This is a really simple, bare bones, FREE multitracking program with solid editing features... I have it, sometimes its nice to do simple work in a simple environment. Its also not much of a CPU or RAM hog for slow systems.
I used to use this just for recording my vocals, as well as converting my .wav files to MP3. Recently, I learned about importing raw data, and I've been able to make some great glitch sounds, and even some sounds for noise music. Try it sometime if you're into those kind of sounds.
I know this is primarily a music website, but I feel the need to point out this software. I used to use it for recording my vocals, and then I would export them into Fruity Loops. However, now my vocals are recorded in Fruity Loops itself. However, I still find use in Audacity, just not for my music. I often use it for recording my lines when I do my voice acting, and adding various effects before I export it into Cool Edit Pro for editing. So, yes, this is very good for audio editing and recording, but not really that much else.
For quick audio sampling and sample stretching, this little piece of freeware cannot be beat, you can easily add new plugins and it's factory defaults are pretty comprehensive. People who have used more comprehensive (read: expensive) software suites will think that it's cheap and useless, but this isn't directed toward professionals.
Yes, it's the butt of every producing joke that doesn't involve DubTurbo. But it can do some crazy things with samples, and with VST effect support you can do some crazy things with it. I've made tunes entirely out of a sine wave and stock effects, and while it certainly isn't practical or professional quality it's worth having to play around with stuff or at the very least convert your WAVs to FLAC.
Its good considering its free, but its essentially garbage for music production, but then its not necessarily built for that sort of purpose. If you want to tweak with a song, or make samples this is good, but tbh after you've got used to ableton or Cubase theres no going back really.
I've been a long-time user of Audacity, and it hasn't been until now that I've started to take advantage of the third party VST's such as Rosen Digital cabinet IR's, LePou amp sims, Variety of Sound and Kjerhaus plugins. The DAW functions great for a freeware VST - you can actually monitor your input level before you hit record, and it also allows you to create click tracks right on the get-go.
However, a word of caution - if you save the project by the Audacity file, then there is a data folder that will be created in the same location as the project file you've saved. This data folder contains all the progress that you've made on your recording project, and if you rename the project file, delete the data folder or locate either the project file or data folder (not both!) to someplace else, then the next time you open that project file, you'll be hit with an error message and lose all your data on it.
If you intend on backing up your project, make sure you copy BOTH the data folder AND the project file at the same time. If you don't, you'll be looking forward to hours upon hours of re-doing all the precious takes you've made so far.
But if you're the kind of person who is into serious recording and you don't have the budget to stretch for a Cockos Reaper DAW, give Audacity a serious look. It'll be a great freeware DAW to help you get started as a recording engineer.
For a free program, it's great. Basically capable of meeting any audio editing needs, and then some. However, I really dislike actually using it, I find the interface somehow counter-intuitive. I guess it's just that I'm still used to SoundForge; I love SoundForge, and dislike Audacity, but I use Audacity because I don't want to buy Sony software.
I absolutely love this program. Audacity has allowed me to do so many things with audio, ranging from simple audio bit-rate conversion to complete audio manipulation on the fly. It is definitely a must-get!