Audacity audio editor updated to v2.3.2, now comes with LAME mp3 encoder


The free cross-platform Audacity multi-track audio editor and recorder software has been updated to version 2.3.2 for Windows, macOS and Linux. The updated version now comes with the LAME mp3 encoder. The LAME library, which is needed for exporting MP3 audio files, is now built-in to Audacity on Windows and macOS as a part of […]

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Audacity audio recording & editing software updated to v2.2.2

Audacity 2.2.0The free, open source, cross-platform Audacity audio software for multi-track recording and editing has been updated to 2.2.2. The update includes dropout detection, improved zooming and vertical zooming changes, theme tweaks, and more. Audacity is a free, easy-to-use, multi-track audio editor and recorder for Windows, Mac OS X, GNU/Linux and other operating systems. The interface […]

Audacity audio software updated to v2.2.0 incl. new interface themes

Audacity 2.2.0 lightThe Audacity open source cross-platform audio software for multi-track recording and editing has been updated to version 2.2.0. The update includes new interface themes, MIDI playback, and many other improvements and bug fixes. Changes in Audacity 2.2.0 Four supplied user interface themes, and customizability of themes for advanced users (thanks to James Crook and the […]

Free Audacity Audio Editor Gets Spectral Edits, Live Plug-ins


Dedicated wave editor Audacity has found enduring popularity, as a free and open source tool for working with sound. It runs on Linux, Windows, and OS X – with support for older Mac operating systems, which these days is sometimes tough to find. But just being free and open isn’t reason enough to use something, particularly when a lot of DAWs do a pretty decent job of wave editing.

This latest version of Audacity, 2.1.0, comes with some additions that might make it worth revisiting.

First, there’s spectral editing. In most software, audio editing is performed by time only. Here, you can drag over particular frequency ranges to select just those portions, for audio repair or simply highlighting certain portions of sonic content. That’s been available in some commercial tools, but it’s not normally found in DAWs and now you get it for free. See the spectral selection additions to the manual.

Second, you can now preview VST and Audio Unit effects (plus the open LADSPA format) in real-time. That’s useful for making Audacity an effect host, and can combine nicely with chains and batch processing. That is, you can preview effects live to adjust them (as you can do in a DAW) and then batch-process a bunch of sound (which your DAW can’t do easily). Plug-in hosting in general is improved, including the ability to work with multiple VST and add any effects to chains.

There’s also a new Noise Reduction effect.

Audacity still isn’t the prettiest software ever (ahem) – aesthetically and functionally, it seems the UI is due for a reboot. But I know it’s an important tool, especially for musicians on a budget. And this version is worth adding to your toolset.

Check out the Audacity download page:

(Manual links there are broken as I write this, so you can use my links above for that.)

Also worth considering is ocenaudio (note “ocen,” not “ocean”!):

It isn’t as full-featured as Audacity – real-time effects preview is limited to VST, for instance, and the spectral view is not editable. It’s also free-as-in-beer; the code is closed. But the UI is substantially cleaner, and it has some nice features like multi-edit support. Thanks to Tom D in comments for the tip.

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Droning at night (Moog Slim Phatty + CP-251 + MF101/102/(2x)107)

Background details: Hello ! My name is Frederic Gerchambeau. I have made this movie and this music. The music has been made in one take using a Moog Slim Phatty, a CP-251, an MF-101, an MF-102, two MF-107, Plogue Bidule and Audacity. Enjoy !

Four Analog Promenades : 3-Dredging the time

Four Analog Promenades: This is the third video from Frederic Gerchambeau featuring analog synths Korg MS-20 + Analogue Solutions Telemark + Plogue Bidule + Audacity 1 and 4 are played by hands, 2 and 3 are played by the machines. Every videos have been made on the august 25th 2012 in Nantes, France. 1-Dreamlike prayer […]

Four Analog Promenades

Four Analog Promenades Korg MS-20 + Analogue Solutions Telemark + Plogue Bidule + Audacity 1 and 4 are played by hands, 2 and 3 are played by the machines. Every videos have been made on the august 25th 2012 in Nantes, France. 1-Dreamlike prayer 2-Drifting logic 3-Dredging the time 4-Driven by the sun “Hello ! […]

BIAS, Makers of Peak, Cease Operations; Mac Audio Editor Alternatives

Remember me? Peak in its last release had a cleaner look, but I imagine something like this is what popped to mind when you heard Peak. Photo (CC-BY) Chas Redmond.

Peak is dead; long live Peak.

Small music tool makers don’t always last forever, the victim of any number of circumstances that can cause them to fold. There do seem to be a lot of casualties of favorite Mac waveform editors over the years, however. To that group, you can add perhaps the most famous and long-lasting Mac audio editor of them all: BIAS’ Peak. BIAS’ site now redirects to a short message:

BIAS, Inc. has ceased operations. We would like to thank all the BIAS customers and friends for the opportunity to have served the audio community for over 16 amazing years.

The BIAS Authorization Manager Server is functioning for authorizing and de-authorizing BIAS products at this time.

Follow these links to access the FAQ and updates areas of the BIAS site.

Peak joins Apple’s own Soundtrack Pro and (arguably) WaveBurner and, once upon a time, Macromedia SoundEdit, along with tools like Digi’s Sound Designer II and TC Electronic’s Spark. (While not ever officially discontinued, Apple first moved Soundtrack Pro to the Logic suite, then quietly eliminated it entirely when Logic Studio moved to the App Store; it can be considered “missing and presumed deceased.” Macromedia SoundEdit 16 can be traced back to the first popular tool in this category).

Oh, yeah, and perhaps because it was so unsurprising as news, I missed the fact that Adobe killed its little-used, generally-disliked (ahem) Soundbooth editor at the end of April. (I do have a soft spot for Soundbooth; it had some great ideas, but after an initial release seemed unsure of what its direction and audience were.)

For old time’s sake, here are the two most recent reviews in Macworld, written by me:
Review: Peak Pro 6 [2009]
Review: Peak Pro XT 5 [2006]
Side note: time flies.

That’s the bad news. The good news is, the waveform editor is still very much alive on the Mac. And there’s still something to be said for dedicated waveform editors, even when multi-purpose DAWs share some of the same functionality. If you’re just editing individual audio files, if you’re batch processing, if you’re working with complex asset management, if you’re performing tasks like CD mastering, very often these tools provide unmatched capabilities or simply speed up workflows.

Here are some of the tools still at your disposal on the Mac (to say nothing of Windows and Linux):

  • Audacity, which recently got some major updates [free, open source]
  • Felt Tip Sound Studio. This is literally the first tool (alongside SoundHack) I ever used on Mac OS X, back when … it didn’t run anything else. Today, it’s a remarkably mature, elegant, and easy-to-use audio tool, and it’s just US$29.99 on the Mac App Store.
  • Amadeus Pro II is $59.99, also on the Mac App Store. If you haven’t used it lately, it’s gotten a complete overhaul and cleaner, prettier, more usable UI. With multitrack editing, batch processing, and repair, it does what Peak did but often more easily and at a fraction of the price. It also admirably handles just about any file you can throw at it.
  • Audiofile Engineering Wave Editor: $79 buys you some seriously-powerful features, from iZotope sound engine and advanced sample rate conversion to mastering features, unique “smart edit” and layer-based editing, and others.
  • Adobe Audition survives even as Soundbooth is gone. It brings the best-loved editing power of the Windows version, at last, to the Mac. And true to its lineage with sibling Premiere, there’s lots of video-style editing and post-production power. You can even play HD video right in the editor without transcoding, and you get session management, broadcast-compliance, and speech alignment features that will appeal to video workflows. There’s quite a lot more in Audition, too, making it practically a DAW. And you can pick it up as part of a CS suite, including Adobe’s recently-introduced subscription-based pricing.
  • Updated – Twisted Wave. Reader Daniel Courville suggests this wave editor, with its own lovely features like automatic silence detection, effects stacks, metadata editing, high-quality DIRAC stretching, clip lists, and more. And very cool: it runs not only on Mac desktop, but on an iPad or in your browser, too. $79, with a trial available.
  • Steinberg WaveLab I nearly forgot about, as its entrance on the Mac is fairly recent. Its interface is easily the least-friendly of any of the options here, but some swear by its industrial-strength mastering capabilities.

Audition and Wave Editor also have free trials if you want to, um, audition them first.

There are times when editing and batch views like the ones above are just the right tool for the job for many users. Pictured: Amadeus Pro II.

In fact, for all the recent losses, I don’t think there’s ever been a time at which the Mac had this many choices, software this mature, or wave editors this affordable. So, while I’m sure some Peak lovers will miss this tool, I think the platform looks bright. If users of any of these tools would like to talk about your workflows or other tips or impressions, please get in touch.

Thanks to Øivind Idsø [SoundCloud] for both the heads-up and the idea for this story.

Fazit 2011: Musiksoftware

01 Ableton Live
02 Traktor
03 Logic
04 Reason
05 iTunes
06 Cubase
07 Maschine
08 Komplete 8
09 FL Studio
10 Audacity

Alles gut und schön, aber wir wünschen uns für das Resumé 2012 eine andere Bestenliste. Zur Abwechslung. Wäre doch toll. Die Zeichen stehen doch eh weltweit auf Revolution. Ableton führt eure Charts seit Jahren unangefochten an, da bewegt sich rein gar nichts. Der Paradigmen-Wechsel in der Musikproduktion fährt auch 2011 auf der Überholspur: Traktor ist schon längst keine reine DJ-Lösung mehr, dafür sind die Möglichkeiten auch einfach zu vielfältig. Die Grenze zwischen Track, Set, Komposition, Mashup und Remix verschwimmt weiter, das bringt Spaß im Studio und auf der Bühne. Nur weiter so. Denn musikalisch war 2011 ein gutes Jahr, für die kommenden zwölf Monate erwarten wir da keine Änderung. Bei der letzten Auswertung orakelten wir noch, dass wir hier und heute deutlich mehr iPad-Apps unter euren Favoriten sehen würden. Das ist nicht eingetreten, trotz neuem Tablet mit Doppelprozessor und zahlreichen Versuchen, Hardware-Klassiker auf die Apple-Hardware zu hieven, genau wie Controller-Lösungen. Wir besprechen das erneut in einem Jahr. Bis dahin werden wir noch viele Zeilen Code begutachten.

A bit of sky (Plogue Bidule, Sonigen Modular VSTi and Audacity)

YouTube Uploaded by GruithuisenCityMan on Oct 2, 2011″Hello ! My name is Frederic Gerchambeau. I have made this movie and this music. The music has been made using Plogue Bidule, The Sonigen Modular VSTi and Audacity. Enjoy ! am a (proud !) member of the french association PWM (Patch Work Music) :http://