We’ve been hard at work on a gigantic update to Audacity (version 3.2) that we expect to release around late September. In this post, we wanted to outline some of major new features that will be included.
Real-time effects support
This is the big one! Our most requested feature, which will massively improve your ability to produce polished audio & music.
In older versions of Audacity, effects you apply changes your audio data. For example, if you apply a reverb effect, it will 'bake' the effect into the audio. This system is great for anyone who wants to make a limited number of changes.
However, if you want to alter an effect, you need to undo it and try again. In Audacity 3.2, you can now also apply 'Real-time' effects to your audio. Realtime effects can be tweaked whenever you like and do not alter the audio data itself.
We’re spending a lot of time making sure that all 3rd party formats: VST, AU, LV2 & LADSPA will be supported. It is worth mentioning that for the release of 3.2, Audacity’s native effects will not yet be real-time capable. We will be working on converting many of them over the course of the next few releases. In the meantime, we will create a list of free plugins you can use instead on https://plugins.audacityteam.org.
Our ‘stackable effects’ feature goes hand-in-hand with the real-time effects feature by allowing you to re-order any effects you apply. For example, if you apply a reverb effect, followed by a compression effect, you may dislike how the compression muffles the reverb. To fix this, you can place the compressor at the top of the signal chain, which tells the audio to pass through the compressor first and the reverb second.
We have also added support for VST3 effects plugins. For anyone not familiar with this format, there are plenty of excellent free offerings available, some of which we will add to our list at https://plugins.audacityteam.org/.
Quick audio sharing
For those who want to share high-quality audio quickly, we now have an option to export your audio directly to a new audio sharing service called audio.com, which will be launched very soon.
By selecting a Share Audio option, you will be taken to audio.com on your browser and provided with a handy link to send to your intended recipient. The audio you share can be downloaded in uncompressed .wav or compressed .mp3 format. If you think there are other formats we should support for downloaders in the future, please let us know here.
The ability to share audio requires a free account with a username and password on audio.com. Uploading to audio.com and sharing is fast, simple and (most importantly) free. Any audio you choose to upload privately will be safely protected.
If you want to test this service before the release of Audacity 3.2, you can do so by downloading our Beta release, expected in August. You can also sign up to audio.com here for an early preview too.
Audio.com is the new project from Muse Group, which is in its early stages, and we are inviting you to participate in shaping its future by sharing your feedback, including desired features and capabilities.
UX & UI improvements
We have cleared up a lot of the visuals in the top bar of Audacity.
- The audio output bar and volume slider have been combined (with no loss of functionality)
- The microphone output bar and volume slider have also been combined
- The ‘Device Toolbar’ is now hidden by default. In its place is a new option called ‘Audio Setup’, where you can quickly make changes to your input, mic and output settings.
- Lastly, we have also introduced cleaner and more consistent icons to all the main buttons in the top bar:
The Audacity Team