Audacity (audio editor)

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Audacity (audio editor)
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Audacity 2.1.0
Developer(s) The Audacity Team
Initial release 28 May 2000; 18 years ago (2000-05-28)
Stable release 2.1.2 / 16 January 2016; 3 years ago (2016-01-16)
Preview release None [±]
Development status Active
Written in C, C++ (using the wxWidgets toolkit)[1][2]
Operating system Windows, OS X, Linux, Unix[3][4]
Platform IA-32, x86-64, PowerPC
Size 21.83 MB: Windows
32.4 MB: OS X
Available in
Type Digital audio editor
License GNU GPLv2+[5]
Website audacityteam.org

Audacity is a free open source digital audio editor and recording computer software application, available for Windows, OS X, Linux and other operating systems.[3][4] Audacity was started in the fall of 1999 by Dominic Mazzoni and Roger Dannenberg at Carnegie Mellon University and was released on May 28, 2000 as version 0.8.[6][7]

As of 10 October 2011, it was the 11th most popular download from SourceForge, with 76.5 million downloads.[8] Audacity won the SourceForge 2007 and 2009 Community Choice Award for Best Project for Multimedia.[9][10] In March 2015 hosting was moved to FossHub and by 4 July 2015 it had exceeded 10 million downloads there.[11]

It is still under active development, and the latest release, version 2.1.1, was announced in July 2015.[12]

Features and usage

In addition to recording audio from multiple sources, Audacity can be used for post-processing of all types of audio, including podcasts by adding effects such as normalization, trimming, and fading in and out.[13] Audacity has also been used to record and mix entire albums, such as by Tune-Yards.[14] It is also currently used in the UK OCR National Level 2 ICT course for the sound creation unit.

Audacity's features include:

  • Importing and exporting of WAV, AIFF, MP3 (via the LAME encoder, downloaded separately), Ogg Vorbis, and all file formats supported by libsndfile library. Versions 1.3.2 and later support Free Lossless Audio Codec (FLAC).[15] Version 1.3.6 and later also support additional formats such as WMA, AAC, AMR and AC3 via the optional FFmpeg library.[16]
  • Recording and playing back sounds[17]
    • Scrubbing (Version 2.1.1 and later)[18]
  • Editing via cut, copy, and paste, with unlimited levels of undo[19]
  • Conversion of cassette tapes or records into digital tracks by splitting the audio source into multiple tracks based on silences in the source material[20]
  • Multitrack mixing[21]
  • A large array of digital effects and plug-ins.[22] Additional effects can be written with Nyquist, a Lisp dialect.[23]
  • Built-in LADSPA, VST(32-bit) and Nyquist plug-in support[24]
  • Amplitude envelope editing[25]
  • Noise Reduction based on sampling the noise to be minimized.[26]
  • Vocal Reduction and Isolation for the creation of karaoke tracks and isolated vocal tracks.[27]
  • Audio spectrum analysis using the Fourier transform algorithm[28][29]
  • Support for multi-channel modes with sampling rates up to 96 kHz with 32 bits per sample[30]
  • Precise adjustments to the audio speed (tempo) while maintaining pitch in order to synchronize it with video or run for a predetermined length of time[31]
  • Adjusting audio pitch while maintaining speed and adjusting audio speed while maintaining pitch[32]
  • Features of modern multitrack audio software including navigation controls, zoom and single track edit, project pane and XY project navigation, non-destructive and destructive effect processing, audio file manipulation (cut, copy, paste)
  • Cross-platform operation — Audacity works on Windows, Mac OS X, and Unix-like systems (including Linux and BSD)[33]
  • Audacity uses the wxWidgets software library to provide a similar graphical user interface on several different operating systems.[34]
  • LADSPA, VST (32-bit) and Audio Unit (OS X) effects now support real-time preview (from version 2.1.0 onwards). Note: Real-time preview does not yet support latency compensation.[35]
  • Saving and loading of user presets for effect settings across sessions (from 2.1.0 onwards).[36]

Audacity supports the LV2 open standard for plugins and can therefore load software like Calf Studio Gear.[37]

Limitations

File:Audacity 2.1 playback spectrogram.png
Audacity 2.1 playback in spectrogram view

Audacity supports only 32-bit VST audio effect plug-ins. It does not support 64-bit or instrument VST (VSTi) plugins.[38]

Audacity lacks dynamic equalizer controls and real time effects while recording.

MIDI files can only be displayed.[39]

Audacity does not natively import or export WMA, AAC, AC3 or most other proprietary or restricted file formats; rather, an optional FFmpeg library is required.[40]

There are no warnings when disk space is low. If one runs out of disk space during editing, audio will be corrupted.[41]

Language support

In addition to English language help, the ZIP file of the downloadable Audacity software program includes help files for Afrikaans, Arabic, Basque, Bulgarian, Catalan, Chinese (simplified), Chinese (traditional), Czech, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, French, Galician, German, Greek, Hungarian, Irish, Italian, Japanese, Lithuanian, Macedonian, Norwegian (Bokmål), Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, Slovak, Slovenian, Spanish, Swedish, Turkish, Ukrainian, and Welsh in its user interface. A partial Bengali help file is also included.[42]

The Audacity website also provides tutorials in several languages.[43]

Reception

The free and open nature of Audacity has allowed it to become very popular in education, encouraging its developers to make the user interface easier for students and teachers.[44]

CNET rated Audacity 5/5 stars and called it "feature rich and flexible".[45] Preston Gralla of PC World said, "If you're interested in creating, editing, and mixing you'll want Audacity."[46] Jack Wallen of Tech Republic highlighted its features and ease-of-use.[47] Michael Muchmore of PC Magazine rated it 3.5/5 stars and said, "Though not as slick or powerful as programs from the likes of Adobe, Sony, and M-Audio, Audacity is surprisingly feature-full for free software."[48]

In The Art of Unix Programming, Eric S. Raymond says of Audacity "The central virtue of this program is that it has a superbly transparent and natural user interface, one that erects as few barriers between the user and the sound file as possible."[49]

See also

References

  1. SourceForge (July 2004). "Project of the Month July 2004 - Audacity". Archived from the original on 23 December 2008. Retrieved 2008-11-27.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (2004). "E-Commerce and Development Report 2004" (PDF). Archived (PDF) from the original on 3 December 2008. Retrieved 2008-11-27.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. 3.0 3.1 "Audacity: Free Audio Editor and Recorder". audacityteam.org. Retrieved 5 January 2012.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. 4.0 4.1 "About Audacity". audacityteam.org. Retrieved 2012-02-19.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. Audacity Team. "License, and Advice for Vendors and Distributors". Archived from the original on 4 February 2010. Retrieved 2010-02-23.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. "Version 0.8: May 28, 2000" in README.txt of audacity-win-0.8.zip
  7. "Credits". audacityteam.org. Retrieved 2012-02-19.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  8. "SourceForge.net: All-Time Top Downloads". Archived from the original on 12 November 2010. Retrieved 29 October 2010.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  9. "SourceForge.net: 2007 Community Choice Awards". Archived from the original on 20 January 2008. Retrieved 2008-01-19.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  10. "SourceForge.net: 2009 Community Choice Awards". Retrieved 2012-02-04.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  11. "FossHub download statistics 04Jul2015". FossHub.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  12. "Download Audacity 2.1.1". Audacityteam.org.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  13. "Podcasting with Linux Command Line Tools and Audacity". Archived from the original on 18 January 2008. Retrieved 2008-01-19.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  14. Frere-Jones, Sasha (May 2, 2011). "World of Wonder: How Merrill Garbus left the theatre and took the stage." The New Yorker. Retrieved 2015-05-16.
  15. Audacity development team (2006-10-30). "Audacity 1.3.2 a 1.2.5 released". Retrieved 2010-01-19.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  16. "Importing Audio". Audacityteam.org.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  17. "Playing and Recording". Audacityteam.org.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  18. "Scrubbing and Seeking". Audacityteam.org.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  19. "Edit commands in Audacity". Audacityteam.org.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  20. "Copying tapes, LPs or MiniDiscs to CD". Audacityteam.org.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  21. "Audacity Tracks Menu". Audacityteam.org.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  22. "Index of Effects, Generators and Analyzers in Audacity". Audacityteam.org.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  23. "Nyquist Plug-ins Reference". Audacityteam.org.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  24. Audacity development team. "Audacity: Plug-Ins and Libraries". Retrieved 2011-01-11.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  25. "Audacity's Envelope Tool". Audacityteam.org.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  26. "Noise Reduction". Audacityteam.org.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  27. "Vocal Reduction and Isolation". Audacityteam.org.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  28. "Plot Spectrum". Audacityteam.org.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  29. "Audacity's Spectrogram View". Audacityteam.org.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  30. "Multichannel Recording". Audacityteam.org.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  31. "Change Tempo". Audacityteam.org.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  32. "Change Pitch". Audacityteam.org.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  33. "Cross-platform downloads for Audacity". Audacityteam.org.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  34. "wxWidgets Cross-platform GUI Library". Audacityteam.org.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  35. "Real-time preview of effects". Audacityteam.org.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  36. "Manage Effects, Generators and Analyzers". Audacityteam.org.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  37. "Calf Studio Gear supports LV2".<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  38. "FAQ:How do I install VST plug-ins? - Audacity Manual". Audacityteam.org. Retrieved 2013-08-09.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  39. "FAQ Why can't I play MIDI files?". Audacityteam.org. Retrieved 2009-12-16.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  40. "Audacity: Features". audacityteam.org. 2013-03-22. Retrieved 2013-09-08.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  41. "Release Notes 2.1.1 - Audacity Wiki".<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  42. "Changing the current language - Audacity Wiki". Wiki.audacityteam.org. 2013-01-04. Retrieved 2013-09-08.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  43. "Languages page in the Audacity Manual".<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  44. Lua error in Module:Citation/CS1/Identifiers at line 47: attempt to index field 'wikibase' (a nil value).
  45. "Audacity". CNET. 2008-11-08. Retrieved 2013-09-01.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  46. Gralla, Preston (2008-10-22). "Audacity". PC World. Retrieved 2013-09-01.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  47. Wallen, Jack (2011-07-18). "Giving Audacity its due: An audio editor with serious functionality". Tech Republic. Retrieved 2013-09-01.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  48. Muchmore, Michael (2010-02-05). "Audacity 1.2 review". Retrieved 2013-09-01.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  49. "Studying Cases Chapter 6. Transparency".<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • Lua error in Module:Citation/CS1/Identifiers at line 47: attempt to index field 'wikibase' (a nil value).
  • Lua error in Module:Citation/CS1/Identifiers at line 47: attempt to index field 'wikibase' (a nil value).
  • Lua error in Module:Citation/CS1/Identifiers at line 47: attempt to index field 'wikibase' (a nil value).

External links