Separate process per window


It seems if I’ve got multiple Audacity windows open and I’m doing some processing in one of them, then none of the others work. It’s like the file import or effect dialog is modal across every instance of Audacity.

Is there a way to make the app open in a separate process per window, so this doesn’t happen? If so, it ought to be the default.

No, that’s not possible, though you could run multiple instances of Audacity in “virtual machines” (such as VirtualBox). Note that Audacity will take a significant performance hit when running in a virtual environment.

What’s the technical reason for this? Is there a bug somewhere with background I can read? It seems like a pretty big flaw for a modern application to fake multitasking and not really support it.

There’s multiple reasons. Among the Audacity QA folk, multi-project support has a reputation of a giant can of worms. One clear example is that on Windows and Linux, Audacity allows you to bypass software mixing when accessing the audio capture device (in Windows, via WASAPI exclusive mode, and on Linux, by directly selecting the ALSA device). If multiple instances of Audacity were allowed, then starting play/record in one instance could totally mess up an ongoing recording in another instance. To prevent that from happening, only one Audacity project is allowed to record at a time.

If you are a C++ programmer, it shouldn’t be too difficult to disable Audacity’s lock file so that multiple instances can run at the same time. A little bit of experimentation should be all that is needed to reveal multiple problems.

We even have a discussion paper on our Wiki: Missing features - Audacity Support


Superb, thank you both for the reply. I’ll try hacking out the lockfile and see what happens :slight_smile: