Using realtime effects

Audacity 3.2 and onwards supports realtime effects

Downloading & installing realtime effects

While Audacity doesn't yet ship with realtime effects, you can download plugins for it. Currently supported plugin formats are Audio Units (macOS only), VST3, LV2, and LADSPA. We have collected some plugins which we know to work on but you can find many more across the web. Once you install the plugins, they should be detected by Audacity once you restart it, if not, see the installation instructions.

Adding effects to a track

You can add realtime effects using the following steps:
  1. 1.
    Click the Effects button in the track or press e
  2. 2.
    Click Add effect and choose an available effect from the list.
Note: Realtime effects always apply to an entire track. Since they're calculated realtime, they won't change the source waveform.

Changing effect settings

You can change the effect settings by clicking on the effect's name. This will open a settings window, often with a graphical interface which looks nothing like Audacity itself. You still can interact with the main Audacity window while the effect settings are open.

Bypassing an effect

You can press the blue power button next to an effect (or the entire effects stack) to bypass it, causing it to be not applied to your audio.
Tip: If you want to completely remove an effect from the stack, press the triangle next to the effect name and select "No Effect".

Applying an effect stack to the waveform

It generally is not necessary to apply the effect stack. The stack is automatically applied when exporting the audio.
That siad, you can apply the effect stack to the waveform by first selecting the track and then going to Tracks > Mix > Mix and Render.
Caution: When selecting several tracks at once, the Mix and Render option will mix all tracks together.