A multi-track audio editor and recorder can be as simple, or as complex as you want it to be
Pros & Cons:
As far as single track editing goes, there is very little that cannot be achieved with Audacity, and achieved easily and cleanly. Really though, track editing is just the tip of the iceberg with this application: its functionality for editing is balanced with its equally powerful functionality for recording, and also applying effects and modifications to existing audio tracks.
With Audacity you can record tracks in either mono or stereo using a sample rate of up to 96 kHz, and up to 32 bit floating point sample format - depending on your hardware. The process of recording a track (either from an internal or external source) could not be more simple once you have configured your devices, and one of the - many - neat things I really like about this application is right there in front of you: it's a little slide control that allows you to adjust the input volume of whatever it is you are recording without having to go back into the config panel. Audacity is also capable of multi-track recording, but this also is dependent on your hardware. To be honest, Audacity wouldn't be my first choice for multi-tracking, but it can do the job if required.
When you have your audio track, whether you are recording a new track or simply importing an existing track, there are virtually no limits to what you can then do by way of editing and manipulating that track, from a simple EQ tweak or fade in or out, right through to applying the most exotic VST based effect you can find, and it's so easy, and if you're not happy with the result simply CTRL+Z (undo) and your track is restored to how it was: Audacity has unlimited undo capability.
You also have the facility to cut, copy and paste, which is useful and can save time. Another cool feature of Audacity is the spectrogram view, for spectrum analysis. Audacity does come equipped with a fairly comprehensive list of effects, but VST plugins are supported: to use VST plugins you will need to download and install the Audacity VST Enabler, for which I will provide a link. Also supported are LADSPA plugins.
Supported file types are: Ogg Vorbis, MP3, WAV or AIFF sound files.
To sum up, Audacity is as simple or as complex as you want it to be, but either way it is excellent freeware and one that I wouldn't be without.
Audacity was reviewed by Gizmos Freeware on