Although Macs come with some decent audio software such as GarageBand, Audacity goes beyond the Apple-designed app in many ways. The one area it isn't so successful in is its user interface, which can be overwhelming.
As you launch Audacity, you'll be greeted by a pop-up window that leads you to multiple Help files. You'll need these files if you want to use all the great features that the small application has in it. You'll likely be overwhelmed by the number of tools that are available, but you'll get used to them as soon as you start reading the Audacity Wiki. It is available in multiple languages, which we consider a great addition to the software.
Although the interface needs some work to make it more user-friendly, all the basic editing tools are available and visible at first glance. You will need to spend some time playing around with the app before you can master the program, even after reading the Help files, but we found it was worth the time investment. People who hunger for special effects will have a long drop-down list to choose from, and depending on your Mac's performance, the app will apply those filters in no time. We also liked the export options, which are more than GarageBand offers.
Overall, we liked this speedy little app, but novice users might not be willing to spend the time necessary to get up to speed using Audacity. For more-advanced users, we recommend giving this app a try.
Audacity is a free audio editor. You can record sounds, play sounds, import and export WAV, AIFF, and MP3 files, and more. Use it to edit your sounds using Cut, Copy and Paste (with unlimited Undo), mix tracks together, or apply effects to your recordings. It also has a built-in amplitude envelope editor, a customizable spectrogram mode and a frequency analysis window for audio analysis applications. Built-in effects include Bass Boost, Wahwah, and Noise Removal, and it also supports VST plug-in effects.
What's new in this version:
- Keyboard Preferences: Shortcuts for Generators, Effects and Analyzers were not exported. All imported shortcut changes were discarded.
- Equalization curves were corrupted in Graphic EQ mode after switching to/from Draw Curves or after running the effect then reopening it.
- Change Pitch displayed corrupted values when reducing pitch or editing "from" Frequency. Detection was very inaccurate at high sample rates.
- Bass Boost no longer clips if th... See all new features »