Tag Archives: Audio

Audacity® is free, open source, cross-platform software for recording and editing sounds.

Review: Audacity, developed by the Audacity team, is a computer recording software application and a free source for the editing of digital audio. The source code of this software is available for anyone and everyone to use. This application is absolutely free to use.  The application is available for almost all the operating systems including the Windows, OS X and Linux. This application was initiated in the year 1999, by Roger Dannenberg and Dominic Mazzoni, both belonging to Carnegie Mellon University. The initial release of the version 0.8 was made on 28th March of 2000. On October 10th 2011, Audacity was pronounced as the 11th most downloaded application from Source Forge, and also won the Source Forge Award for the Best Project for Multimedia of the year 2007 and 2008. This software is distributed under GNU General Public License.

Audacity is not just a free recording application; it can be used for post processing and editing procedures of all kinds of audios including podcasts. Audacity can also be used for adding effects into your audio. The editing facility of this application can be used even for mixing an entire album, like the Tune Yards, who recorded and mixed their whole album with the help of audacity.  Audacity has unlimited options of editing, which makes the app unique. The different options of effects in Audacity varies from, trimming, fading in and out and normalization. This application also supports multitrack mixing, and amplitude envelope editing. The application has built in LADSPA plug in support and also an optional VST Enabler, which supports VST. It also has an option of audio spectrum analysis and multi-channel modes.  It also enables the conversion of tapes and recordings into digital tracks.

Another one of the leading software in the market similar to Audacity is Apple Garage band. Unlike Audacity, the Apple Garage band, which is developed by Apple Inc, is not supported in Windows and Linux, which precisely states that the platforms of the latter application is very much limited. And most importantly, this software is not free to use like the Audacity, it has a fixed market value. Recording features, compatibility, plug-in supports and also effect are comparatively less in Apple Garage band.

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Few Words about Audio

The first mode of communication in the history of mankind is the production of sound. Man used to communicate with his fellow beings through various forms of sound he made form his voice and objects. There was meaning for very single sound he made. His feelings and emotions were communicated through different sounds. For every occasion he used sound for expressing his happiness, sorrow, hatred and love. By the passage of time sound became an indispensable part in his life for communication. His language used for communication is basically a group of sounds set in pattern that is perceivable by another person. Form the primitive form of communication through language the sounds were began to be used for several other purposes. Through his relentless research man found the origin of sound waves that helped to make the sound. This discovery helped him to explore the unlimited possibilities of utilization of sound. Gradually sound also began to be used in technology. The audio and visual media recognized the value of sound or audio. Recording systems were invented for the storage and broadcasting of sounds for various purposes. The audio systems became an indispensable part in every aspect of life.

The recording of sound or audio is the most used way of sound. The history of audio is traced back to the recording of music. Music was the earliest form of sound that was easily perceivable by human beings. The music notations were first recorded in written form and later on it was transformed to the mechanical device that recorded the sound.

The mechanical musical instrument that recorded and played the music was invented by Banu Musa brothers in the 9th century. Their musical instrument worked with hydro power that produced and reproduce music through this mechanical device. In the 14th century Flanders invented a bell ringer that produced sound followed by several other devices that produced sound. Barrel organs in the 15th century, musical clocks in 1598, barrel pianos and musical boxes in 1815 were other earlier devices that were used for audio recording and playing.

Phonautograph was the first device that patented in the year 1857 recording original sounds that passed through the air. The first ever recorded human voice known as phonautograms were Phonautograph recordings in the year 1857. An 1860 phonautogram of a French folk song was discovered in the digital audio era in the year 2008. Another major step in the field audio recording was the introduction of gramophone disc that overtook the phonautograms.  Edison disc record invented by Edison took the market of recording and the monopoly of gramophone discs continued till 20th century. The major drawback of the acoustic recording was that they couldn’t record high or low frequency sound waves. Only the middle range frequency waves could be captured and recorded in the discs. Later in the year 1948 Vinyl record through its improved quality performance replaced the discs. The later half of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th century witnessed several progression in the filed of audio recording. The advent sound recording in the electrical form was the major miles stone in the field of audio recording. Magnetic sound recording systems were introduced by this time. The K1 magnetic phon was the first magnetic tape recorder.

The radio transmission centres had the most advantage through the invention of magnetic tapes. The magnetic tape enabled the introduction of stereophonic sound.

In the year 1982 the digital sound recording systems brought a radical change in the field of audio record and transmission. Currently digital audio recording are the advance development in the audio recording industry. The digital audio file formats that are capable enough to convert the digital data in to sound are the widely accepted technology. The operating systems or soft wares that have the storage capacity for multi track recordings. These high technological inventions are highly beneficial for the modern life style.

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