How to: Audacity

Over the past few weeks, we have repeatedly featured tools and apps in this section that make audios and podcasts comparatively easy, fast and mobile. The problem is obvious: All these apps are easy to learn and use. But they are naturally limited in their possibilities. Conversely, professional editing programs have two disadvantages. Mostly they are complex and have many features that you do not even need as a beginner. In addition, they are often neatly expensive.

Audacity is a good compromise in such cases: better and more feature-rich than mobile apps, yet still reasonably clear and furthermore free of charge.
Farther? This is because Audacity is old hat. The software is one of the veterans of high-quality freeware in the net. However, she has not lost her entitlement until today.

First of all, even a confession: I have not used Audacity for a comparatively long time. Because for a long time I had the impression that the software had fallen a little bit out of time. Well, a little bit dusty, it still looks good, but you should not go for outward appearances. What bothered me more: With the mp3 format Audacity could not handle the year 2019 (seriously!) Reasonable! you had to install a comparatively inconvenient additional file. This had to do with missing rights and patents, but was still a source of nuisance to the user.

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This changed with the release of the new version in summer. This is – astonishingly enough – the most important news: Audacity can play mp3!

What can Audacity do?

Now that this is clear and Audacity Despiseers have one less argument for their contempt, we can summarize what the tool can do. In a nutshell, everything you need and can have for proper audio production. Anyone who has ever worked with an audio editing program will quickly get used to it. Also audio beginners should get along well.

At least I still need to get used to a few things. For example, Audacity automatically creates its own soundtrack for each imported file, but that’s just fine … but good, you can correct that with two mouse clicks.

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As you can see: Audacity could use a few designers, which bring the tool in an appealing look and slightly easier operation. I feel at the sight always back in the year 2007. But that’s more of a blemish.

Otherwise the software offers solid craftsmanship. In contrast to the mobile apps, you can edit audio tracks in detail here. There are a sufficient number of filters and effects and also ways to improve recordings again, for example, by suppressing noise at least. Audacity masters all popular formats when exporting, so you can do all the steps right through to the broadcast-capable file.

What can not Audacity do?

Some things that only real professionals need, you will search in vain for Audacity. These are usually just things you do not need for “normal” podcasts or other audio contributions. From that point on, you’ll probably never notice their absence anyway. What bothers me the most: Unfortunately, Audacity does not have a function that can be used to adjust the different volumes of different soundtracks. This would be especially helpful if, for example, you have different input sources for podcasts. With a program like Adobe Audition, I can do that comparatively easily with two mouse clicks.

One can accomplish that also with Audacity, unfortunately however only comparatively cumbersome. So, if I should like something for the next update: that’s it! The big advantage of Audacity is therefore its small drawback at the same time: clarity and usability are great, but set the scope of the tool natural limits.

Jakubetz recommends

Audacity is a powerful tool that leaves little to be desired even for semi-professionals. Especially if you are not sure if you want to deepen the topic of audio, it is a very good start. It costs nothing, you are fast in the topic – and if you really want to make elaborate professional productions, you can still change. For tools such as Steinberg or Adobe, but it is quickly quite expensive.

You might also be interested in this: Audio is the future

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