Audacity (Mac, Windows XP and Vista)

September 8, 2008

Audacity seems as though it has been around for ages, but there’s a reason the app is still going strong: It’s one of the most reliable and easy-to-use audio-editing programs out there. Plus, Audacity runs on all platforms, and it’s free!

Want to digitize your old vinyl records? Boot up Audacity, hook up your stereo, and you’ll be recording in no time. Looking to make the next mashup to take the Web world by storm? Audacity lets you easily import, edit, and mix MP3s (and WAV, AIFF and OGG files). Manipulating audio is as easy as cutting, pasting, and dragging — highlight a section of a recording that has unwanted sound, and a quick cut will remove it from the file. If you’re looking to get into more advanced editing and effects, Audacity comes with multiple sound filters.

Record and play sounds and import and export WAV, AIFF, MP3, and OGG files. Edit your sounds using cut, copy, and paste features (with unlimited undo functionality), mix tracks, or apply effects to your recordings. The program also has a built-in amplitude-envelope editor, a customizable spectrogram mode, and a frequency-analysis window for audio-analysis applications. Built-in effects include bass boost, wah wah, and noise removal, and the program also supports VST plug-in effects.

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