Audacity - Free Audio Recording Software for Mac/PC/GNU

Audacity is a straightforward audio recording and editing program full of professional effects and editing options.

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The program doesn't require an advanced sound card and the recording begins as quickly as you push the red REC button or hit the r key on your keyboard.

To finish recording you can press the SPACE button.

When you finished recording, the program allows easily trim your audio, normalize volume, add fade in/fade out, equalize the sound, apply reverb, echo, wahwah, tremolo and other effects.

A screen shot of running Audacity, free, open source audio editing program

You can add more effects, auido genrators and extend audio analysys functionality by installing plug-ins.

Supported plug-in types:

  • VST - only effects
  • LV2
  • Nyquist

If you need instructions on how to install/enable plug-ins, use this guide.

Note that in some older versions of Audacity for Windows the mp3 encoder isn't installed by default due to licensing issues, if you need to export your file as an mp3 you'll have to install the suitable encoder manually, here is how to do it:

  • Download and install the LAME MP3 encoder.
  • Remember the directory where the "LAME encoder" was installed.
  • When you ready to export your creation as an mp3 file, press the Ctrl-Shift-E key binding to open the "Export Audio" dialog window, fill in the "name" field, choose the "mp3 Files" option in the drop-down menu and push the "Save" button.
    After that you'll be asked to show the location of the lame_enc.dll file. Navigate to the directory that I asked you to remember and choose the lame_enc.dll file in it.
  • Press "Open" and "OK" button.

After this process, Audacity will remember the path to the encoder, and you'll be able to export your subsequent mp3 files without hassle.

If you wanna use your VST synths and more advanced post-production functionality such as gradual shift of a value of effect parameters, volume or pan on the fly, check out MU.LAB free digital audio workstation.

MU.LAB can record in separate automation track, the way virtual knobs and sliders are moved, without making any changes to the audio track itself, and allows to create/edit the automation manually.

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This article was last updated on January 28, 2018