What is Audacity?
Audacity is a popular audio editor that allows users to create, process, and save digital audio. It is also capable of recording sounds, voices, and music on any computer or laptop equipped with a built-in or external audio adapter.
Audacity can be downloaded for free for Windows, MacOS, or Linux.
The Audacity interface is simple and intuitive, making it easy for even inexperienced users to use the program. Access to functions and parameters is provided through a classic menu bar (File-Edit-Tracks, etc.). Below it are buttons for controlling playback, recording, displaying tracks, as well as volume level meters.
Most of the window is dedicated to displaying the waveform or spectrogram, which visualizes recorded or imported audio. Users can cut, delete, copy and paste track sections, as well as add new tracks. At the bottom of the window is a timer and a switch for the sound's sampling frequency (quality).
In Audacity, users can add not only audio files of different formats but also extract sound from videos.
Audacity is distributed for free but has rich features, including:
- Cross-platform compatibility (this program is available for download on Windows, Mac OS, and Linux);
- Fast and high-quality sound recording "in one touch";
- Adequate set of effects, including reverb, compressor, equalizer, phaser, and others;
- The ability to flexibly change the speed and pitch without changing the tempo (and vice versa);
- Support for multiple audio tracks and their display modes;
- The ability to record sound directly playing on the computer without external noise (thanks to the WASAPI interface);
- Built-in generator of constant and varying frequency;
- Sound analysis tools, such as spectrum graph and average power measurement;
- Support for LADSPA, LV2, and VST plugins with additional audio effects available for real-time sound processing;
- Monitoring of recorded audio.
The Audacity application is translated into 38 languages.
This program has several advantages:
- Fast and stable performance, even with large files;
- Low system requirements, only a processor with SSE2 instruction support is needed;
- Compatibility with various import and export formats, thanks to the ffmpeg libraries;
- Customizable keyboard shortcuts;
- Ability to set a directory for saving temporary files, for example, to increase the maximum recording time;
- High-quality recording of music and sounds played in any PC application without the need for cables;
- Built-in metadata editor (artist, title, album, genre, etc.);
- Support for multi-channel audio and MIDI files.
However, Audacity also has some drawbacks:
- The ffmpeg library needs to be downloaded and connected separately;
- The effects menu is too long (this drawback can be overcome by grouping the elements);
- The "Explorer" window is blocked when dragging an audio file into the Audacity program until the import is complete;
- Inconvenient synchronization of multiple tracks.
Overall, considering all of Audacity's features and benefits, it can be recommended to people who want to record sound from a microphone or speakers without any hassle. Additionally, this audio editor is suitable for creating ringtones and capturing calls in messaging apps.
You can download the latest version of Audacity (2023) for free from the official website for your operating system via links below.