Newest Review: ... and saving digital files: Like all new software, when the user is first faced with the Audacity application, its icons and buttons all ... more
An outstanding audio editor
Member Name: Seven17
Date: 17/01/12, updated on 17/01/12 (24 review reads)
Advantages: Fully customisable controls, simple layout, good quality playback
Disadvantages: Need to download an MP3 encoder separately
@ About, ease of use, features @
I use audacity on a regular basis - mainly for compiling voice audio and editing MP3 files. It can also be used for bands and artists alike which makes it one of the most versatile pieces of audio software on the Internet. One of the biggest flaws with audacity is that it does not come with its own MP3 coder so without getting too technical here: you can't export to MP3 without getting LAME encoder. You can export as WAV (Microsoft) files which is what I normally export as. Bear in mind these are uncompressed and audacity spends about 12 seconds saving a 5 minute .wav file on my hard disk.
Audacity can seem quite daunting when you first load and whilst it will take a week or two to get used to fining things in the menus, it is actually really simple - All icons have labels when you hover the mouse over them and do have clear icons. Cut for instance, is shown as a pair of scissors and paste is shown as a clip board, plus you've got the standard play, fast forward, record symbols. You can also choose from a variety of inputs but in my experience, this will vary from computer to computer depending on what you have as inputs. For example, wave out mix which records audio travelling from within the PC to the speakers is not available on one PC but is on another despite the same software version.
@ Customisation, using the software, finished product @
Editing is really easy to use because you can get into so many small details to perfect your recording. For example, audacity comes with plenty of effects which work well and are fully customisable. Using the depth of the effects (dry, wet etc) can become incredibly precise and you are presented with an input area to put a number down to decimal places, or a slider. The effects are highly accurate and credit where credit is due the people who make the effects have thought through the processing of sound. Amplify makes audio louder but does not drain audio quality whilst bass boost will increase sensitivity of the lower Hz of sound without making the bass shaky.
At the end you can save your recording as an audacity file (.aup) or export as WAV which is 16 bit. The recording is perfect quality and because you can set the sample rate up to 99000 Hz you can get above regular CD quality and into studio quality. If this is not for you then there is of course a mono option, and you can get very low sample rates to save on disc space. The files do play back perfectly though, never corrupt or loose audio quality.
@ Overall @
Audacity is a brilliant piece of software and will suit anyone who wants to play with audio. It's a professional piece of software but simplified and is completely customisable to the user. Overall. It's a highly recommended product.
Summary: Highly recommended, excellent audio editor for beginners and professionals
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