One of my favorite free music editing software applications is Audacity. It is one of the easiest applications to run and can be installed on Windows, Mac’s and Linux.
When I was first introduced to Audacity I didn’t think too much about the program. It did have the normal multi-tracks most music editing software programs had, but I didn’t realize just how many features it included until I really started to play around with the package.
If you are familiar with Microsoft Word or Excel then using Audacity doesn’t get much simpler to use than them. If you know how to drag and drop in files and edit via cut, copy and paste, then you will have the basics nailed. It translates these features seamlessly which means that any novice would be able to start producing sounds right away.
Importing and Exporting
Once you have completed your music masterpiece you will want to export your creation to a CD or mp3 player so that you can take it to a producer or so your family and friends can listen to it. Audacity comes with the ability to import and export mp3’s, wav, aiff and au, which means your music can be played on just about any digital audio device.
If you have some old audio that has a lot of background noise or maybe hissing, humming or static, then Audacity can remove these annoying sounds. Other effects include a built-in Echo, Phaser and Wah wah. You can also change the pitch of a song without altering the tempo. Try doing that on your grandfathers old turn table.
Most computers these days come with a microphone jack. Audacity allows you to record from the jack point, which means that you can literally record any audio you plug into the jack point, whether that be a keyboard, an electric guitar, a drum machine or a microphone. Volume levels can be adjusted before, during or after recording as well.
Back in the day I had a four channel tape mixer, that cost me $800. Because it only had the capability of recording 4 tracks, I use to record three and then over dub them onto the fourth, which allowed me to use the first three tracks to tape an additional three instruments given me a total of 7 tracks. Needless to say it was a little complicated and time-consuming. Audacity allows you to record up to 16 channels for free.
One of the biggest positives about using a product such as Audacity is that it is free. If you want a free music editing software program to just edit the noise out of a few family movies, or put together audio sounds for a school project then this program with do a nice job. However, if you want to create full songs or complicated beats then you will find it somewhat limiting as you layer each track. At this point you should opt for a paid solution.
For $50 you can get a software program that will allow you to expand your music editing capabilities. You just have to do a search online and you will find them everywhere. I would use Audacity to hone my music making abilities or until it becomes unproductive, then I would consider upgrading to an application with more features.