Audacity - a free multitrack audio editor

Are you interested in music or podcast producing, but not yet ready to tackle more complex softwares like Logic Pro and Reaper? Or perhaps you’re looking for an affordable and accessible audio editing tool? Then it may be worth considering Audacity; a free multi-track audio editor. 

Although Audacity only offers very basic tools for music producing, it is very useful for other types of audio editing, such as podcast recording/editing, and VoiceOver work. There are some free effects and samples available as well.

They also seem to show relative consideration and transparency in terms of accessibility in the Accessibility sector  of their manual, where they provide a list of a wide range of keyboard shortcuts, and a helpful link to the Audacity4blind mailing list (a list specifically tailored to assist blind and partially sighted users), as well as directly admitting the aspects that are not fully accessible, such as Amplitude envelope, Time Tracks and Smart clips, which are all inaccessible for screenreader users.. It is also worth noting that there is limited accessibility for Audacity in general for Linux and Mac IOS/Voiceover users. For JAWS, NVDA and Narrator users though, it is largely accessible, and they provide a link to a guide for these screenreader users.

A couple of other helpful resources created by blind and partially cited audacity users include an Apple podcast by Shaun Preece, which walks you through getting started with Audacity, and a OneDrive page with a series of shorter tutorials by Andrew Downie, which include an introduction to using Audacity, as well as a tutorial on navigating audacity and another on exporting files. 

It is worth noting that some of the content in these materials may be a little outdated.

Significant improvements to the usability of Audacity for low vision users are expected in the next major release.

Last updated byJay on November 19, 2023

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