Audacity

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Description

With a plethora of audio editors out there, finding the best one can be difficult. But it is clear that Audacity has to be near the top of the list.

Features

Audacity’s open source code and multi-platform support sees a quality audio-editor, with an intuitive interface, many features, and support for a range of audio formats, Audacity is good at being both full of features but with a clean feel to the interface. With most of its features placed in drop-down menus, rather than in toolbars in other audio-editors, Audacity remains easy-to-use for most users.

In addition to recording audio from multiple sources, Audacity can be used for post-processing of all types of audio by using effects such as normalisation, chopping, and fading. Audacity initially offered support for AIFF, MP3 (via the LAME encoder), Ogg Vorbis, and WAV files. Later versions offer support for Free Lossless Audio Codec (FLAC), AAC, AMR, AC3 and WMA. It is used for primarily for recording, editing and listening to audio sound, whilst also allowing the user to add a wide range of digital effects – from normalisation to equalisers – and has a range of DSP plug-ins. It even includes VST support through its handy VST enabler.

Comparison

For audio-editing purposes there are a wide variety of different software solutions depending on the focus of your needs. In terms of accessibility and range of DSP effects, Audacity sits most closely to Wavosaur, which also acts primarily as a tool for editing, processing and recording sounds, wav and mp3 files. Wavosaur has all the required features to edit audio. And like Audacity, Wavosaur supports VST plugins, ASIO drivers and real-time DSP. But the Wavosaur program has no installer and does not write to the registry, which could be seen as a slight advantage for some. Personally, I prefer the layout and feel of Wavosaur, but the two programs are very similar in use and difficult to separate.

Conclusion

All in all, Audacity is a quality piece of powerful software and a great example of open-source software. It is to the benefit of everyone, that people such as The Audacity Team exist to provide us with extremely useful and quality software, without the sole focus on profiteering. Audacity works great as an audio-editor and this is the function which it was precisely designed to perform. It may lack integrated podcasting facilities, but Audacity is still one of the best audio editors out there.

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