Audacity_FEATURED

Audacity

Editing wants to be FREE! An audio editing solution for Mac, Windows and
Linux.

There are lots of references on this site to ProTools and Adobe Audition and Nuendo and other sophisticated digital audio editing programs, but what do you do if you need to do some editing on a budget, or want to run lean-and-mean on a laptop, or are working in Linux? The audacious program Audacity might be worth a look. It has a few significant drawbacks, but has the benefits of being free, continually updated and improved, and will run on just about any operating system.

Here at Transom, we’ve dedicated significant space to tutorials about ProTools Free, because it is an amazingly capable free program and offered an easy entry point to the world of digital audio workstations if you had the right computer. But ProTools Free only runs on Mac OS9, and Windows 98 or Me (and not too reliably on either of those Windows platforms.) Now, in 2004, if you’ve bought a new computer it surely came with Mac OSX or Windows XP, neither of which can run ProTools Free. Or even if you’re running an older computer, you may have banged-up against some limitations of the free program. So, we’ve recommended upgrading to the digidesign M-Box, an audio interface that’s sold with a more capable version of ProTools. The $450 price is still quite a bargain for an audio interface with good mic pre-amps and an editing and mixing program with plug-ins, but even that expense is an impediment to some, and the fact that the M-Box must remain connected to use the program is a turn-off to many. And ProTools LE takes a pretty fast computer and lots of RAM to run well under OSX or Windows XP.

Audacity

Audacity will run pretty efficiently under Windows 98, ME, 2000, & XP, Mac OS9 and X, Linux, and Unix. Go to their website at: http://audacity.sourceforge.net/

Download the program, documentation and plug-ins. There are links to users groups, FAQs, tutorials, and one can submit requests for features and fixes.

There are a few shortcomings that make the program problematic for serious production, but used with some care, Audacity can be a convenient tool for simple editing or even multi track mixing. The biggest problem is the current lack of any kind of metering. There are no indicators of record levels, track levels or final mix levels. This is one of the most requested feature enhancements, so there’s some hope that this will be added in a future release, but for now, it will take some extra vigilance to ensure proper level strength and to avoid distortion.

Work-around for the lack of metering:
One can eye-ball the waveform displays and get a sense of the level relative to full scale, and watch for the flattened-peaks that would indicate clipping. The best path is likely to be to experiment with your input levels and listen carefully.

If your audio interface and external devices allow inputting audio digitally, that path will avoid input gain problems. And one can improvise a meter for mix-down by importing a sound file with a –12dB 1khz sine wave tone into a stereo channel. Connect some device with reliable meters to the output of your computer’s sound card or audio interface. A digital connection is best, but even an analog link to a DAT machine, even a cassette deck or reel-to-reel, will work. Play the tone, and if the connection is analog, adjust the input levels of your recorder to -12dB on a digital peak meter or 0vu on a VU style averaging meter. (more on levels here>>) That way, as you do your mix, you can keep an eye on the master level as you combine the tracks. And most importantly, listen, make sure there’s no crunchy overdriving of channels that you might have noticed if you had a red flashing clip indicator on a meter.

If you don’t have a sound file with a -12dB 1khz sine wave test tone, Audacity can make one for you, go to the “generate” menu and choose “tone.” The generator has an odd control for level, not in dB but in increments between 0 and 1, but you can always make the tone, then go to the “effect” menu, “normalize” it, then reduce the gain by 12 dB with the “amplify” effect. Then export that as a .wav file and keep it to insert in future sessions as a reference.

Before you start a new project, go to your computer’s sound control panel and make sure the desired input device, (whether it’s you computer’s built-in mic input, a sound card, or an external audio interface) is selected as the audio input source. Then boot Audacity and within preferences, set the preferred specs for your session. The audio I/O tab allows you to set up the device(s) you are recording from and playing to, and the default number of tracks that will be created when you click the record button. The Quality tab allows you to set the sample rate and bit depth of the project. Audacity can handle different sample rates and bit depths within a project, but these will be converted in real-time to the default session settings when needed. Although normally 16-bit is a sufficient bit-depth for radio productions, and you will save a good deal of disc space and processing power if you use that depth, Audacity sometimes creates grungy-sounding sound files when recording at 16 bit. I’d start with 16 bit, but if you have that problem, setting up your session to record at 32-bit float might solve it. The session can be dithered to 16 bit for burning to CD at the mix phase. Set that in the file format tab as the default export format. Make a new project, and check the lower left corner for the sample rate, you can change it there if you need to.

To record a new file, you don’t even need to create a new track, just hit the red record circle in the transport panel, and a new track will be created. You can adjust the record level with the slider next to the little microphone icon in the top right corner, but ideally you should leave that slider fully up and adjust the level of your input device to prevent clipping at the inputs of your sound card or interface. If you have sound files already in your computer that you’d like to add to your session, select “import audio” from the project menu. You can import several types of audio files, including MP3s. They will automatically import to new tracks. You can name the track from the drop down menu next to the X in the top left of the track. Be careful, clicking the X deletes the track from the project.

Editing tools are similar to many other programs. The control toolbar is fairly standard with the expected tape machine-style transport buttons. Pressing the spacebar will start and stop play, and shift-spacebar (or typing L) will loop-play a selected region.

The selector tool allows you to click and drag over a range of audio in order to act on that section. Moving the cursor over the edges of the highlighted region allows grabbing and extending the length. Pressing Z moves the selection edges to zero-crossings, which reduces the likelihood of clicks at edits.

The envelope tool allows you to write volume envelopes, effectively automating a mix, much like the breakpoint volume automation in ProTools and other programs. Click on the envelope tool, then click on a point along the track to create a node, then click again to make another node and drag the node up or down to adjust the level. Dragging a node up and off the track will delete it. This technique can add a small amount of gain to the track as well as reducing it. Making only one node and dragging it up or down is a fast way to adjust the gain of the entire clip.

For overall gain changes to be applied to the entire track, use the “amplify” or “normalize” commands from the effect menu, or adjust the volume slider at the left of the track display. That slider sets the level for the track, but does not write automation for levels as the project plays, you need the envelope tool for that. Similarly, the pan control, located below the track volume slider on mono tracks, adjusts the track’s overall left-right placement, but does not write automation.

The draw tool acts like the pencil tool in most audio programs, when zoomed down to the waveform level you can re-draw waveform data to eliminate clicks or other distortions.

The zoom tool is pretty obvious, click on it and then drag over a range of a track or tracks to zoom to that level. The magnifying-glass icons on the right hand side of the top of the track window can be used to zoom in or out in steps, to zoom to the selection, or to zoom out to see the entire project at once. If your mouse has a scroll wheel you can use that to zoom as well.

The Time Shift tool acts like the grabber in ProTools, use it to slide audio clips left and right in the timeline. Clips cannot be dragged from track to track, but a clip can be cut or copied and pasted into another track. If you wish to move an entire track, use the “move track up” or “move track down” command in the drop down menu at the left of each track.

The multi-tool mode will change functions depending on where on the track the cursor is located.

The Cut, Copy and Paste functions work as expected, and follow keyboard shortcut conventions as well. The trim to selection command is very handy, highlight the audio you want to save, click the icon with the wave inside the brackets and you’ll delete everything except the selected region. The converse is accomplished by clicking the silence selection icon, it mutes the selected audio, but without moving any other audio regions, leaving a silent space, like hitting “mute” for that time range. All other edits will close up the gap, like working in “shuffle” or “ripple” mode in other editors. There is no “slip mode” so if you wish to eliminate sound without shuffling the adjacent audio together, use “silence selection.”

The bad news is that the time shift tool works on all elements of a track, so there’s no easy way to have a series of short clips in one track and slide them independently along the timeline. You can cut and paste, or “split” audio out to new tracks and slide those elements around, which solves the problem, but that can quickly add up to lots of tracks and make for an impractically busy track view if you have an involved or long project. You can make each track any height you’d like (grab the vertical edges of the track and drag) so once a clip is edited, the track can be reduced in size to get more tracks in view.

If you’d like to separate a region and move it to another track, use the “split” command under the edit menu. Select the audio you’d like to move, and select “split.” Audacity will make a new track with the selected audio in it at its original time.

One way to work is to record or import your narration or actualities into the first track, then go through the track, and when you find audio that you might use, select it and use the “split” command which will drop that section out to a new track. Name that track so you can recall what that clip is. Repeat until you have all your potential clips in separate tracks. You can then go in and fine-tune your edits on each clip, and then drag them around in time to put them in order. You can then delete the original track by clicking the X in the upper left corner of the track, because it only has the audio you didn’t use.

Editing is pretty straightforward: highlight audio you don’t want with the selector tool and press delete. Audacity will shuffle the audio to close the gap. Use the silence selection tool (mute) if you’d like to remove audio without making changes to the timeline. You can always undo your edits, but they don’t remain adjustable after you save, there are no edit marks that you can tweak later, you’d need to step backward undoing all your subsequent edits if you change your mind. So listen carefully and be sure you’re happy with your cuts before you move on. Audacity saves relatively small “.aud” project files with all the editing data, so you can do multiple save-as steps to store different versions of the project, to retain flexibility without duplicating all the large sound files.

Selecting view>>history will show you a list of your actions, and by clicking on the various entries, the edits will revert to that stage of the edit, you can then discard all moves after that point by clicking the discard button. The history list is cleared whenever you save, as in most programs, you cannot undo after a save. Audacity has been known to crash, so it’s a tricky balance to decide when to save, when to save an alternate version, or whether to retain your undo buffer.

Edits are “destructive” in the sense that they are not always editable, but deletions and volume envelopes and effects to not overwrite the original sound files Audacity projects save quickly, as small “.aud” instruction files. When you want to save the audio as a new file, suitable for burning to CD or importing into another project, or FTPing to another location, you must export the project to a .wav or other such file. This will take some time, depending on the size of your project, and will write new audio data. You can export elements of a project by highlighting them and choosing export selected from the file menu.

Once you have your elements edited and on different tracks, you can slide them around with the time shift tool, and adjust their relative volumes with the volume slider at the left of the track window, or with the “amplify” command under the “effects” menu if one consistent level is sufficient. If you need to fade a track up and down, such as ducking music under a voice, use the envelope tool and click on the waveform to make nodes, then drag the nodes up and down to create a volume envelope. These volume adjustments remain adjustable, just grab a node and move it up or down, or drag it completely off the track to delete it altogether.

You can adjust tracks’ left-to-right positions by using the pan slider at the left of the track window. Panning can not be automated at this time.

There are several helpful plug-ins, including a basic compressor, EQ, filters and normalizing. There are many others that should be used with caution, a few of them can give some pretty weird results. I’ve found the “Noise Removal” effect to be pretty ineffective, creating weird artifacts that overwhelmed any noise reduction. But even some of the crazier effects might be helpful in certain circumstances. The implementation of RTAS plug-ins in ProTools is a good deal more flexible, Audacity’s effects need to be applied in non-real-time, one at a time, and once applied there’s no going back short of stepping backward with “undo.”

Once you have a mix of your elements (listen carefully and/or use the metering trick described in the sidebar to make sure your combined levels are healthy but not clipping) you can export your project (under the “file” menu) as a .wav file, or as an MP3, or as Ogg Vorbis, another kind of compressed file. Simply saving your project won’t make a final mixed file, you need to export the project to get a coherent file you can burn to CD or FTP.

If you select all your tracks and choose “quick mix” from the Project menu (analogous to a “bounce” in ProTools, but faster) Audacity will combine all your tracks a single file, mono if you only have mono files, stereo if the project contains stereo files. Sadly the quick mix ignores panning of mono files and simply creates a mono file. Quick mix simplifies your project down to one or two tracks, but you still need to “export as” to use the mixed audio outside of Audacity.

As with any computer program, using keyboard shortcuts will speed up your work. There’s a list of the default shortcuts here: http://audacity.sourceforge.net/manual-1.2/keyboard_shortcuts.html

And you can even create your own custom shortcuts, as described here: http://audacity.sourceforge.net/manual-1.2/keyboard_shortcuts_create.html

So, do you spend the money on a ProTools LE system or use Audacity and buy a nicer microphone? Producer Michael Fitzhugh had these perspectives:

If you’re undertaking a modest endeavor, like editing together some anchors with a few stories for a half-hour show, this style of working is quite manageable. Just remember that, once you save or close your Audacity session, that “undo” history disappears and the current state of the session is “fixed”. If you’re working on an hour-long show including a lot of complex edits, you might consider the advantages of Pro Tools’ non-destructive approach. Since it obsessively records every edit, you can undo individual changes in whichever order you please. This is a fantastic tool to have at your disposal, but comes at cost: namely, greater CPU and RAM usage.

When it’s mixing time, Audacity provides a suite of useful tools. Basic fades can be managed by selecting the audio you wish to fade, then choosing the appropriate fade from the program’s “Effects” menu. More exacting volume control is available by way of the “Envelope Tool”, which allows you to place “breakpoints”, which will help achieve the more subtle ducks and boosts Jeff Towne talks about in “The Mix” . While Audacity doesn’t provide an automatic way to create cross-fades, like Pro Tools, these tools will likely support the majority of your fading needs. Audacity also provides the potentially useful option of “Label Tracks”, which allow you to annotate your audio. The idea here is to allow calling out highlights. While this might be useful in some future version of the program, it has been unstable in all releases of the program to date and should probably be avoided for now.

Michael Fitzhugh

Michael Fitzhugh is senior producer of “On The Record”, a feature program covering life in the San Francisco Bay Area for Berkeley’s KALX.

The program has its quirks and impracticalities, but the price is right (free!), so it can be a good simple way to do some editing. Programs such as ProTools, Adobe Audition (formerly CoolEdit), Nuendo and others offer increased functionality and ease of use, but each of them are more expensive and more difficult to learn. If you are doing a complex production with lots of actualities and clips, Audacity might be impractical, but if you just need to do some simple editing, and mixing of a few tracks, it might be just the right program. And with its constant upgrade schedule, it may become significantly better as time goes by. And it’s heartwarming to think that the developers might actually listen to you if you have suggestions.

Jeff Towne

About
Jeff Towne

Jeff Towne has been producing radio programs since he was a teenager, back then with a portable Marantz cassette deck and a Teac four-track reel-to-reel tape recorder, and now with digital recorders and computer workstations. After honing his broadcasting skills at High School and College radio stations, Jeff has spent over two decades as the producer of the nationally-syndicated radio program Echoes. At Echoes, he has done extensive recording of interviews and musical performances, produced documentary features, and prepared daily programs for satellite and internet distribution. As Transom.org's Tools Editor, Jeff has reviewed dozens of audio recorders, editing software, and microphones, and written guides for recording, editing and mixing audio for radio and the web. Jeff has also taught classes and presented talks on various aspects of audio production. When not tweaking audio files, Jeff can probably be found eating (and compulsively taking pictures) at that little restaurant with the unpronounceable name that you always wondered about.

Comments

  • Jay Allison

    4.26.04

    Audacity

    This topic is for discussing Audacity Editing software. You can read Jeff Towne’s review here:

    http://www.transom.org/tools/editing_mixing/200404.audacity.html

  • Alan

    4.27.04

    Audio Level Meter

    Nice review. It encouraged me to download the most recent version. We’d been using an earlier version for some very basic tasks and latest version does seem to have a lot of improvements.

    I came across this level meter a while back. Haven’t used it but it looks like it might be a useful tool and might be a solution to the level issue you mention in the review, at least for XP users.

    http://www.darkwood.demon.co.uk/PC/meter.html

  • Jeff Towne

    4.27.04

    free/shareware meter

    Alan, thanks, that’s a nice little app for Windows XP users.

    I was skeptical about external metering programs because I couldn’t see a way to integrate them into Audacity’s display. But this meter just reflects the audio input regardless of what other programs are running.

    I don’t see a way to use this to monitor track levels or the mix level on playback within Audacity, but for monitoring your input to the system it’s really good.

    I downloaded the VU style, but the BBC-style PPM meters are good too if you get used to them.

    The developer does ask for a small donation via paypal if you find this useful… be a good citizen!

  • Matt Brubeck

    4.28.04

    Note from an Audacity developer

    Hi, I’m one of the Audacity developers. Thanks for the great review and useful feedback!

    Regarding level meters, our lead developer Dominic Mazzoni just added preliminary metering code to the development version of Audacity last week. It will hopefully be ready for release in just a few months.

  • Jeff Towne

    4.28.04

    Audacity’s future

    Hi Matt,

    that’s excellent news about metering appearing in a future update, thanks! As I mentioned in the article, the fact that you folks respond to user feedback is one of the highest recommendations one can give to a piece of software.

    Please feel free to add any other insights you have here, and encourage any other folks from the Audacity team to drop by and comment as well.

    And most of all, thanks for creating such a cool little app, helping folks to get into audio editing, sometimes for the first time.

    We look forward to seeing how Audacity develops over time!

  • Smriti

    4.30.04

    from CD to audacity

    Wonderful review and great job done audacity team.
    how does one take music from a CD onto audacity for adding on to a program mix? by selecting wave-out and clicking record it records whatevers being played on thru the real-media player but the sound is distorted. is there a way out?

    cheers and thanks
    smiti

  • Matt Brubeck

    4.30.04

    CD to Audacity: CDex

    You can use a separate "CD ripper" program to convert tracks from the CD to WAV or AIFF files on your hard drive. Some free programs include CDex and iTunes:

    http://cdexos.sourceforge.net/

    http://apple.com/itunes/

  • Jeff Towne

    4.30.04

    CD Audio

    thanks Matt,

    that’s what I do, just rip the tracks with a different program, save them in a folder then Projectimport Audio.

    Most CD burning programs will rip tracks onto your hard drive: Toast, Roxio Easy CD Creator, iTunes, so you probably already have something that will do it.

    and it’s way faster than real-time.

  • Smriti

    5.01.04

    Thanks

    Matt, Jeff

    This is precious. thanks. Ive downloaded CDex now.

    thanks
    smriti

  • Smriti

    7.01.04

    PSP vintage meter

    Can the PSP Vintage meter work with Audacity on a windows 98 system? haven’t tried yet but if if anyone knows how to work it do let me know

    thanks
    smriti

  • Alan

    7.08.04

    meters update

    They haven’t made it available for download yet but according to info on the Audactity site:

    VuMeters will appear in Audacity 1.2.2 – complete with both peak and RMS display, peak-hold lines, linear and dB scales, resizable windows, and clipping indicators.

    Also, Import/export FLAC – will appear in Audacity 1.2.2

  • Matt Brubeck

    8.10.04

    Audacity 1.2.2-pre1

    Audacity 1.2.2-pre1 is now available. This is a public test release that includes level meters and other new features:

    http://sourceforge.net/project/shownotes.php?release_id=259392

    You can download Audacity 1.2.2-pre1 here:

    http://sourceforge.net/project/showfiles.php?group_id=6235

    The next stable version (Audacity 1.2.2) will be released later this month.

  • Matt Brubeck

    8.10.04

    Corrected download link

    Sorry, there’s a problem with the download link above. Until it’s fixed, you can download the files here instead:

    http://osdn.dl.sourceforge.net/sourceforge/audacity/

  • Matt Brubeck

    8.11.04

    Official announcement

    The above download link is also broken, but you can now get 1.2.2-pre1 straight from the Audacity web site:

    http://audacity.sourceforge.net/

    (Sorry for posting so many times in a row!)

  • Lee Azzarello

    8.13.04

    Freeware is not Free Software.

    A stupid linguistical point but important nonetheless. Audacity is NOT Freeware, it is Free Software. Freeware is usually a small utility or "crippled" version of a larger commercial package that runs on a non-free system but itself does not cost money. It’s development is not done in the open and source code is not a requirement.

    Audacity is Free Software. It’s a large application that will run fully functional on both commercial systems (like Windows) and free systems (like Linux). It’s source code is also freely available for all programmers that want to view it.

    The main reason why I say this is because the word Freeware has a "low-budget" connotation that implies the program is intentionally not as good as a commercial program. If people are going to use Audacity and support its development they have to feel like it’s more than little Freeware package.

    -lee

  • Mara

    8.18.04

    Two Audacity Questions

    Hi There,

    I have two questions:

    1) I have hooked up my minidisc to my laptop and am inputting sound fine in Audacity. The only problem is that I can’t hear it being inputted. In other words, a wave form will pop up once I press record but then I have to go back to the start of the track (in Audacity) and press play to hear what it is I’ve recorded. Is there a way I can HEAR what’s being inputted AS it’s inputting or do I have to go back and forth.

    2) When I want to input a second clip of audio, it automatically generates a new track. Is there a way to input audio into the same track I’m working it or do I always have to cut and paste? It’s really frustrating having to work with all of these different little clips in lots of tracks. I’d prefer to add a new clip to the end of my already inputted track.

    Thanks,
    Mara

  • Mara

    8.18.04

    PS about 2 questions above

    I should mention that I did enable "Playthrough" in my preferences and still it doesn’t play while recording.

  • Matt Brubeck

    8.26.04

    Audacity 1.2.2

    Audacity 1.2.2 was released today.

    http://audacity.sourceforge.net/

  • Jeff Towne

    10.21.04

    Audio Playthrough

    The newest version of Audacity seems to have fixed this "playthrough" problem, and indeed I can now hear my audio as I’m recording it.

    This has been an irritating problem with many programs, I’m glad to see it clearing up.

    And as has been mentioned in this topic a few times, it’s worth downloading the upgrade just for the meters, which are pretty good!

    As for Audacity creating a new track for each clip you record, yes, sadly that’s the way it works, I don’t know of any way around it. You would neeed to cut and paste clips into a single track, and delete the empty ones, to clean things up.

    But despite the clutter, leaving the cips on individual tracks makes it easier to move them around in time. You can reduce the track height on tracks you’re not using, just to clean-up your visual field a bit…

  • David Fisher

    1.20.05

    An alternative

    Goldwave may be a viable alternative for those needing a good audio editor. While there is a small charge for the software, payment is voluntary. It’s very happy on Windows and not at all difficult to learn.

    http://www.goldwave.com

  • poppy

    4.09.05

    it just quits!!

    hei…you all are doing really well im glad to know that this type of exchange and aid is available…

    im having problems…ive gotten most of my tracks in 9 all together totaling about and hour…these are all interview tracks…i had decided to really edit the ums and unimportant things from these 9 chunks but now everytime i try and cut a section or silence a section the program quits…what am i doing wrong? what can i do, what can i do?

    thank you…
    poppities

  • Scott Lewis

    8.04.05

    Tremendous hiss

    Whenever I start to "record" on Audacity, or Peak for that matter, from my mini-disc I get tons of loud hiss even before the audio from the md starts playing. It continues unabated once the audio kicks in. I’ve tried everything I can think of but can’t lick this problem which is occuring on both my iMac and Powerbook.

  • j-dog

    9.12.05

    basic questions

    Hi,
    I’m try mark possible in and out points to selects that I’d like to copy and paste onto a separate working track, but haven’t figure out how to do this. (In Final Cut Pro, this is done by simply hitting command I and O for in and out markers, respectively.)

    Also, I’ve notice that when I cut and paste selects to a working track, they’re automatically slipped together. Is there any way around this? It makes organizing selects rather confusing since they’re fused together.

    Finally, is there any way to assign names to these individual selects? I know, I’m thinking like Final Cut Pro, but it seems like there are fairly basic features.

    Thanks,

    j-dog

  • j-dog

    9.12.05

    Oh and…

    I know this is a bit of a long shot, but is there any way to slow down the play back a tick? It would just be a bit easier to mark in/out points, etc.

    Thanks!

  • adam norman

    12.06.05

    1.3 is out! And it rocks!

    The early version (still possibly buggy) of 1.3 is out–and for us, this is as good as a 2.0. (I mean by that this it has big changes).

    Audacity can now have more than one clip per track. This was, I think, its single biggest limitation since the VU incident of 2003. Now it seems ready for the big leagues.

    A.

  • sarah bromer

    4.01.06

    static every 5 sec w/audacity and imic

    when i record in audacity with my imic, there is a little staticy blip every five seconds or so. it is there when i’m importing sound from my minidisk but also when i just hit record on audacity and don’t play any song at all. i.e., on my flatline there are static blips.
    any suggestions?
    skb

  • John Ryan

    4.10.06

    Audacity static

    Are you trying to input stereo audio into one track? I had a similar problem with my iMic/Audacity/PowerBook/Minidisc set up, and it seemed to go away once I switched to stereo (Under Audacity preferences, audio i/o, number of tracks). As for using mono tracks in Audacity, I would like to but am stumped.
    john ryan
    seattle

  • John Ryan

    4.18.06

    Audacity resources

    You might also check out:
    http://audacityteam.org/wiki/index.php?title=MacBugs#Griffin_iMic_problem

    and the general "wiki" of tips on using audacity:
    http://audacityteam.org/wiki/index.php?title=Main_Page

  • Ros Oberlyn

    10.14.06

    Audacity on macs

    I teach introductory radio reporting to our college journalism students in a lab of Mac G5s. We recently switched to Audacity. It works well on my home G5. It has all the features we need. After an upgrade of the college lab, however, Audacity started crashing nonstop. Our college computer experts say Audacity is widely known to be unstable on the latest version of OSX and say they can’t make it work. Are others experiencing this? Anyone know how I can troubleshoot this? If not, what other program is my best bet? We don’t have the budget for Pro Tools. Multi-track editing on Cacophony is a problem. Advice, please. Ros Oberlyn, Langara College, Vancouver B.C.

  • maxdisbeaux

    12.31.06

    Problems with audacity

    Hello,

    I am a young french radio producer and I discovered your website and audacity through the International feature conference webblog. Thanks a lot and congratulations for the quality of your papers!!!
    I was fully satisfied with Audacity for small editing work till yesterday: I wanted to continue an editing I made a few days ago but it was impossible for me to listen to what I have done. I could see on my screen the graphs of the sounds but not listen to it! It is a audacity project with 10 tracks for 30 minutes. Did you ever experience the same? Do you have a clue of what happen?
    Thanks a lot for your answer and a wish a very good new year!
    Max Disbeaux
    maxdisbeaux@yahoo.fr

  • C A

    1.01.07

    check this out…

    there is a lot of information on this topic but you might go directly to the source…

    http://audacity.sourceforge.net/about/

  • emncaity

    3.11.07

    Windows Media files won’t play at normal speed

    Anybody else seen this happen? I’m trying to work with a couple of Windows Media files, but they won’t play at normal speed in Audacity. I’ve poked around everywhere I can think of on the software, tweaked settings everywhere I know to tweak them, and still nothing. Tried importing the sound to an existing file, tried opening the file as it was. Same result. Any help?

  • Vaughan Johnson

    5.21.07

    Audacity updates

    I just got a link to this article of Jeff’s. Want to let you all know that the shortcomings he described have been addressed. Audacity has had I/O VU meters since version 1.2.2, and the latest stable version is 1.2.6. Clips within tracks are supported in the latest development version (1.3.3, released just last week, http://audacity.sourceforge.net/download/). Lots of other updates, and we have lots of online documentation (http://audacity.sourceforge.net/help/) and forums (http://audacityteam.org/forum/) to help with any questions or problems, as well as the Wiki (http://audacityteam.org/wiki) that John Ryan referred to earlier. Thanks, Jeff!

  • gd

    9.12.12

    any updates on this software? I tested this a while back and was impressed. I would like to try any new updates you have available