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Re: Audacity - New Features
To: CRTech <crtech@crtech.org>
Subject: Re: Audacity - New Features
From: Lamar Owen <lowen@pari.edu>
Date: Sat, 2 Sep 2017 13:51:42 -0400
Content-language: en-US
In-reply-to: <CAOkhgWrg_-796CCgj4t0YeYFVrysOM0Hh9-MP8tv=v000iy54g@mail.gmail.com>
References: <b768655857a94583a23bc030dc5ce8ae@KAMBSERVER.KAMB.local> <d205c6d8-ad32-9403-06bd-041ee8925eee@whwl.net> <417a15367595460d913917378b8d9453@KAMBSERVER.KAMB.local> <CAK+-YcpWUKANjqOzbx1muMkKRL1TsTRjgQBrTEVBQa=aRmpQ7Q@mail.gmail.com> <55405287-ffc9-710a-b819-8f6a47c68593@therockradio.org> <186e3d37-f1ca-d565-2bde-c97547b2d894@reyware.us> <CAOkhgWrg_-796CCgj4t0YeYFVrysOM0Hh9-MP8tv=v000iy54g@mail.gmail.com>
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On 08/07/2017 01:26 PM, Willie Barnett wrote:
On Mon, Aug 7, 2017 at 1:09 PM, dave allen <crtech-mail@reyware.us <mailto:crtech-mail@reyware.us>> wrote:

    would it work to just 'bite the bullet' and record in audacity's
    native format, then export the finished product as wav instead of
    trying to use wav for every step of the process?

    dave allen

My 1c worth: We shouldn't HAVE TO bite a bullet. ;)

[Sorry for the delayed reply; getting ready for the total eclipse here meant not reading a lot of mailing list traffic until time was available.... and that's today.... sorry also for its length....]

You actually don't have to bite the bullet.  You are free to write a patch (or to persuade/pay someone else to write a patch) to the Audacity code to make it behave any way you want to, and you're free to distribute patched versions of Audacity.  That's the strength of open source.

While I fully understand the Audacity/Ardour/Mixbus non-destructive mindset, and these days I agree with it, I also understand the 'let's just save the edit' mindset.  I used to have that mindset. That is, until I went back to some Audition 1.5 sessions recorded and processed in 2003 to take a stab at a remix; at that point I was longing for the original 20-bit recordings made with the Layla instead of the 16-bit already-processed tracks from Audition.  How I would love to 'un-reverb' one of the tracks and 'un-chorus' another!  I would dearly love to still have the raw tracks, with files that described the processing to take place, instead of what Audition actually did.

Also, as a minor nit, WAV is not Audacity's native format, at least as of 2.0.x.  Audacity writes lots of little Sun Microsystems ULAW .au files in its sessions; WAV is just one of many formats Audacity supports for import and export.  You're not really opening a WAV file; you're importing it.  Audacity even tells you this in the 'Importing WAV' dialog with the progress bar.

When you save a native Audacity project, you save the .aup file and a whole directory full of audio data snippets in a '_data' directory.  For instance, here is a directory listing of a project that I've been working on where I exported a WAV file (from Mixbus), opened it in Audacity, and saved the audacity project:
[lowen@dhcp-pool99 music]$ ls 20170807-silversteen-01-unclouded-day*

[lowen@dhcp-pool99 music]$

In the e00 directory is a directory d00, and in there is a whole slew of 1.1MB files.  Here's a part of the listing:
[lowen@dhcp-pool99 d00]$ pwd
[lowen@dhcp-pool99 d00]$ ls -l
total 76360
-rw-r--r--. 1 lowen lowen 1060956 Sep  2 13:12 e0000020.au
-rw-r--r--. 1 lowen lowen  754572 Sep  2 13:12 e00002bf.au
-rw-r--r--. 1 lowen lowen 1060956 Sep  2 13:12 e0000ffa.au
[lowen@dhcp-pool99 d00]$

If I check the properties of the files, I get a filetype of 'ULAW (Sun) audio (audio/basic)' (a much older format than Microsoft's .WAV).

Bog-standard segmented .au files, in other words, with the .aup, an XML file, specifying a bunch of things about the project, including which segment .au belongs to which timeslice and track in the audio.  The real beauty of these segmented files is that you're in no danger of overflowing any filesize limits on any of Audacity's supported systems, even if you use, for instance, a FAT-formatted filesystem.  The disadvantage is that you need a container to hold the project if you want to port it to another machine; I personally would use a .tar.gz or .tar.xz tarball, but .zip is pretty portable across platforms, and works reasonably well.  Same thing is true for Mixbus sessions, for that matter.

This is also how the project is stored in temporary storage.  In the case of the default CentOS Audacity installation, open projects have temp storage in /var/tmp/audacity-$username/project${project-id} (pardon my use of bash shell variables to show substitution on username and project-id; and\ actual example on my system is the path:
 /var/tmp/audacity-lowen/project1020250719 )
under which you find a tree of directories, and under ./e00/d00/ you find the same list of .au files, about 1.1MB each.  This is Audacity's native format.  You can find where your temp storage is in the audacity.cfg file; on a Linux system this will be in ~/.audacity-data typically.  No idea where it is on Windows; I don't use Windows for most audio production (although I have Celemony Melodyne loaded in a Win7 VM, as well as Audition 1.5 for 'marquee selection' editing, which is the killer feature of Audition 1.5 to me).

Again, sorry for the length, but I felt this needed a bit of explaining, and hope it is helpful.

References: Audacity - New Features
(Mark Murdock <mark@celebrationradio.com>, 31 Jul 2017 16:12:11 -0000)
Re: Audacity - New Features
(Andy Larsen <andy@whwl.net>, 4 Aug 2017 13:57:26 -0000)
RE: Audacity - New Features
(Mark Murdock <mark@celebrationradio.com>, 7 Aug 2017 16:16:43 -0000)
RE: Audacity - New Features
(Sherrod Munday <smunday@ieee.org>, 7 Aug 2017 16:25:24 -0000)
Re: Audacity - New Features
(Dalan Decker <programming@therockradio.org>, 7 Aug 2017 16:32:41 -0000)
Re: Audacity - New Features
(dave allen <crtech-mail@reyware.us>, 7 Aug 2017 17:10:05 -0000)
Re: Audacity - New Features
(Willie Barnett <wbradiolists@gmail.com>, 7 Aug 2017 17:26:51 -0000)
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