Audacity is the name of a free digital audio editing software package
made distributed by Sourceforge. It is distributed under Version 2 of GPL without exceptions. It does require an .mp3 plug in to generate mp3 files. According to the Sourceforge website:
Audacity was started by Dominic Mazzoni and Roger Dannenberg in the fall of 1999 at Carnegie Mellon University. It was released as open-source software at SourceForge.net in May of 2000…
Audacity is a free, easy-to-use and multilingual audio editor and recorder for Windows, Mac OS X, GNU/Linux and other operating systems. You can use Audacity to:
- Record live audio.
- Convert tapes and records into digital recordings or CDs.
- Edit Ogg Vorbis, MP3, WAV or AIFF sound files.
- Cut, copy, splice or mix sounds together.
- Change the speed or pitch of a recording.
The full list of features is available here.
So, I have download a copy and installed it on my test machine in the basement (hardware requirements here). My test machine is a stripped out P4 2.4 GHz Windows XP box that I can isolate from the network and experiment with. On that machine with a digigram VX-880 soundcard, Audacity did very well. I did not record multi track, but with 24 bit sound sampled at 48 KHz, the computer kept up nicely. The basic editing features are intuitive and easy to manipulate with mouse and keypad.
For a quick to install downloadable program, it does very well. Does it do everything like Adobe Audition or other professional editing software suite does? No. But for the price, it can’t be beat.