Audacity adds real-time effects preview, updates noise removal tool


Open-source sound recording, editing and mixing tool Audacity 2.1.0 has been released, and comes with a slew of significant updates and improvements.

Version 2.1.0 debuts one major new feature: a Real-Time Preview for effects, which is accompanied by a major upgrade to the Noise Removal tool. It also offers various effects upgrades and redesigned Meter Toolbars.

Audacity’s developers have claimed they’ve waited "a long time" for real-time previews of effects, which have been added to LADSPA, VST and Audio Unit (OS X) effects. The real-time preview is accompanied by support for saving and loading user presets and saving effect settings across multiple sessions. Latency compensation is not yet supported.

The Noise Removal tool has been renamed to Noise Reduction to highlight the improvements that have been implemented to the filter.

Other changes to Audacity’s effects include being able to sort and group items in the Effect, Generate and Analyze menus according to name, publisher or effect type.

The Change Speed effect has new time controls allowing users to enter changes in multipliers, while a new Crossfade Tracks effect replaces the previously separate Cross Fade In and Cross Fade Out options.

The user interface gains redesigned Meter Toolbars, which now shows separate Record and Playback Meters at half-height by default. Users can now select frequency when in spectrogram view and create or adjust frequency selections via a new Spectral Selection Toolbar (accessible via the View > Toolbars menu).

Timer Record now saves recordings automatically into an existing project, while the Transcription Toolbar can low loop play and cut-preview.

The update is rounded off by a number of bug fixes for both user interface and effects, but as with all new releases, a number of known issues remain -- see the release notes for a detailed breakdown.

Audacity 2.1.0 is available now as a free, cross-platform download for Windows, Mac and Linux. A portable build of Audacity 2.0.6 is also available -- this should be updated to the latest release shortly.

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