Best Free Soft­ware Au­dac­ity 2.2.0


Computer Active (UK) - - Contents - What you need: Win­dows Vista, 7, 8, 8.1 or 10

Au­dac­ity has long been our favourite tool for edit­ing au­dio files. Whether you’re record­ing live mu­sic or dic­ta­tion, con­vert­ing vinyl records and tapes to dig­i­tal for­mats or just cut­ting and mix­ings sounds for fun, Au­dac­ity of­fers al­most ev­ery­thing you’ll ever need. It pro­vides stu­dio-level sound, sup­port for all the ma­jor au­dio for­mats and pro­fes­sional multi-track edit­ing tools – all for free. The re­cent ver­sion (2.2.0) brings a wel­come in­jec­tion of new fea­tures, plus a whole new look.

Those who have been us­ing Au­dac­ity for a while will be re­lieved to hear that the de­vel­op­ers haven’t al­tered the pro­gram’s in­ter­face too rad­i­cally. It still looks and works like Au­dac­ity, though there have been a num­ber of im­prove­ments. You can now choose from four themes, in­clud­ing Dark and High Con­trast. Some of the menus have been stream­lined, and new key­board short­cuts are avail­able for work­ing with clips, in­clud­ing Alt+p for se­lect­ing the pre­vi­ous clip in a se­quence and Alt+n for se­lect­ing the next one. Sig­nif­i­cantly, sup­port for Midi files has been added, mean­ing you can now play­back them from within your projects, with­out the need for ex­tra soft­ware.

If you’ve ever found it hard to wrap your head around the way Au­dac­ity works, you’ll be pleased to learn that the pro­gram’s help files and man­ual have also had a ma­jor over­haul. You’ll now find sev­eral new ques­tion-mark icons dot­ted around the pro­gram, each re­veal­ing in­struc­tions for the spe­cific tools you’re us­ing. The pro­gram’s on­line man­ual has also been up­dated with more im­ages and bet­ter nav­i­ga­tion.

Download Au­dac­ity from the link above – we rec­om­mend the in­staller op­tion that in­cludes help files. The file is safe and there are no ex­tras to watch out for when you in­stall it. We also sug­gest down­load­ing and in­stalling some of Au­dac­ity’s op­tional plug-ins – specif­i­cally the LAME MP3 en­coder, which al­lows you to ex­port MP3 files.

1 To en­able Au­dac­ity’s new themes, click Edit, Pref­er­ences, In­ter­face then se­lect the one you want in the Theme drop­down menu. Se­lect Cus­tom here to cre­ate your own theme (see www.snipca. com/26329). 2 In the same screen, it’s worth tick­ing the box next to ‘Ex­tra menus’. This turns on Au­dac­ity’s new ex­tended menu bar, re­veal­ing two hidden menus of tools, Ext-bar and Ext-com­mand. 3 By de­fault, click­ing Record now con­tin­ues record­ing in the cur­rently se­lected track. To start record­ing in a new track in­stead, hold down Shift (the Record but­ton will show a down ar­row), then click Record. 4 Feel­ing stuck? Most tools and boxes now fea­ture new ques­tion-mark icons like this – click­ing it will take you di­rectly to the rel­e­vant sec­tion of the pro­gram’s in­struc­tion man­ual. 3 1 2 4

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