Best Free Software Audacity 2.2.0
AUDIO EDITING SOFTWARE
www.snipca.com/26327 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