In this article I wanna tell you guys all about Audacity. A free software that is useful for EVERYBODY!!!
You have no idea how to work this…
Free software called Audacity. That’s OK. Neither do I. “What? You have no idea ’bout this thing and yet you wanna tell us how great it is?” Well… yes. The thing is that I never really learned how to work it. Let me elaborate. It just fits and works. In the beginning you might have little trouble with selecting a certain area you want to edit. After a short learning curve you’re just in it.
You just work the tracks you think they ought a be worked on. I can’t describe the flow in this software. You just do everything like you’re waking up and brushing your teeth or taking a shower. It fits like a glove. If you ever get stuck: there is a forum out there where you can ask for help on how to do what. I used that forum in 8 years about 2 times. That was it.
The rest just went naturally for me. Allegedly you want to switch later on. But I don’t got the feeling like switching already. Some of these programs in these segments cost around 100,00,-€ up to 4.000,00,-€.
Why you need it:
You just listen to YouTube songs here and there. Why would you need it? Here’s why: A lot of music that gets uploaded on YouTube gets compressed. Some people load up a quiet song here and there. Some other people create playlists in YouTube afterwards. You stumble over such a playlist. Let’s take a “A E S T H E T I C Vaporwave Playlist.
First track is in a normal volume. You play it at a normal volume. The next track in the playlist is very very quiet, so you turn up your speakers. The song is somewhat loud now. The song ends and the next song comes up. You forgot to turn down the volume. It’s laaaate at night.
You’re living with your mum and dad, or you live alone and have sensitive neighbors, your girlfriend / wive is asleep and your awake. Suddenly an ear-ripping sound fills the room. The next song started to play and you forgot to turn down the volume. You woke everyone up. Everyone’s angry at you, and they should be. You could’ve prevented this. You might wanna put on some headphones next time.
That way you just scare yourself to death while giving yourself a good ol’ hear impairment accident. That’s the stuff that nightmares are made for for your ears. Just download the track if it’s free or buy it if not and open up Audacity. Either you right click on the track and say in Windows “open with…” and then “Audacity” or you open up Audacity and import the track. A lot of formats get recognized in Audacity.
If Audacity doesn’t recognize your track then you got a very very very rare and complicated file format. That is less the fault of Audacity and more the fault of the people creating the track and exporting it in that file format or container. The track is now in Audacity. You just select now the tab “Effects” and check out “Normalize”. You will see how every spike of the song goes up, if it was very quiet.
Audacity automatically calculates how much dB is missing. You want to achieve something between -0,3dB or 0,0dB. -0,3 db is important if you want to burn the tracks on a CD, because the burning process makes everything 0,3dB louder.
I don’t use CDs anymore so I’m good with 0,0dB. “0,0dB??? So the track is completely quiet?” Nope and nope. This is more a measurement when things start to go out of hand.
Imagine the 0,0dB mark like a full glass of water.
– ∞ = empty glass of water.
0,0dB is a full glass of water.
Adding more dB to a 0,0 full glass of water aka a track is most of the time useless. Unless you know what you’re doin’ you try to avoid it.
The glass will spill / the sound will be harsh and totally distorted and unrecognizable.
“What if I want the measurements of a half full glass water?”
Here is the beauty in it: That depends what the source material aka the song on the CD, Blu-Ray, Cassette, i-Tunes Store, Spotify is.
You don’t have to read the whole article. Just check out this table called
“Signal-to-noise ratio and resolution of bit depths”
Every bit equals 6dB.
For easier understanding I will use the water glass example, just because I like it so much and I think it helps you understand the concept far better than me. Nobody every explained that stuff to me. I had to ask my keyboard teacher and the web and threads and all that stuff….
1 Bit = 6dB = 0dB aka – ∞ dB is an empty glass of water. = 6dB is a full glass of water therefore we have 0,00dB left before the clipping begins.
A half glass of water would be 3dB in that case.
You know, the area where the water pours over the glass and sound gets distorted and unrecognizable aggressive
(Game Boy – Game Boy Color Games)
8 Bit = 8 times 6dB = 48dB maximum.
48dB = a full glass of water.
0dB = – ∞ dB = empty glass of water.
24dB = a half full glass of water.
(Usual CD sound – YouTube songs, DVD Songs)
16 Bit = 16 times 6 = 96dB = 96dB maximum.
96dB = a full glass of water.
0dB = – ∞ dB = empty glass of water.
48dB = a half full glass of water.
You get the idea. This affects the volume. There are other factors out there. But I say this is quite important for you to know.
Why you need it #2:
You might be a serious record junkie and collector and might buy here and there one vinyl after the other. Get a feeling for ripping and recording vinyls. You might have a record player and a couple of records. You might even have vinyl cleaning equipment, but in the end you’ll need software to record the stuff that the record player gets from the vinyl.
It’ll send it to your PC and Audacity awaits your input. From there on you cut it to perfect bits and pieces. Export and name it and add it to your crazy collection you got over the years. A fire in your building might break out or your girlfriend throws your rare collected vinyls at you in a fit and break it.
You might’ve lost the value of the vinyl but at least you got a copy of the rare vinyl on your PC and you even forethought so far that the HDD that had the track on there gets backed up on a daily base and it even sends it to your own rented cloud and to a friends back-up server.
So the chances of loosing that record on an accoustical aspect are veeeeeeeery low. Except when you live in an area where earthquakes are common, but that is a topic for someone else.
Why you SERIOUSLY need it…. #3:
You’re a professional or a beginner and you travel around without your equipment and arrive at a professionals house or a beginners’ den. You guys wanna start now but you don’t want to travel around heavily equipped. You just download Audacity and start immediately.
In conclusions you usually hear stuff like…
What are the pro’s of the product and the con’s. I see no contra on here. It’s free, the community has an open ear for you. Hell, I even donated 5 or 10,00,-€ since I use their software 4 – 5 times from Monday till Sunday since 8 years now or even longer. You can implement the stuff you already bought or try out other free plugins.
You can experiment with recording your own stuff. Guitars in Mono, Drums in 7.1, whatever you desire. You and only YOU are your OWN limit. In combination with short-cuts, this program is unbeatable. I learned a big deal out of using this. I’m actually at a point where I’m afraid to switch.
I try out the demo of some other software from Steinberg or some other company and then I buy the stuff and never use it anymore. I hope I get to know more tools in that area but I really doubt that they will work that much better than Audacity. One or two features might be in there and these 1 or 2 features might cost you 200,00,-€ then…