Audacity is a free, easy-to-use and multilingual audio editor and recorder for Windows, Mac OS X, GNU/Linux and other operating systems.
Audacity can record live audio through a microphone or mixer, or digitize recordings from cassette tapes, records, or minidiscs. With some sound cards, Audacity can also capture streaming audio.
- Record from microphone, line input, USB/Firewire devices and others.
- Device Toolbar manages multiple input and output devices.
- Timer Record and Sound Activated Recording features.
- Dub over existing tracks to create multi-track recordings.
- Record at high sample rates in excess of 192,000 Hz (subject to appropriate hardware).
- Record multiple channels at once (subject to appropriate hardware).
- Level meters can monitor volume levels before, during and after recording. Clipping can be displayed in the waveform or in a label track.
Import and Export
Import sound files, edit them, and combine them with other files or new recordings. Export your recordings in many different file formats, including multiple files at once.
- Import and export WAV, AIFF, AU, FLAC and Ogg Vorbis files.
- Fast “On-Demand” import of WAV or AIFF files if read directly from source.
- Import and export all other formats supported by libsndfile such as GSM 6.10, 32-bit and 64-bit float WAV and U/A-Law.
- Import MPEG audio (including MP2 and MP3 files) using libmad.
- Import raw (headerless) audio files using the “Import Raw” command.
- Create WAV or AIFF files suitable for burning to audio CD.
- Export MP3 files with the optional LAME encoder library.
- Import and export AC3, M4A/M4R (AAC) and WMA with the optional FFmpeg library (this also supports import of audio from video files).
- Supports 16-bit, 24-bit and 32-bit (floating point) samples (the latter preserves samples in excess of full scale).
- Sample rates and formats are converted using high-quality resampling and dithering.
- Tracks with different sample rates or formats are converted automatically in realtime.
- Easy editing with Cut, Copy, Paste and Delete.
- Unlimited sequential Undo (and Redo) to go back any number of steps.
- Edit and mix large numbers of tracks.
- Multiple clips are allowed per track.
- Label tracks with selectable Sync-Lock Tracks feature for keeping tracks and labels synchronized.
- Draw Tool to alter individual sample points.
- Envelope Tool to fade the volume up or down smoothly.
- Automatic Crash Recovery in the event of abnormal program termination.
- Tracks and selections can be fully manipulated using the keyboard.
- Large range of keyboard shortcuts.
- Excellent support for JAWS, NVDA and other screen readers on Windows.
- Change the pitch without altering the tempo (or vice-versa).
- Remove static, hiss, hum, or other constant background noises.
- Alter frequencies with Equalization, Bass Boost, High/Low Pass and Notch Filter effects.
- Adjust volume with Compressor, Amplify, Normalize and Fade In/Out effects.
- Remove Vocals from suitable stereo tracks.
- Create voice-overs for podcasts or DJ sets using Auto Duck effect.
- Other built-in effects include:
- Truncate Silence
- Add new effects with LADSPA, Nyquist, VST and Audio Unit effect plug-ins.
- Effects written in the Nyquist programming language can be easily modified in a text editor – or you can even write your own plug-in.
- Spectrogram view modes for visualizing frequencies.
- “Plot Spectrum” command for detailed frequency analysis.
- Contrast Analysis for analyzing average rms volume differences between foreground speech and background music.
- Support for adding VAMP analysis plug-ins.
Free and Cross-Platform
- Licensed under the GNU General Public License (GPL).
- Runs on Windows, Mac OS X and GNU/Linux.
|You may use it for any personal, commercial or educational purpose, including installing it on as many different computers as you wish.
After sampling a few audio programs, I found Audacity to be the BEST free program available to create audio samples. The program allows you to do so much more than simply record narration and music. I am impressed with how much editing can be done within the program. When I first used it, I had not used any audio programs so it was a little daunting, but after about an hour, I was able to navigate most of the tools. I have used the program to create a project where students must incorporate 6 sound effects (splash, horn, crickets..etc) into an original 1 minute story. For that project, Audacity is the best platform.
I have used Audacity several times to create my own audio samples. I used it to record myself reading books for students that wanted to follow along, and I also used it to cut samples for music memory competitions. I let a few advanced students in my older classes use Audacity to create commercials for a writing assignment. Audacity also allowed me to easily add sounds to my website and to edit sound files for a PowerPoint presentation.
Audacity is a great tool for creating your own audio files. Those audio files can be reading passages, recording of student reading to keep track of their progress. Audio files can be used in the SMART Notebook to support auditory learners.