Analyze Menu

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The Analyze menu contains tools for finding out about the characteristics of your audio, or labeling key features. Plug-ins that accept input but produce no audio output will also be placed in the Analyze menu.
Although by default, no keyboard shortcuts are provided for most of the analysis tools, it is possible to set up your own shortcut for any Analyze command. For instructions on how to do this please see Keyboard Preferences.

Built-in analysis tools

Most of the analysis tools included in Audacity are Nyquist plug-ins. You can download some additional Nyquist analysis plug-ins from the Download Nyquist Plug-ins page on our Wiki. Some LADSPA analysis plug-ins for Linux can be downloaded from the LADSPA site.


Analyzes a selected, single non-stereo audio track to determine the average rms difference in volume (contrast) between foreground (the speech) and background (music, audience noise or similar). The purpose is to determine if the speech will be intelligible to the hard of hearing.

Plot Spectrum...

Takes the selected audio (which is a set of sound pressure values at points in time) and converts it to a graph of frequencies (the horizontal scale in Hz) against amplitudes (the vertical scale in dB).

Find Clipping...

Displays runs of clipped samples in a Label Track, as a screen-reader accessible alternative to View > Show Clipping. A run must include at least one clipped sample, but may include unclipped samples too.

Beat Finder...

Attempts to place labels at beats which are much louder than the surrounding audio. It's a fairly rough and ready tool, and won't necessarily work well on a typical modern pop music track with compressed dynamic range.

Regular Interval Labels...

Places labels in a long track so as to divide it into smaller, equally sized segments. For example, this can be useful for distributing a large file on the internet. You can either choose the number of labels to be created, or the interval between them. Each label produced contains the chosen label text.

Sample Analyze Nyquist Plug-in

An example of a Nyquist analyze plug-in (this only ships with the Mac OS X version of Audacity). All it does is put labels at the start and end of the selection. If you are interested in writing Nyquist analyze plug-ins, this provides a simple starting point. Open the "analyze.ny" file (found in the "Plug-ins" folder) in a text editor to see the Nyquist code. For more information on the Nyquist programming language and how to use it within Audacity, see Audacity and Nyquist and Nyquist in Audacity.

Sample Data Export...

Reads the values of successive samples from the selected audio and prints this data to a plain text, CSV or HTML file.

The following two related "Silence Finder" and "Sound Finder" tools are very useful to label the different songs or sections in a long recording, such as the tracks from an LP or cassette.

Silence Finder...

Divides a track up by placing point labels inside areas of silence. Use this if you just want to split the recording into tracks at a specific point without removing the silences between them.

Sound Finder...

Divides a track up by placing region labels for areas of sound that are separated by silence. Use this to make the labels show the exact region of each track to be exported. This lets you remove some or all of the silence between the tracks.

Vamp Analysis Plug-ins

You can also add some additional analysis tools in the Vamp plug-in format for viewing and analysing the descriptive contents of music audio files. Typical things that a Vamp plug-in might calculate include the locations of moments such as note onset times and power or fundamental frequency data.

To run a Vamp plug-in, select the audio and run the plug-in from the menu. An annotated label track appears showing the result. At this time, Audacity cannot display graphical output such as histograms or curves.

Currently Audacity cannot load Vamp plug-ins from the Audacity Plug-Ins folder.

Vamp plug-ins are loaded from the standard directories defined by the Vamp SDK as follows:

  • On all platforms: any directories listed in the VAMP_PATH environment variable
  • additionally on Windows:
    • %%PROGRAMFILES%%\Vamp Plugins (a directory named "Vamp Plugins" within the system Program Files directory, however localized and on whatever drive is relevant to this install of Windows)
  • additionally on OS X:
    • ~/Library/Audio/Plug-Ins/Vamp (user plug-ins)
    • /Library/Audio/Plug-Ins/Vamp (system-wide plug-ins)
  • additionally on Linux/Unix:
    • $HOME/vamp
    • $HOME/.vamp
    • /usr/local/lib/vamp (user plug-ins)
    • /usr/lib/vamp (system-wide plug-ins)
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