But what it lacks in style, it makes up for in power. (I already mentioned it's free, right?) I created a podcast highlighting three features that I think are rad. You can listen here:
Or you can read on for text and pictures.
|The Generate menu.|
1. Generate Sounds.I'll just explain what each does with my go-to unordered list:
- Chirp... a sound that goes from one pitch to another in a determined amount of time.
- DTMF Tones... I don't know what DTMF stands for, but it's basically the sound of dialing numbers.
- Noise... good old fashioned white noise. It builds character.
- Silence... use it to push everything further along on a track, that's the only use I can think of.
- Tone... select the waveform, the hz (pitch), the volume, and the time.
- Click Track... a tempo meter for those musicians out there.
- Pluck... a single guitar string, for those times you need the sound of a single guitar string. Like if you're the sound guy on Lost and you need a dramatic way to go to commercial.
- Risset Drum... if you really wanted to, you could make a pretty nice beat out of a bunch of different drum noises.
In the podcast I used this to create what sounds like the start of a Mariokart race.
|All of Audacity's effects.|
There are a lot of effects, some very professional, some just fun, and some I have no idea what they do. Here are the ones that are most useful and easy:
- Amplify... changes the volume, measured in Db.
- Change Pitch... exactly what you think it does.
- Change Speed... which will also change the pitch.
- Change Tempo... will change the speed without changing the pitch.
- Fade In/Out... highlight the length of the fade and apply.
- Invert... you'll use this later to create a minus track, if you want.
- Noise Removal... highlight a few seconds of 'silence' (room noise), go to Noise Removal > Get Noise Profile. Then highlight the whole recording, go to Noise Removal again and just click OK. Hopefully the default parameters get the job done.
- Paulstretch... you can slow things way down in a dramatic fashion.
- You can experiment with the rest.
3. Minus Track.
I don't know why you'd need a minus track. Maybe you need a soundtrack with no words, maybe you want a karaoke version of a song, maybe you're trying to learn to play the song. Whatever the reason, you can get the job done with Audacity. At least, you might. It depends on the song...
|See step 2 below.|
- Import the song.
- (Pictured) Click the name of the track and click Split Stereo to Mono.
- Highlight one of the mono tracks.
- Click Effect > Invert.
- Listen to it. The instruments might sound a little weird, and you might hear the reverb of the voice track, but for the most part you should have a decent minus track.