Audacity is audio recording software that allows you to record and export audio on your computer. It’s free, which makes it an attractive option for people on a budget. But you might be wondering how good can free audio editing software really get.
Audacity is good for recording music and vocals, even though it’s free. It’s a competent audio recording and editing software with many features. It’s also very user-friendly and easy to use, making it an excellent choice for beginners.
In the rest of this article, I’ll go into detail about the pros and cons of using Audacity as your digital audio workstation, some of the features of Audacity that make it a capable audio recording software, and why it’s so easy to use for beginners and experts alike.
Table of Contents
- The Good Things About Recording in Audacity
- The Bad Things About Recording Music And Vocals Using Audacity
- What Makes Audacity So Easy To Use
The Good Things About Recording in Audacity
Audacity offers a surprising amount of audio recording features. It can also do some things that you won’t see in some paid audio recording software.
You Can Add Effects and Edit Audio
Audacity has all the basics for editing audio.
This allows changing pitch and tempo, background noise reduction, panning, volume adjustments, and more.
However, it also allows you to add effects such as reverb, EQ, echo, compression, and delay. The best part is that you don’t have to download any plugins—Audacity already has a stock of all the fundamental effects.
You can also edit samples in Audacity, which is something that other digital audio workstations may not allow you to do with the same degree of freedom.
It’s Easy to Use
Audacity is extremely straightforward and user-friendly.
Learning to use Audacity takes no time at all, and once you know how to use it, the simple user interface will have you recording and editing audio effortlessly.
The simplicity of Audacity makes it a top choice for simple tasks like editing or splitting certain types of audio file, like WAV files and AIFF audio files. This is another feature that sets Audacity apart from other software.
Audacity Can Record High-Quality Audio
Some may think that because Audacity is free, it produces low-quality recordings.
That is not true: Audacity is fully capable of producing high-quality audio recordings that sound crisp and clear. When recording audio, the software you use has little impact on the sound quality. It’s your hardware and your recording environment that significantly affects your sound quality.
When I mention hardware, I’m mainly referring to your microphone and your audio interface. Your microphone may also need an amplifier, but this won’t affect your sound quality as much.
But where you’re recording also matters.
For example, if you’re recording in a small room with a lot of unwanted reverberation, you might want to treat the walls with acoustic panels or any other sound absorbent material.
It’s Free and Open Source
This might come as a given—after all, if you’re using Audacity, it’s probably because you don’t want to spend too much money on a DAW.
But Audacity isn’t just free—it’s also open source. That means anyone can contribute to its development. This is what has allowed Audacity to gather a strong following and get so many features.
Ability to use external plugins and virtual instruments
You probably know about VSTs and Virtual Studio Technologies.
These devices have become huge components in contemporary music production, from virtual instruments to fully interactive effects.
This will help to bring the effects you have to the next level. Audacity can also support any 32bit VST plugins. However, they won’t be capable of supporting advanced VSTi technology and so here we begin getting into the stuff that Audacity cannot.
You can use Audacity to record multiple tracks. These audio tracks will be kept separate from one another and can be independently edited.
The Bad Things About Recording Music And Vocals Using Audacity
While Audacity is capable of recording and editing audio, it is limited in some of its abilities.
It is made to be simple and easy to use, and it accomplishes that goal, but some music producers need more complexity.
It’s Lacking in Features
While some regard Audacity’s user interfaces as simple and easy to use, others describe it as dull and lacking in features. For some, the simplicity of Audacity is a drawback of the software, not a benefit.
Audacity is simple to the point that it is almost rudimentary. You can record music audio, edit and add effects to that audio, split audio files, and export an audio track—but that’s about all you can do.
It Collects Data
Audacity has also had a reputation as spyware.
This isn’t true, but it does collect some of your data while you use it. It will know your operating system and version, IP address, crash reports, and more.
This is pretty innocuous in terms of applications collecting data, but some users still don’t like it.
It Can Be Glitchy
Audacity can also be glitchy and freeze up occasionally.
If you haven’t saved your work, you can lose some parts of the project you were working on. This can cause a lot of frustration, especially if you have to re-record any instruments or vocals.
What Makes Audacity So Easy To Use
Even people who have never used audio recording and audio editing software before can jump right into Audacity and begin to create professional-sounding recordings in a relatively short amount of time.
This is especially true when you compare it to fully-fledged DAWs like Ableton Live or FL Studio, which require many hours of learning and practicing before you can call yourself proficient in them.
The straightforward user interface makes Audacity music production easy for anyone, from a professional music producer to a beginner just recording their first song.
While it can get more complicated the deeper you dive into the software, getting started is extremely simple.
The buttons to start and stop recording are easy to spot. It’s easy to select your microphone or instrument as the input source for the recording software. Once the audio has been recorded, it is not difficult to edit and add effects.
Once the effects are to your liking, exporting the recording into a playable audio file is also simple.
Audacity is easy for beginners to learn music production and to use and a great tool for doing some quick, simple editing for professional music producers, or just some basic background noise reduction.
Audacity gets a bad reputation because it is free, and people assume it must be of low quality.
In truth, Audacity is a very capable and easy-to-use audio recording and editing software.
It has many great music production features for beginners to learn and explore but can seem limited to more experienced music producers.
Some producers find that they ‘outgrow’ Audacity and move on to other digital audio workstations that are more complicated but also more rich and robust in terms of features and customizability.
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