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The Book of Audacity
Record, Edit, Mix, and Master with the Free Audio Editor

I’m only aware of one other English-language book devoted to Audacity so it’s a good thing this book is as readable as it is.

By: Staff

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Audacity is an open-source sound editor available for Linux, Windows, BSD and MacOS  that has been around since 2000. Its main features include the ability to import, record, edit, mix, modify and export audio in a wide range of formats. Also, a fair bit of Carla Schroder's book is about hardware because, after all, you have to get the sound into the computer in the first place. One thing Audacity is not is a synthesizer, but with plug-ins (including support for VST) that is possible to.

Once Audacity’s features and basic operation has been covered in the first chapter, the book is basically a series of chapters showing how to solve problems using Audacity and related plug-ins and software. For example, the chapter on podcasts provides a lot of practical tips of on how to record a podcast (including some hardware tips) and then process the audio using Audacity. The chapter that follows, “Become an Online star” starts off with how to export iTunes-friendly ACC files before going into a discussion on the business of being a recording artist, establishing an online presence, online music distributors and Digital Rights Management.

Other chapters cover tasks such as: setting up a sound studio, transferring Vinyl LPs (and cassette tapes) to CD, creating and editing live tracks, making ringtones, podcasts, live recordings and audio DVDs.

Because getting good audio into your computer is essential first step, there are two chapters covering Windows and Linux configurations. As you’d expect, with Linux is a fair bit more ways to customize your set-up, including Linux builds specifically designed for low-latency audio. With Windows, XP and Windows 7 are covered and a fair number of practical tips are given for each.

At the end, the book contains several appendixes including a glossary terms both and a section of audio myths that makes good reading for people new to audio recording.

I’m only aware of one other English-language book devoted to Audacity so it’s a good thing this book is as readable as it is. The layout of the book is a clean, easy to follow layout in black and white with numerous screenshots taken from the Linux and Windows versions. Readers looking for practical advice on how to perform common audio tasks will find the answers here.

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Date published: 01-Jun-2011

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