Audacity is one of the best free open source software for music editing. Sound editing is very simple with this comprehensive and well-organized program. You can edit mp3, wav, flac and ogg files and Audacity has the ability to record audio directly from microphone, sound card, CD/DVD etc. Audacity can easily cut and paste your audio files and make your own remix. Audacity can make various sound effects such as echo, fade in, fade out, cross fade and play backwards and adjust the volume and speed of the song . It has many effect features make your own remix or radio station. For the rest Audacity can edit multiple tracks.
The website has several plugins to make the program more complete. Audacity has a nice interface which has different tabs with many features like I/O devices and audio quality. Another tool is the output format that can be set to MP3, OGG etc. For converting to MP3 is the Lame plugin needed. The default settings is a good start for beginners.
First download Audacity, it is available for Windows, Mac and Linux. The program is only small so the installation doesn’t take a long time. Once it is installed open audacity using the icon on the desktop. To import a file go to Project > Import Audio.
Cut part of sound track
Most of the time a song will start and end with silence, to make the silence shorter drag the mouse over the timeline to part you want to cut. This part will be highlighted. Go to Edit –> Cut or use the delete button on your keyboard to remove this part. Any part of the song can be cut, paste or removed. In this way you can make your own remix.
It is possible to make a break in a part of the track, go to Generate –> Silence to separate sections of the audio track. This break can be used as silent part, but it’s also possible to insert another recorded or imported sound.
Fade in, fade out
Fade in means that the sound starts in silence and slowly gets stronger, fade out will be used at the end of the song to make the sound lower until there is silence. This will be mostly done by radio stations to make a cross fade from one song to another song without any silence in between 2 tracks. This technique gives a great effect between 2 tracks. To make a fade in for a track go to Effect > Cross Fade In, choose in the timeline the part you want to fade. In the same way a fade out can be made at the end of the song .
Record soundTo use the microphone make sure it is enabled, to check that go to the upper side and select Microphone as input line, also check if there is sound coming in, to increase the sound use the slider beside the microphone icon. Press the red button to start recording, if you made a mistake go to Edit –> Undo Record and start again with recording. To change the loudness go to Effect –> Amplify. Don’t change the settings too high or too low, this will lose quality. In the timeline you can see the current location of the track.Dont forget to save your work, go to File –> Save and give your project a name. If you want to save your project in other format for example MP3, go to File –> Export and give the file a name. Keep in mind for converting into MP3 you need the Lame plugin.
Audacity is an open source program, developed by a group of volunteers, available for Mac, Linux and all Windows operating systems in multiple languages. Audacity is free from Virus and Spyware. The latest official stable version is Audacity 1.2.6 dated from november 2006. Audacity 1.3.14 beta is dated from December 2011 and will be actively developed. A new and stable version comes with a much higher number: Audacity 2.0. This software has maybe for beginners too many features, but with the default settings a beginner can make a good start. If you prefer fewer features you can try also mp3DirectCut, for those who wants to be a DJ, try VirtualDJ.