Seriously, like, why?

I want to know why, after all these years and all these complaints, the team over at Audacity still hasn’t allowed third-party plugins. Rather than trying to figure out which plugins work and which ones don’t, why not make the software compatible with all of them? Why do developers of great software always have to be a pain in the ass?

“This VST only works with 32 bit…well, this one only works with 64 bit”. Hey, I have an idea. Why not make Audacity compatible with both? This way, regardless if you have x32 or x86, your VST will work just fine (at least on x86 anyway).

“Audacity doesn’t support VSTi”. Hey, I have another idea. Let’s make it compatible with VSTi as well? I know…genius idea right?

Audacity has the potential to be an incredible editor, but for whatever reason, it blatantly chooses not to be. Or “they” rather. Whatever.

Maybe I’m missing something. Maybe (very likely actually) there’s someone here that’s going to give me some technical B.S. as to why Audacity chooses not to be compatible with certain plugins which would make our entire workflow faster and easier.

Will the team over at Audacity finally listen to the very people who use their software and allow ALL third-party plugin compatability in the near future? That forecast seems to be a bit cloudy with a chance of meatballs.

This post is intended to broadcast my own personal opinion. I’m not the kind of guy to sugar coat. I’m very direct and hope I can get an educated response from someone who has a clue. If my post offends you, I have a box of tissues and the phone number to a very reputable therapist who can help you overcome your fragile emotions.

Audacity has supported a wide range of plugin formats for years: LADSPA, LV2, Audio Units, VST2, Vamp, Nyquist, and since 3.2: VST3. If you are gonna do intentionally inflammatory posts, at least get your facts straight.

If this was easy and/or gave a massive benefit, it would’ve been done. As it stands, it only really is useful if you have a lot of abandonware plugins which didn’t receive a 64 bit update in the past two decades so it’s not a high priority for us.

I’m not entirely sure you understand what a VSTi is and what capabilities Audacity has right now. Before VSTi becomes even slightly useful, the piano roll needs to be made much more capable.

Maybe I’m missing something.

…and make Audacity run perfectly on three completely different operating systems, computer types, and many different languages.

It’s not obvious, but until recently, Audacity, in all it’s varieties, was produced by a ragtag band of volunteers over multiple time zones. It’s not a massive corporation.

This was the corporate headquarters at Land’s End, on the Cornwall coast.

The WiFi internet connection is through the good offices of the nice woman who runs the Land’s End Gift Shop. We keep her office computers running in tip-top condition and provide free backups.

The parking is terrific.


This request (more like demand?) will start making sense once it’s possible to actually use MIDI tracks and the pianoroll for anything other than just displaying notes. It’s not hard to figure that it, all it takes is to use Audacity for… let’s see… 5 minutes? Yes, sounds about right. It takes no longer than 5 minutes of using Audacity to figure out that MIDI tracks are not functional at all.

It’s not hard to figure out why MIDI isn’t perfectly supported. MIDI isn’t music. MIDI is machine control.

“Press key number 47 on an Acoustic Grand Piano really hard, hold it for ten seconds and let go.”

That’s the MIDI control instruction for one note. It’s not actually audible/musical until you play it into something with a speaker or headphones that “knows” what MIDI is.

If you have a computer with the MIDI listings in it, you can “play” that note into a composition with other notes. If you have a composition of notes, you can’t “convert” them to MIDI. Or you couldn’t last I checked. MIDI is not an open-ended production tool.

So, no. MIDI support is not an afternoon project for a couple of developers and strong coffee. Maybe the current corporate overlords will be more receptive to supporting MIDI.

One note. You can certainly do very serious MIDI production as long as you never leave. The instant you step out of machine control land you’re licked. My guess is that’s your five minute interval.


And that’s precisely why I wrote this proposal on the Wiki in January 2021

And in January 2022 I transferred that as an ENH in Muse’s GitHub issue tracker
Render MIDI tracks to audio #2393

But Muse, in their wisdom, closed this down - so it will not get done.