For audio editing, look no further than open source wonder Audacity. You can record live, convert old records and tapes to digital, cut, copy and splice files and much more. This version is updated regularly, and despite the 'beta' tag is very stable.
Whether you choose the stable or beta series, Audacity is not very attractive, and can at first look complex. However, with a little experimentation it soon becomes a very usable application.
For live sound and digitizing old media, you need to feed audio into your computer via a cable. Your audio-in, or mic should be set up by default, but otherwise can be found in Preferences. Recording is then as easy as hitting the red button on the Audacity interface.
Easy to use
What makes Audacity great in this regard is that editing recordings is really simple, not tricky like some professional apps! Using the Highlight tool you can quickly cut, copy, or add effects to parts of tracks. Make a mistake and you can undo as many steps backward as you like, meaning you can experiment knowing nothing can be broken! As you can use up to 16 channels at once, Audacity gives users lots of flexibility.
Editing MP3 and other digital files is just as easy. Drag them into Audacity to open, and then do what you like with them. Adding fade ins or outs is easy, and you can save in whatever format you like. Audacity supports ID3 tags, so you can add all the meta data you like to saved tracks. There is lots more to Audacity, and luckily it has extensive documentation available online or to download.
Audacity is the best free audio editing tool around. It's an incredibly useful application, whether you're recording live or just editing audio files. Despite it's unattractive interface, Audacity is an essential download.
- Bug Fixes:
- Shaped dither was corrupted and too loud on all stereo exports except FLAC.
- Keyboard Preferences: some Edit and Align commands for different sub-menus showed the same name.
- Recordings stopped with "Stop and Set Cursor" shortcut could not be undone.
- In locales that use comma for decimal separator:
- Text boxes with slider in Nyquist effects only produced whole numbers when using comma to enter a fractional number. Text boxes without slider still have this problem.
- Built-in generators produced silence after running a Nyquist effect.
- Frequent crashes occurred on importing audio files on some machines.
- Files did not open using Finder "Open with", double-clicking the file or dragging the file to the Audacity icon.
- Changes and Improvements:
- Tracks Menu:
- The separate commands that aligned track start or end with the cursor or with selection start are combined into "Cursor/Selection Start" commands.
- "Align and Move Cursor" renamed to "Move Selection when Aligning".
- Label Tracks:
- Labels Editor now allows empty labels to be saved on closing the editor.
- TabB and Shift+Tab when the label track has focus now always move forwards or backwards respectively to the nearest label.
- Audio Unit plug-ins detected by Audacity on launch are now not loaded until chosen from the Effect menu. This should speed up launch and avoid crashes at launch due to misbehaving Audio Units.