State of Audacity on Mac OS X 10.10 (Yosemite)

I give a Electronic Music workshop in a school. Students bring their own laptop. While preparing this years course I stumbled about some posts which state that Audacity does not work correctly on OS X 10.10. This is a big problem for me since Students might have this version installed.

I would be extremely grateful if someone knowledgeable could answer the following questions:

  1. Problem number 1 I read about was that apples audio effects don’t work. This is not really a problem as long as the Audacity’s own effects work. Do they?

  2. Problem number 2 I read was problems with playback (crackling sounds). This sounds very bad indeed and probably is a show stopper, right? However this problem is not mentioned on the site itself, can anybody confirm how bad this is or if it exists at all?

  3. Assuming 2) is not an issue, are there any other problems?

  4. Are some of these problems fixed in the trunk? I am familiar with coding and compiling, so I could probably compile a custom version for students on Yosemite. Unfortunately I can’t wait for 2.1 since the class starts next week.

Sorry for the many questions but I’m a bit in a pickle here.

Thanks in advance


We say that Audacity 2.0.6 which is the latest release does not officially support Yosemite. The most significant issue is that Apple Audio Unit effects cannot be used in 2.0.6.

The latest 2.1.0-alpha builds from the top of the following page:

have a probable fix for the Audio Units problem.

Built-in Audacity effects work as far as we know. Feel free to test. See above about Audio Units.

2.0.6 may crackle if you have audio in the first track that does not start at time zero with audio in tracks below that do start at zero. For that problem, you can generate silence in the white space or you can test out the latest builds from the link above which have a fix that seems to work.

There may or may not be other crackling problems - try changing “Audio to buffer” in Audacity’s Recording Preferences if you hear crackle.

Audacity on Mavericks or Yosemite may not be able to restart the audio system after portable Macs like MacBook Pro shut audio down to save power. To restore audio in Audacity, play some audio once or twice in QuickTime.

Please feel free to test and report.

As above, there is no need for you to compile Audacity because builds from SVN HEAD are provided. But be aware those builds are not releases - they are believed close to release ready (at least for Mavericks) but may still have bugs. The position with Yosemite is less clear - there may be import and export bugs (believed to be fairly minor). If you do test those builds, please let us know of anything that does not work properly.


Thanks a lot for these detailed answers, they are extremely useful. I think I’ll try my luck and use audacity in the course. I’ll report back if I expereience unexpected problems.

I have Yosemite installed on a new Macbook, but have neglected to keep Audacity up to date — Version 2.0.2. Nonetheless, I have had good success diverting audio to Audacity (with Soundflower) and exporting it. (It ain’t much, but it’s all I need.)

I did have some trouble afterwards and had to use Audio MIDI Setup to unmute my output channels, but that was just a small hassle (and probably a Soundflower problem).