Batch Processing

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Peter: ToDo-2 Submit this page and its linked content to a full review once 2.0.3 is released and the attendant Manual Freeze is lifted (following the discussion on the Manual email thread by Ed/Gale/Peter)
  • Gale: One comment Ed made which I think all agree on is the need for a direct link to the Edit Chains and Apply Chain pages (as well as retaining the menu span).
    • Peter 22Jan13: added links to Edit Chains and Apply Chain, expanded the page a little - ready for further merciless editing.
      • Peter 22Jan13: Quality note: wouldn't it be more consistent if the Edit Chains command became Edit Chain? After all you are only editing one chain at a time surely and it would then look more consistent with Apply Chain.

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What Is Batch Processing?

Batch processing is processing a chain of effects in preset order, either on tracks in the active Audacity project window or on a number of imported audio files. This can save time and repetitive effort. Chains are often used to batch process a group of audio files with the same sequence of effects or functions. Examples of typical usage:

  • Compressing the dynamic range of a number of WAV files, then converting them to MP3
  • Noise removing, bass boosting then normalizing a track or tracks in a project


How to Use Batch Processing

In order to use batch processing it is necessary first to set up a Chain of effects using the Edit Chains command. A "Chain" is a sequence of automated commands similar to a "macro". Once the Chain has been set up you can then use the Apply Chain command to implement it.

Edit Chains

Enables you to either edit, remove or rename existing Chains, or add a new Chain. The Chain can include a number of common Audacity functions and effects to be executed in any order you specify. In many cases, the parameters for each command in the Chain can be specified within the Edit Chains window. Any built-in or Nyquist effect shown in the Effect Menu can be added to a chain, along with an Export command to save an audio file.

image of the Edit Chains dialog box
Accessed by: File > Edit Chains...

Apply Chain

Enables you to select a Chain and apply it to either the entirety of the current project, to single audio file or to a group of specially selected audio files.

image of the Apply Chain dialog box
Accessed by: File > Apply Chain...
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