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Audacity

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Produce professional quality voice clips and recordings with Audacity for Mac

Pros

  • High quality audio recordings
  • Multiple tracks support
  • Import multiple formats including WAV, AIFF, AU, FLAC and MPEG
  • Export or burn to audio CDs
  • Possibility of adding audio effects
  • Supports many plugins
  • Compatible with OS X 10.4-10.10

Cons

  • Learning curve for newer users

Audacity is a free multi-track audio editor and recording program for Macintosh, developed by Audacity. Produce professional quality voice or audio recordings and edit them as you like with this versatile but surprisingly easy to use application.

Sound Editing Made Easy

In the past decade, all kinds of programs have become available to computer users showing an interest in the art of music production and sound editing, whether for voiceovers on YouTube, podcasts or radio recordings. While bursting with features, many of them were inaccessible to users with not enough knowledge about this kind of technology. Highly complicated terminology, interfaces and menus often make these things seem more trouble than they are worth, but there are always simpler solutions - one of which is Audacity, a handy barebones tool to fulfil all of your recording needs

Overview and Features

Audacity greets us with a very simple interface, with a central area to display your waveform and a series of menus along the top. Its recording features are what make it such a popular choice for novice and expert users alike. First, Audacity can record multiple tracks for you, either imported or recorded directly into the program. Tracks can be recorded from a microphone, line input, USB/ Firewire devices and many others. Recording sessions can be put on a timer or even be sound activated to tailor to your specific needs. Recordings are of high quality and with high sample rates. The software supports 16-bit, 24-bit and 32-bit samples and they are converted using high-quality resampling and dithering processes. 

While for podcasts and the like users will likely create a recording from scratch, it's also common to import tracks. Import your voice clips and sound files, edit them and then export them. Audacity supports multiple formats for this including WAV, AIFF, AU, FLAC and Ogg Vorbis files. If you're using WAV or AIFF files, you'll be able to get to work straight away while it's still importing. Some additional options are also available such as MPEG audio and raw files. Managing your recordings is made quite easy with the Device Toolbar. Once you're done, you can export your multi-track recording or convert it to a WAV or AIFF file for burning to an audio CD. 

The creative side of the program comes from its editing process. Organizing your clips is fairly intuitive, letting you cut, copy, paste and delete them with a few clicks. Multiple clips can be placed on a single track to splice together what you need on the fly. If you make a mistake, an unlimited 'Undo' button will allow you to go back as far as you like. Once your tracks are in the desired order, you can start adding audio effects, where the real fun starts. Alter pitch, tempo, frequencies, volume, vocals, and more. Add echoes, stretches, phasing, reverb, or reversals to create the most interesting tracks. Add effect plugins including LADSPA, LV2, Nyquist, VST and Audio Unit. When the project is complete, you can even perform spectrographic analyses on it to determine whether it's a balanced recording. While all of this sounds quite complicated, once you get going with the program everything is a matter of trial and error. Eventually, creating voice clips becomes something fun and creative, while still remaining professional.

The Verdict

Audacity is a wonderful audio editor with plenty going for it. Audacity's many features cater to both basic audio edits and much larger, multi-track projects. It supports plenty of formats both for import and export, and has a generous set of editing options for tracks and audio effects. Whether you're a novice sound editor or you're looking to make professional quality recordings, with the right input equipment anything is possible. Download Audacity now and discover how useful can be for you.

Audacity icon

Type Free (GPL)

Version 2.2.1

Size 31.13 MB

Other versions

2.2.1 2.2.0 2.1.3 2.1.2 2.1.0

Rating