Request of performance guid and feature having huge impact


I appreciate work that have been put on Audacity.


  1. How can I improve Audacity performance?

Mainly for applying effects on recorded data. I noticed that neither of these resources are fully real-time loaded: CPU (barely affected), HDD (90%), RAM memory (barely affected).

  • What can I do to decrease HDD load, make it more efficient? Like a setting for automatically loading ton of data to RAM, to avoid simultaneous HDD read & write.
  • Is this about soundcard, RAM bandwidth or what?
  • Is there something I can do directly?
  • Where should I look?

  1. Feature request - a switch for Audacity to let it know I want selected effects to be put on real-time output (listening either to recorded or real-time recording data).

This would not only remove HDD write action when it is not needed, but also help a lot when I’m scavenging through data for good samples but have to apply some effects first and man for the whole data it is way too slow (there goes first paragraph…). Not mentioning that most of the effects need different settings for different parts of data.

Regards & respect
& thanks

No edit option. More revealing about second point.

2.2. This is actually embedded in Audacity already, as a ‘preview’ button in each effect settings screen. From that point of view I’m talking about extending preview to not be limited by time - until stopped, it would prepare the next sequences. And depending on how much work it is, creating such ‘preview’ for few effects at once, obviously defined by order and applicable only to reasonable effects. I don’t know if this is even possible in terms of performance, depending if this is CPU or sound card own processor.

real-time preview has recently been implemented in Audacity 2.1.X ,
see …

Yes and I very thankful for that. I’ve found a setting in preferences and enlarged preview time to 10 mins and this makes ‘never-ending’ addition to real-time preview not needed anymore.

Audacity 1.3.3 to 2.0.1 inclusive had an “audio cache” feature to store audio data in RAM. It was buggy (caused premature crashes) so it was withdrawn.

I’ve noted that you are interested in this but even if it worked correctly it could not use more than about 1.8 GB of RAM, because Windows won’t by default allow a 32-bit app such as Audacity more than 2 GB of RAM.

You could set your Audacity temporary directory (Directories Preferences) to a RAM drive if you want to take the risk of losing all data if there is a power outage.

I don’t know if increasing Audacity priority in Task Manager would help. Try it.

Have you tried Scrubbing and Seeking.


Thanks Gale.

So the main thing I should concentrate on, is lowering HDD load if I want to speed up Audacity tasks. Like fast flash drive or collective of HDDs in RAID mode.

EDIT: And as for safety with RAM drive, I’m sure there is some soft that will do auto backup to HDD in real-time, having only delayed data lost when power outage happens. And while using laptop it is barely considerable anyway. Also little UPS are not that expensive.

Most software RAM drives have some arrangement to at least save the RAM drive contents to disk before restarting or shutting down the system. Then of course on restart you have to wait for the app to reload the saved contents to the RAM drive.