Audacity version 3.2 brings the open-source favorite closer to DAW status. Can Audacity become one of the best free DAWs?
Audacity has been around for a very long time, and over the past couple of decades, it’s delivered a bit of everything.
It’s been a bit of a cult hero for several generations, played a central role in the up-and-coming music scene, and even had some drama and controversy.
The controversy mostly surrounded the acquisition of Audacity by Muse Group (Ultimate Guitar, Muse Score). Some time has passed since that transition, and with this latest update, it seems Muse Group is serious about taking Audacity to the next level.
So, is Audacity v3.2 on the verge of becoming a DAW? No, but it’s an update that shows some genuine intent.
One of the most significant changes in this update is the addition of real-time effects. A new Effects button allows you to add real-time effects, stack effects, and make changes on the fly.
Version 3.2 also supports VST3, which means the following formats are now real-time capable: VST3, LV2, LADSPA, and AU.
Audacity v3.2 will now automatically scan and enable valid plugins on launch.
Another significant development is the link with Audacity’s new sister service, Audio.com. This partnership means you can back up Audacity projects to the cloud and share them (publically or privately) all straight from the software.
Many of the changes in this update are cosmetic but cosmetic with the intent of enhancing functionality. Muse Group is taking Audacity towards a DAW-like image and workflow.
Some things have been moved, reorganized, and given an overall cleaner look. The developer has updated the icons, too, to give the whole thing a fresher appearance.
There are still some massive steps to be taken before Audacity is firmly in DAW territory, but this update seems to confirm the intended direction.
It’s always good to have free and open-source software that can play a genuine part in our music-making. Here are a few open-source plugins from early 2022, in case anyone missed them: Titan Gate from DSPplug and Fire by Wings.
If anyone is wondering who are Wings? Well, they’re only the band The Beatles could have been (thank you in advance to anyone who gets the Alan Partridge reference!).
Download: Audacity 3.2