What is Audacity?
Audacity is a free audio editor that copes with the most popular audio formats (MP3, Ogg/Vorbis, WAV, MIDI, AIFF). You can mix music tracks, add sound effects, convert audio files or change the playback speed.
The recording function allows you to capture all audio signals and save them to the hard disk. And with the included noise and noise filter, any noise can be quickly filtered out. Effects such as delay and compressor are already on board and can also be expanded through VST support.
Record audio track
Audacity’s graphical user interface allows you to perform the important functions with just a few clicks. To record audio files directly from an external source in the program, you only have to select the source and then start the recording via the Record button. You can see that the recording is running by the tracks, which become longer and longer and contain sound amplitudes. You can even program a time-controlled recording via the corresponding menus under “Transport”. If there are problems with the recording, you should check the privacy settings of Microsoft Windows to see if the use of the microphone is allowed.
Cutting and editing music
By directly recording or importing an audio file, the audio signal is loaded into one or more audio tracks so that you can then cut, remove and edit the music or audio in general. From cut and paste to trim, mute, mix and copy, users have all the basic track editing functions at their disposal. If one needs more audio tracks, they can easily be added in Audacity, with the choice of mono, stereo, text or time lapse.
Add effects and save as MP3
These functions of Audacity are supplemented by a frequency analysis and various effects. Among them are noise removal and pitch changes, which changes the pitch without slowing down or speeding up. Once the projects are cut and edited, you can save the recordings to MP3 or WAV files. MP3 and WAV are not the only supported file formats, though. In addition, Audacity can edit MIDI files and export the final result to a file. Thus, music files can be converted to other formats in this way. Complementarily, Audacity can be used to load, de-noise and edit the audio tracks of videos such as YouTube clips.
Convert files with the audio editor
By default, Audacity can import and export in WAV, AIFF, AU, FLAC and Ogg-Vorbis file formats. If the corresponding Lame library is already present on the computer – or it is installed subsequently – the program can handle MP3 without any problems. If you also include FFmpeg, the formats AC3, M4A/M4R (AAC) and WMA can also be used in the audio software. The integration of further libraries is done via the corresponding menu item “Libraries” in the program settings of Audacity.
Editing music on the go
The standard version of Audacity runs on Microsoft Windows, Apple macOS and Linux distributions and can be downloaded and installed for these operating systems. In addition, Audacity Portable is a portable version of the recording studio software that can be launched from removable media such as a USB stick without installation.
Is Audacity free of charge?
Audacity is completely free as open source software with full functionality. In terms of functions and audio quality, the tool is still on a professional level.