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Audacity is a free, easy-to-use audio editor and recorder.

Audacity is cross-platform, using the wxWidgets software library to provide a similar graphical user interface on several different operating systems.

It is currently used in the OCR National Level 2 ICT course for the sound creation unit.

Audacity won the 2007 Community Choice Award for Best Project for Multimedia.

 Audacity 2.1.1

Free to download



James Crook, Vaughan Johnson, Dominic Mazzoni, Markus Meyer, Leland Lucius, Martyn Shaw (lead developers)


System Requirements
300 MHz processor

Audacity Documentation, FAQ
, Wiki, Tutorials

Selected Reviews:
Softpedia, PC Magazine

Features include:


Audacity can record live audio through a microphone or mixer, or digitize recordings from cassette tapes, vinyl records, or minidiscs. With some sound cards, it can also capture streaming audio.

  • Record from microphone, line input, or other sources.
  • Dub over existing tracks to create multi-track recordings.
  • Record up to 16 channels at once (requires multi-channel hardware).
  • Level meters can monitor volume levels before, during, and after recording.

Import and Export

Import sound files, edit them, and combine them with other files or new recordings. Export your recordings in several common file formats.

  • Import and export WAV, AIFF, AU, and Ogg Vorbis files
  • Import MPEG audio (including MP2 and MP3 files) with libmad
  • Export MP3s with the optional LAME encoder library
  • Create WAV or AIFF files suitable for burning to CD
  • Import and export all file formats supported by libsndfile
  • Open raw (headerless) audio files using the “Import Raw” command
  • Full support for FLAC
  • Fast "On-Demand" import of WAV/AIFF files if read directly from source
  • Optional FFmpeg library for import/export of AC3/M4A/WMA and import of audio from video files.
  • Note: Audacity does not currently support WMA, AAC, or most other proprietary or restricted file formats


  • Easy editing with Cut, Copy, Paste, and Delete
  • Use unlimited Undo (and Redo) to go back any number of steps
  • Very fast editing of large files
  • Edit and mix an unlimited number of tracks
  • Use the Drawing tool to alter individual sample points
  • Fade the volume up or down smoothly with the Envelope tool


  • Change the pitch without altering the tempo, or vice-versa
  • Remove static, hiss, hum, or other constant background noises
  • Alter frequencies with Equalization, FFT Filter, and Bass Boost effects
  • Adjust volumes with Compressor, Amplify, and Normalize effects
  • Other built-in effects include:
    • Echo
    • Phaser
    • Wahwah
    • Reverse
    • Vocal Remover

Sound Quality

  • Record and edit 16-bit, 24-bit, and 32-bit (floating point) samples
  • Record at up to 96 KHz
  • Sample rates and formats are converted using high-quality resampling and dithering
  • Mix tracks with different sample rates or formats, and Audacity will convert them automatically in realtime


  • Add new effects with LADSPA plugins
  • Audacity includes some sample plugins by Steve Harris
  • Write new effects with the built-in Nyquist programming language


  • Spectrogram mode for visualizing frequencies
  • “Plot Spectrum” command for detailed frequency analysis
  • Improved label tracks with Sync-Lock Tracks feature in the Tracks Menu. Multiple clips per track. Tracks and selections can be fully manipulated using the keyboard. Many more keyboard shortcuts
  • Device Toolbar to manage inputs and outputs
  • Automatic Crash Recovery

Return to Make Music Home Page | Return to Audio Home Page

Audacity also features in our 'Linux Equivalents to Windows Software' section. The category selector below allows you to filter the different types of software included in that separate article.


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Last Updated Sunday, July 19 2015 @ 09:43 AM EDT

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