-time host in Windows, but I’m not sure I see the point now Audacity has real-time preview, unless the effect you want does not work in Audacity.

I would say that you are going to use somewhat more resources if you are playing audio as well as recording it.

What settings? Do you mean presets in the JACK-aware effect?

This is the 2.1.1 PPA? Can you be more specific - which plugins, how we could reproduce the problem?

Is the graphical interface enabled? Click the Manage button in the effect, then Options… .

I’ve found on the slow netbook on which I usually run Ubuntu that graphical effect interfaces sometimes just don’t load if the computer is stressed with other tasks.

You could try a reboot perhaps if you already have graphical interface enabled.


Using Jack to route audio playback through external effects and then re-record is rather cumbersome, but a useful workaround for effects that cannot be run in Audacity with real-time preview (and for effects that are not supported by Audacity). For example, the Calf plug-ins are really nice effects, but their graphical interface causes problems for many applications, including Audacity. Some versions of Calf plug-ins work pretty well in Audacity, but other versions have problems.

For plug-ins that work well in Audacity and have real-time preview, using the plug-in directly in Audacity is by far the best and simplest approach. I’m pleased to see that this is improving in Audacity with each new release, (though of course Audacity cannot be expected to fully support plug-in effects if the plug-ins have bugs).

What are the problems? The main problems I have are that the interface of some CALF plugins is too large for my netbook screen resolution, or the interface doesn’t appear or only partially appears. But several other VST’s (such as TAL) are prone to that as well.

Trisquel 7 seems to based on Ubuntu 14.04, which is the Ubuntu version I am using. I just installed Calf 0.0.19+git20131202-1 using Synaptic.


The LADSPA versions worked great for me, but the LV2 version that I’ve tried repeatedly crash in Audacity.

Do those CALF LV2’s crash in Ardour?


They work fine in Ardour3.

Sounds like Audacity has some moonphase bug with CALF LV2’s then, or you and Get_Ready are doing something with those effects that I am not doing.

Can you say what you would do to make a crash happen?


I don’t currently have them installed, but as a typical crash scenario:
While running real-time preview, click the bypass button in the effect GUI.

To be more precise about my question :

I have now Audacity 2.1.1 Alpha april 8 2015 Version.
My Calf-plug in version is 0.0.19+git20131202-1

I only really need a 3, 5, 16 and 32 band equalizer working on realtime.

Now, maybe Calf plug-ins are not the solution for me. Is there anything else that works fine with Audacity ?

I restore sounds (talk, music) and digitalize analog recordings (record, tapes…)
Audacity Noice Reduction tool for example is not really a problem for not being in realtime. Equalizer still is for what I do.

I tried Ardour but I don’t want to use it. Ardour only open its own files (no aiff, wav…) and it’s telling me that with 262 Go free in my hard drive I haven’t got enouth space. So, adieu Ardour !

Thank you guys for your help anyway.

It would be worth trying it. Nothing to loose. You may have more luck with Calf plug-ins than me. If not, you can uninstall them.

Were you not able to get the Ubuntu Handbook 2.1.1 release PPA working That should be preferable to an alpha build.

Do I assume you want a graphical interface? If you accept a textual interface with sliders it may give more possibilities. The LADSPA-swh package has a 15-band equalizer.

Calf does not have more than a 12-band equalizer.

Did you go through carefully?


I tried that several times on different Calf plugins, both playing audio before opening the plugin, and starting playback in the plugin. No crash for me.