Audacity is the name of a free digital audio editing software package distributed by Sourceforge. It is distributed under Version 2 of GPL without exceptions. It does require a .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 downloaded 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 a 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.