Split (bug?) causing weird bahaviour and huge project size

This is really disappointing.
Basically - it seems that the whole project became a buggy mess.
I really loved the program up to a certain point. I’d still use 2.0.4 for editing, as it’s by far the most comfortable version. Maybe some of the follow-up versions would also work, but that’s the version I used until last week.
For recording, I installed a slightly later version that already pretty much broke editing (key presses not registered together with mouse button), but introduced punch-in recording (that 2.0.4 lacks). By the way, I posted the editing issue some time ago, and the thread seemed to indicate that there are quite a few users who also think that it’s an important part of their editing routine…

Unfortunately, just to be able to use a plug-in that really helps my workflow, I had to “upgrade” to 3.x.x

Since then, it turns out that punch-in recording is f*** in the latest version, and no one seems to care (as can be seen on the forum). Now it turns out, that another “feature” makes simple editing a nightmare, introducing “phantom tracks”, behind other tracks, that can’t be accessed, but use up tons of disk space.
How are these releases called anything but pre-alphas? It seems that every iteration breaks more than it fixes.
And the only advice being - “go back to pre 3.x.x”?

This project’s really f*** up. Time to look for something that works.

For what it’s worth, I’m still using Audacity 2.4.2. I’d like to be able to use the new AUP3 format, but I’m waiting until there is a sufficiently stable and reliable 3.x version for Linux before I upgrade (though I do still test every new release and log issues when I find them).

My 2c:

Audacity is in a bit of a strange place at the moment.
The most stable version IMO, is still 2.4.2 which is only available in 32 bit.
Any newer version that is available as 64 bit, is still very buggy to be considered for any serious professional work.

This then, leaves the “power” users in a pickle as most new plugins are only released as 64 bit.
To make matters even worse, VST2 is pretty much outdated and the new “norm” being VST3, which AFAIK,
no Audacity version supports.

I also have no trust in the stability of the new project format, just too many reports of things going wrong.
In a domestic environment, a corrupt project is a real pain, in a professional one, a complete catastrophe.

With each passing day that these things are not fixed (bugs and VST3 support), the less Audacity becomes relevant in audio work.

In the past, it was understandable that Audacity always lagged a bit as regards the latest technologies as it was just volunteer devs.
With the acquisition by Muse, I was hoping that they would throw money and resources at it to “speed” things up.
Don’t know what has happened but, I feel that the only changes that were made, did not address many shortcomings but instead
just added features that could have waited and many new bugs could have been avoided.
This is a huge pity as it has some great features and offers a simplicity over more traditional DAWs which often are not required.

Maybe I’m just being too pessimistic but I reckon the writing is on the wall.
I have already started modifying my workflow where I use a full featured DAW and use Audacity only when I require it’s unique features
such as Nyquist scripts/plugins or sample by sample “painting”. All my new plugins are used in the DAW itself and don’t have to worry
about them being compatible with Audacity.

Some DAWs will allow you to call Audacity as an external editor which makes passing clips back and forth a bit less tedious.

Where I can (and if technically possible) have also being slowly porting some Nyquist plugins to VSTs.
This then also adds the advantage of realtime “tweaking”.

In all digital media, there has been an exponential change and upgrading of technology in the past few years, and I fear that Audacity
is no where near where it should be, to take advantage of these new advancements.

Sorry if I sound too negative or if my post comes across as a rant, it’s not my intention.
I really like Audacity, have for many, many years, just not happy with the path it seems to be taking lately.

According to the commit logs, VST3 support has been added in the development version: https://github.com/audacity/audacity/commit/88d75d9213f511313a8e9f23120250aaae300eaf


There’s some pretty advanced work going on behind the scenes to integrate AI processing into Audacity. Some information here:
https://www.audacityteam.org/gsoc-2021-work-product-source-separation-and-deep-learning-tools/

and some other interesting work:
https://www.audacityteam.org/gsoc-2021-with-audacity-work-product-spectral-editing-tool/

and the current roadmap:
https://github.com/audacity/audacity/wiki/Roadmap


but, to be fair, it seems that most, if not all of those cases are linked to working on inappropriate data storage for an open database (such as cloud storage or network storage). The manual does talk about about best practices regarding working with the new format, but people rarely check in the manual.

The problem is that Muse have been bold (possibly overbold) in deciding that their first major change should be the additon of an effects stack per track which will permit real-time non-destructive editing with effects, something that has been the subject of many feature requests in the past.

In order to do this a lot of under-the-hood refactoring of effects and other underlying structure has had to be done - and this, I think, is much harder and taking longer than Muse anticipated (and inevitably introduces new bugs that must be found and fixed).

For my money I would instead have worked on getting rid of wxWidgets and creating a shiny new GUI to give Audacity a lovely new look. Muse do have plans, and a design, for this but that is not scheduled until 4.0 (which is a while away).


Indeed.

But Muse do have plans for providing Audacity with different workspaces, so:
a) simple interface for simple recording and minor editing
b) power user interface
c) Podcaster interface
d) etc.

I, myself, would be an a) user :sunglasses:

Peret

Hi Steve and waxcylinder,

Wow, those are some pretty impressive features that are planned, you have both restored some faith in me.

Of course the big question then has to be, when? Will there be beta releases in the meantime?

One big problem which I didn’t mention, is Audacity’s habit of using the same places to store info about plugins (presets) and your preferences.
I find this to be a big hinderance as when one uses (or tries) a new version, it messes up all the settings of the previous one.
Can I not request that each version have a unique place to store these?
It would obviously vary slightly depending on OS, but can’t a sub directory (under where the main executable resides) be used?

This is the biggest reason why I don’t even bother trying new releases, surely I’m not alone?

But given the planned features, I am prepared to get a standalone machine to experiment on.
Due to cost, it will probably be a windows machine and I’m assuming the minimum requirements for the latest Audacity will be
something like an i5, 16GB RAM and HD gfx (at least 1920 X 1080).

EDIT:

When will the audio level problem I posted about (already 2 years ago) be fixed?
It’s the problem of Audacity sending the wrong audio level (too high by up to 6dB) when using external plugins.
It affects all OS’s.

Others (including waxcylinder) have also encountered this problem:

You can already do that.

Add an empty folder in the same directory as the Audacity executable, and name it “Portable Settings”. After restarting Audacity it will use the “Portable Settings” folder instead of the default location.

Here’s an example on Linux:

Portabel Settings folder.png
and the contents of the Portable Settings folder:

ps.png

Thank you Steve.
I knew about “portable settings” but assumed that it only applies to a portable version of Audacity.

So are you then saying that any 3.x version of Audacity will honour the location if one creates that folder?

If you have a reasonably modern Mac, you could use a virtual machine.

Running Windows 10 in a virtual machine requires that the host machine is pretty powerful, lots of RAM and a good amount of disk space. Linux can be a lot less demanding. Xubuntu (Ubuntu with XFCE desktop) runs beautifully in Virtualbox on my Mac Mini.

On Windows and Mac, yes.
On Linux yes, but not with the AppImage version.

(Also worked with Audacity 2.x and 1.3.x (I don’t remember if Portable Settings were supported in Audacity 1.2.x or earlier - perhaps not).

First reason I wanted to use Windows is that it’s easy to find lowish cost used laptops as many people are upgrading
to Win 11 and their machines are (artificially) limited to Win 10 max.
Hey, if they feel that they may be missing something by not using Win 11, then power to them.
It means well priced machines on the second hand market for me.

Secondly, although I use Linux on a daily basis too, always find that compiling latest Version of Audacity is a pain, or the repos don’t have it,
or there are some short comings in the app image or flatpak versions.

As for Mac, I do have two Macbook pro’s (i7) but the OS is kept at 10.12 for compatibility with some software I need on them.
This then limits their use for VM’s and the latest Audacity too I’m assuming.

Great, thank you Steve.
So now the big question… where or when can I download and try an Audacity version with some of those new snazzy features?

Sorry, no idea. I’m quite frustrated by the rapidly increasing bugs and slowness of them getting fixed.

Steve wrote:

Sorry, no idea. I’m quite frustrated by the rapidly increasing bugs and slowness of them getting fixed.

Me too and partly the reason for my first post.
I feel that Muse is hurriedly moving along with new features, not a bad thing, but ignoring many old bugs
that will carry through to newer versions, not good.

That’s one thing that has definitely improved over the last year or so. I’ve not tried, but it should be fairly straightforward to write a (Python / Bash / name your preferred scripting language) script to automate the process. My current procedure is:

  1. Delete the old build files

cmake -G “Unix Makefiles” -DCMAKE_BUILD_TYPE=Debug -Daudacity_use_ffmpeg=loaded …


or

```text
cmake -G "Unix Makefiles" -DCMAKE_BUILD_TYPE=Release -Daudacity_use_ffmpeg=loaded ..

make


or

```text
make -j`nproc`

or if there haven’t been any changes to libraries or headers, just

make -j`nproc`

Full details here: https://github.com/audacity/audacity/blob/master/BUILDING.md

OK great, will definitely be giving it a bash. :wink:

Even Ricky Martin sang his praises about it… :laughing: :laughing:

You can always download the latest “master” build from GitHub (you will need an account to enable the downloads - but they are free):
https://github.com/audacity/audacity/actions

If you’re feeling really bold and adventurous you can try out the variaous branches of the developers from the same GitHub page (for that you really need to follow the Pull Requests and the Issues log too - and the developers’ Discord channel - in order to understanf what is going on).

Latest master will give you the emerging effects stack - see the new button in the Track Control Panel. It won’t yet give you the new Audio Setup toolbar (that is in ksoze95’s branch “Audio Setup Rework” - it’s on the second page now).

Peter

Thank you Peter.
I see there has already been some work done on VST3 support.

Managed to find an old Win 8.1 laptop so installed 3.1.3 (64 bit) on it.
For some reason, even with some “heavy” plugins, Win 8.1 seems so much smoother than Win 10.

I downloaded the zip archive and not the installer, then copied the zip contents directly to a folder in C:\ drive
called “Audacity-3.1.3-64”.
In there, I created the “Portable Settings” folder, along with another folder for Audacity to use a a temp working area.
By default it uses the one in “roaming” which is shared by older versions.
Also did not associate any file types (projects included) with Audacity in case Windows got confused.

For the Nyquist effects that I use, I placed them directly in the “Plugins” folder.
I did not link to the ones in the older version, but copied them to the new one.
Yes, duplication but .ny files are tiny.

As for VSTs (all VST2 64 bit), did the same, created sub-folders in the “Plugin” folder and placed them there.
Did not link to any in the regular …\Steinberg.… folder.
This way, if I decide to delete a new version, can do it all by just deleting the main folder.

This way, the new “test” version of Audacity is as isolated from the other version as much as possible.

So far, so good.
Thanks for your help and suggestions guys.

EDIT:

FFmpeg lib also working well.

UPDATE:

One small issue, even when using the “Portable Settings” folder, Audacity still defaults to using the normal
macros folder which is in …\roaming.…etc on Windows.

Tried going to preferences and changing the macro output folder but makes no diffs.
Am I missing something?

Are you referring to the
Users//AppData/Roaming/audacity/Macros/
folder?

If present, Audacity should use (and does for me):
…/Portable Settings/Macros/