using two copies of Audacity simultaneously

I’m using on OS X 10.6.8

If I am processing a large file, e.g.,exporting selection, of two hours of music, it takes several minutes before I can begin to use Audacity again while the saving process continues. Is there a way I can continue to process another file while waiting? Could I have two copies, or two different versions, of Audacity running simultaneously to achieve this.



I’d recommend that you make yourself a cup of coffee (or tea if you prefer) while your waiting. Your hard drive can only go as fast as it can go, so while it is busy any other editing would probably be dead slow and would make the export operation take longer.

Only on two different computers


Thanks guys.

I’m already drinking coffee, a lot of coffee…decaf however.

As far as fast…Hex core 3.33 GHz Mac Pro, SSD boot drive, 24 GB RAM, Two 2 terabyte, 7200 RPM, hard drives in RAID 0…and wait that’s not all… It’s pretty fast.

And to the answers…bummer man.

What else is it doing? That machine should be able to handle that job without being able to go to lunch during processing. Audacity doesn’t natively use every possible hardware shortcut and speed pipe, but still.

That’s the speed I get on my five year old Mac Mini with external FireWire drives. What happens if you save to the SSD?

Open up the Activity Monitor and see what’s happening during the work.


No, but Audacity does not deliberately export slowly either. One part of the system will be working flat out and the rest will be doing what is necessary.

On a fast multi-processor machine it could be that one processor is running flat out (Audacity currently only uses one processor at a time). If everything else is fast enough to cope, then a second instance of Audacity could be run in a virtual machine, but I’d not expect it to run terribly well while the rest of the hardware is under load.

(Audacity currently only uses one processor at a time).

So the upshot is that machine is no more powerful than mine. One processor is getting a red face from over-exertion and the other five are sending out for haddock, crisps and a fresh deck of cards.


It is correct that only one processor is in play, and is flat out. I’ve got so much else happening, including large file photo processing, going on at the same time that I expect the too-many-open-windows police to arrive any minute. Everything else is happening lickity-split, just not saving the audio files.

I’ll give saving to the SSD a try.

And koz, my Pro will bitch slap that puny mini…all right, never mind all that…

And for more clarity, when saving “project” in .aup it moves pretty fast. It’s when saving from .aup to, in my case, .m4a

Only one processor at a time.
On my machine I can observe the load switching between processors so as to spread the load and minimise heating of the processor core.
Whether or not it is running “flat out” depends on the rest of the system and what else the computer is doing. One part of the system will be running flat out, otherwise the export would run faster. The export will only be as fast as the slowest part of the system.

You may find that export runs faster if you have less other things running.

It could be that writing to disk is the slowest, and thus the limiting part in the chain.

There are plans to make Audacity so that it can use more than one processor at a time, but to do so safely is a big and complicated task.

You are correct, it does jump some between processors, and it’s not always 100%

It doesn’t seem to make a difference how much other stuff is running.

I’m saving what was a ~2.5 GB file to a file that’s ~155MB in a different format. It takes about ten minutes, so I doubt it’s the writing to disk that’s slowing this down.

And I’m in no way being critical of Audacity, it’s awesome. I’m just a layperson monkeying around with segments of music several hours long.