Audacity

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Audacity v2.2.2.

Audacity is a free open source audio editing studio written in C++ with a no-nonsense interface for Linux, Macintosh, and Windows. It supports mono and stereo tracks for all the basic audio formats and features plug-in support for the more exotic ones. It has a lot of useful features and audio effects from the basic (echo, reverb, fade out, volume adjustments, noise reduction, etc.) to the more complex (tempo change while retaining timbre, vocal elimination, etc.). It can also play both digital audio and MIDI tracks simultaneously.

Audacity natively supports its own audio format called AUP. It can import from AIFF, FLAC, MP3, OGG, and WAV, and export to AC3, AMR, FLAC, M4A, MP2, MP3, OGG, Opus, WAV, WMA. Audacity also supports using FFMPEG for both import and export, allowing hundreds of other formats.

Personal

I found Audacity in the mid-2000s while searching for a free replacement for GoldWave, a similar audio studio which sells for $45, and found that nearly all of the features in GoldWave had been duplicated in the free Audacity. I have since stopped using GoldWave altogether and favor Audacity.

Review

Good

  • Audacity supports reading and writing of all the most popular file types.
  • The program can handle any number of channels, each with its own panning and gain.
  • It can support a wide range of custom playback rates and storage types.
  • It comes with a wide variety of effects and also supports plugins and maintains an online collection of them.

Bad

  • By default, the program tries to use its own audio format, and you can't easily set it to an industry standard like FLAC.
  • Adjusting the playback volume in Windows doesn't just adjust the volume for the app, but for the entire OS.

Ugly

  • Nothing.

Tricks

Decreasing to Stereo

You can combine any number of channels into stereo in the menu by clicking Tracks -> Mix -> Mix and Render. If your audio source has more than two channels (like Dolby 7.1) you can force a channel to the left or right by adjusting the track's panning. When you click Mix and Render, anything panned to the left or right will be mixed just to that stereo channel, but anything in the center will be mixed to both.

Links

Link-Wikipedia.png  Link-Official.png