Audacity

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While fine tuning the audio track for a school video today, I got to thinking about Audacity, and just how powerful a program it is. It has often been one of my favorites to recommend to people. It is such a great feeling to connect people with resources they need, and few and far between are those who have never had the need, or at the least the desire, to edit a song or other sound file.

Audacity, however, is getting more and more difficult to introduce to people. The audio editing suite is saturating the market in a way that is unique for F/LOSS. It is easy enough to use for beginners, and yet robust enough for most serious users. It works on all three of the major computer platforms and is quickly amassing a sizeable library of useful plugins. Audacity is a simple, straightforward tool that can quickly produce professional-quality results. 

ChrisDynamicCompressorThat said, I am always looking to streamline the process of audio editing, and this video presented some challenges not at all unusual to those accustomed to creating school media. Students, teachers and administrators were all recorded in different locations, at different levels with different microphone setups and different ambient noise. Enter Chris’s Dynamic Compressor. A combined compressor (to get the quiet parts louder), limited (to get the loud parts quieter), and noise gate (to hush the ambient noise), this was exactly what the audio needed. After installing the plugin, I tweaked the settings to match the best settings from this page, ran the plugin, and all was good. Now to add some music

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