Useless Videos

I’m running 2.4.2. on a Macbook Pro with High Sierra version 10.13.6. I’ve been watching videos about Audacity topics like mastering and getting plug ins so on and none of them agree with each other, there’s no consistency. One guy says do this, but what he’s doing isn’t in my version. Another guy says click on this, but that isn’t there either, and it’s different from what the first guy said.

The manual is an incomprehensible mess, and right here on this forum no matter what the problem is there seems to be no agreement about any one way to address it. Instead it’s “try this, try that, if that doesn’t work then try this other way.”

The simple little things are all complicated. All I want to do is record some songs, make them sound very good and then upload them to Youtube.

This is hard going, can’t see why it needs to be that way. Is Audacity the wrong program for me?

Is Audacity the wrong program for me?

Yes. No question.

What you want is to walk into a recording studio, perform your songs and have the Recording Engineer capture them. Then, the Engineer and your Producer will post and master them and submit them for publication. And send you a bill.

No matter which direction you go, you will be performing those three people’s jobs. And even that’s not enough if you don’t have a quiet, echo-free room to perform in.

The record for home performances is Ian who wanted to perform in his apartment just off La Brea in Hollywood. We did get him running. It was 39 forum chapters and over a year.


Well that’s helpful. I do have a quiet echo-free room. It’s nice and big, it’s a good room, it’s the room where many bands have rehearsed but it doesn’t have anything to do with my current project. And I know what goes on in a bloody recording studio for goodness sake.

You didn’t address the issues I raised in my post, but it doesn’t seem to matter. The message you’re sending is that Audacity is only for persons who can can engineer, produce and master at a professional level, is that correct?

This is a very common problem with “How To” videos that are commonly available for free on the Internet. Many of the videos that I’ve seen about Audacity are using old versions of Audacity, they usually don’t say which version they are using, and the person that creates the video virtually never update them. On top of that, the majority of them include dubious opinions, incorrect information and other errors. A small minority are quite good, but on the whole they are not worth bothering with and do more harm than good.

Audacity is created, documented and supported by volunteers. It’s a huge amount of work and there are very few people willing to put the time and effort in, so it’s a very small team. We don’t have the resources to create video tutorials and maintain them, but we would be very happy to work with anyone that has.

Imagine you’re a car mechanic, and someone asks you: “My car’s not working properly, how do I fix it?”
What would your answer be?

The problem is of course, that with so little information, the problem could be almost anything. That’s the problem that the forum helpers face every day.
Let’s take your post as an example: What’s the problem that you are having, on what equipment, when trying to accomplish what task? I have no idea.

Making professional quality recordings is a difficult task. Getting a general purpose PC to work as a recording studio is not straightforward (regardless of what software you use). I’ve worked in audio for decades, and I’m still learning stuff. I like working with audio and I enjoy the new challenges, both creative and technical, that working with audio throws up. If this is not something that you enjoy, then perhaps better to get someone else to deal with that side of things so that you can concentrate on what you enjoy. On the other hand, if you want to stick with it, then we are here to try and help.

None of those videos are made by us and enthusiastic folk who create those never seem to bother to update them as Audacity changes with later releases. We know that as a small volunteer team we also could not keep updating videos so we concentrate our efforts on the Manual and this Forum.

I’m surprised to hear you say that, we often get praise for the high qulaity of our Manual.

Have you tried clicking on the image-map on the front page, the Audacity window image? Clicking on any part of that will take you to the relevant page in the Manual. There’s also a good set of Tutorial information for common tasks

Audio editing is not simple (but then neither is video editing or Lightroom/Photoshop), there is a steepish learning curve - you need to persevere (or give up).


I’ll never give up! Every new thing I learn feels like a small victory. See, I’ve always been on the other side of the wall, in the studio, and no engineer has ever said “Come here kid, let me show you something.”

Despite what I make it seem, I’m having fun.

Good - I love that attitude :sunglasses:

The learning curve can be a bit steep but perseverance and practice do pay off.

Do try that clickable imagemap on the front page of the manual - and be aware that the manual is written as hypertext so it abounds with cross-links.

Good to see that you’re gonna stick with it.