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What is Audacity?

Audacity is a free and open-source audio editing and recording software. It works across different operating systems (Windows, Mac OS X, GNU/Linux) and allows for many different audio file formats (compressed and uncompressed) and input modes (mono, stereo, multi-tracks). You can also directly record in Audacity if you chose to do so. In choosing your output, the software supports 16-bits, 24-bits,and 32-bits. Downloading supplementary packages also provides more effects that can be used to manipulate audio files.

Who would use Audacity?

Audacity can be used by many different types of purposes (e.g. for digitizing analog audio recording, (re)mixing, editing podcasts, interviews, converting file types) and each may require different kinds of manipulation with the file. For oral historians and interviewers, Audacity can help with producing a cleaner/crisper audio file for self or public use as well as converting uncompressed audio files to compressed file formats to help save bandwidth space if uploading to a hosting server.

How do I get access to Audacity?

You can download Audacity for free here.

Where can I get more help with it?

  • Audacity has a Wiki that provides helpful information.
  • has also written up a basic tutorial on how to identify and clean up noise in your audio file.

What are some projects that use Audacity?

Audacity's wiki includes a page on music projects that utilize Audacity. While the curated projects on the page might be music-heavy, similar strategies can apply to editing other kinds of audio files like interviews.