Project & Track Notes/History

How about project and track notes to keep a record of details like history, edits, effects, etc.?

That may not be as useful as you think. The way Audacity does Process, you can’t UNDO out of order. So there is no going back and adjust an effect you did four edits ago without UNDO UNDO UNDO UNDO UNDO. That and Audacity can’t remove most effects, filters and corrections in post.

So the best you could do is gaze at an effects list in admiration. That might be valuable if you needed to send the corrections list to someone else, but even then in the case of Noise Removal, for example, the tool depends very heavily on user interaction.

Or did I miss your goal?

Koz

It could be very useful for undoing edits. In fact documentation of the edits done may be the only effective way in cases where the only way is to start over with the original sources or perhaps a backup of a particular point.

What would really be cool is a for Audacity to automatically document edits/effects/etc. in a project and per track journal.

Audacity provides a concise/brief “History” log: https://manual.audacityteam.org/man/view_menu.html#history

“History lists all undoable actions performed in the current project”

What about once a session has been closed for the day and reopened the next day to alter that fade that was done early on in the project?

Only way I see is to start over. Doesn’t sound like that history log will have a record of those edits since they are not “undoable” in the newly opened session.

When the project is closed, the history is erased so as to reduce the size of the project (for large projects this can be many GB).

Yes, I know. That’s why having a journal of edits that survives sessions is desired.

The bit I’m missing is “why” is it desired?
Let’s say that you have a saved project, and you have a history list like this:

  • Import “a-file.wav”
  • Trim 0.0000 - 176.500
  • Apply Reverb
  • Apply Equalization
  • Apply Distortion
  • Saved project “My Project”

In what way is that list useful?

Desire to change the apply reverb. So have to start over from some point prior to that. Need a history to work from as don’t recall the subsequent edits that were made.

More detail should be in the history than just the effect name. Include the settings, start and end/length too. Basically the undo info saved in human readable form so it can be referenced in subsequent sessions days/weeks later. Not all of us have elephant memory.

Which means that you would have to have a backup saved at that point, otherwise the information is useless?

Need a history to work from as don’t recall the subsequent edits that were made.

Audacity doesn’t save a process. Every time you make a change in the show, Audacity makes a copy of the whole show as UNDO. There is no going back out of order. Audacity has no real idea what it did in the middle. It just knows this is the show before the one you’re on. This is the show before that.

And etc.

That’s what I’m saying. Audacity does not memorize a list of actions. There is no going back to one correction out of order. You will always lose all the edits in the middle. When you close Audacity, all those copies vanish.


There is no winning this struggle. I dropped into the forum of a different editor that saved all the processes and all the UNDO forever. Everybody universally complained how massively large the Projects were.

Koz

No. Just something prior to that point. Inclusive of starting from the beginning with the original content.

It seems to me we are talking passed each other here. Not asking for the actual UNDO’s. Just a human readable textual log of what was done. The audio itself for even just a small project would dwarf such a log.

Even ability to manually add project and track notes would be helpful.

We currently have these feature requests logged:

  • Make Undo history viewable (but not actionable) after close project: (16 votes) just so you can see what those actions were. Can be done by:
  • Export undo history or complete commands history as a .txt file (9 votes 23Sep18) or
    • Store Undo history in the AUP file: (8 votes) then you could look at the items (grayed out) in View > History.(1 votes)

Would you like me to add your ‘vote’ for one of these?

Personally, what I do when I need to keep notes for a project, is to create a .TXT file and keep it open in a plain text editor while I’m working with Audacity and type my notes into it as I go. I don’t recall ever needing to note every single thing that I do, but for complex projects I sometimes find it useful to make notes about critical stages in the project. I will then save the TXT file, and all backup copies of the project into one folder that I’ve created and named specifically for that project.

Yes add my vote to both of them, especially to the store in aup file.

Yes I manually log in a text file too. But it would really be much nicer/easier for Audacity to do it automatically.

Here is a potential addition to that. If all the settings of an edit/effect are captured. The ability to cut and paste into an Audacity sort of “command” window to apply could make it very ease to redo the entire project or a track from beginning or any point to semi automate making changes.

Done.

Like a “record macro” function?

Something like that. Yes. With ability to use the log entries as is to keep it easy and convenient.

For that to work it would be necessary for the log entry to contain the settings of each effect in full. For some effects, that’s a lot of information, for example, the Equalization effect in “Draw Curves” mode could have dozens of control points.

Well there must be some way to get the actions of at least the current session into a macro by some sort of automated, semi-automated or cut/paste way.
Maybe at session close save the actions that are still undo-able as a project macro (/Macros/SessionX.txt).

The way that I’ve seen it done in other audio software, is that you start a “macro recorder”, which then records all of your commands until you tell it to stop. There is then an opportunity to edit the “script” that the macro recorder created, and save it as a file for later use.