Audacity

Audacity is a free, easy-to-use audio editor and recorder for Windows, Mac OS X, GNU/Linux and other operating systems. You can use Audacity to:

  • Record live audio.
  • Convert tapes and records into digital recordings or CDs.
  • Edit Ogg Vorbis, MP3, WAV or AIFF sound files.
  • Cut, copy, splice or mix sounds together.
  • Change the speed or pitch of a recording.
  • And more! See the complete list of features.

Recording

Audacity can record live audio through a microphone or mixer, or digitize recordings from cassette tapes, vinyl records, or minidiscs. With some sound cards, it can also capture streaming audio.

  • Record from microphone, line input, or other sources.
  • Dub over existing tracks to create multi-track recordings.
  • Record up to 16 channels at once (requires multi-channel hardware).
  • Level meters can monitor volume levels before, during, and after recording.

Import and Export

Import sound files, edit them, and combine them with other files or new recordings. Export your recordings in several common file formats.

  • Import and export FLAC, WAV, AIFF, AU, and Ogg Vorbis files.
  • Import MPEG audio (including MP2 and MP3 files) with libmad.
  • Export MP3s with the optional LAME encoder library.
  • Create WAV or AIFF files suitable for burning to CD.
  • Import and export all file formats supported by libsndfile.
  • Open raw (headerless) audio files using the “Import Raw” command.
  • Note: Audacity does not currently support WMA, AAC, or most other proprietary or restricted file formats.

Editing

  • Easy editing with Cut, Copy, Paste, and Delete.
  • Use unlimited Undo (and Redo) to go back any number of steps.
  • Very fast editing of large files.
  • Edit and mix an unlimited number of tracks.
  • Use the Drawing tool to alter individual sample points.
  • Fade the volume up or down smoothly with the Envelope tool.

Effects

  • Change the pitch without altering the tempo, or vice-versa.
  • Remove static, hiss, hum, or other constant background noises.
  • Alter frequencies with Equalization, FFT Filter, and Bass Boost effects.
  • Adjust volumes with Compressor, Amplify, and Normalize effects.
  • Other built-in effects include:
    • Echo
    • Phaser
    • Wahwah
    • Reverse

Sound Quality

  • Record and edit 16-bit, 24-bit, and 32-bit (floating point) samples.
  • Record at up to 96 KHz.
  • Sample rates and formats are converted using high-quality resampling and dithering.
  • Mix tracks with different sample rates or formats, and Audacity will convert them automatically in realtime.

Plug-Ins

  • Add new effects with LADSPA plugins.
  • Audacity includes some sample plugins by Steve Harris.
  • Load VST plugins for Windows and Mac, with the optional VST Enabler.
  • Write new effects with the built-in Nyquist programming language.

Analysis

  • Spectrogram mode for visualizing frequencies.
  • “Plot Spectrum” command for detailed frequency analysis.
Review by Jared Moya

Audacity has an average rating 3.9 out of 5 based on 34 user ratings.