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  1. #1
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    Get creative with simple, free music editors

    Nice article - I learnt a couple of new things, and I'd like to offer some clarifications regarding the Audacity audio editor; I have been using Audacity for a couple of years, and am happy and comfortable with it.

    Quote: " In order to create .mp3s, Audacity requires its own special version of the LAME encoding library file lame_enc.dll (info site). Yet despite the fact that this file was created for Audacity and has its own installer, Audacity has to be pointed to the LAME file's location the first time you try to create an .mp3. Why couldn't the DLL's installer simply put the file where Audacity expects to find it?"
    Clarification: The Audacity team licenses their code under the GPL V2. This is as generous a license as can be, allowing just about any kind of use, reuse and redistribution imaginable. The Audacity team deserves a great big thank you for being that generous with their work. However, the MP3 encoder is not covered by an equally as generous license. Including the MP3 encoder in the Audacity distribution would prevent the Audacity team from using the very generous GPL V2 to license their code to the public. Pointing to where Audacity users who want to encode in the MP3 format can obtain the encoder is about as good as it gets.

    Quote: "...Audacity does not let you drag that cursor to fine-tune its placement."
    Clarification: I have used the Audacity 1.3.12 (beta) (on WinXP) for almost a year, and it lets you drag the cursor to fine tune its placement just fine. My mileage in this instance is limited to WinXP and your mileage may vary, but I have found the 1.3.12 beta exceptionally stable.

  2. #2
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    I don't have a big need for music editing, but what I would like is a simple way to combine two MP3 files. For example in Pink Floyd's The Wall, there are two separate MP3 files that should always be played together. Another Brick in the Wall has an introduction that is a separate MP3 (somethig like the best days or our lives). I'd like to combine those and others like it without a lot of hastle. Is there an easy way to do this?

  3. #3
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    VinylStudio - Shareware Music Editor

    Hi All,

    I have found a nice Shareware program called VinylStudio that covers this functionality very nicely in a user-friendly way. There is a trial version, and the license fee is pretty inexpensive.

    It is oriented toward those needing to rip LPs and Cassettes. It offers the ability to clean the audio clicks and pops, and split the long source MP3/FLAC file with the ability to finely control the start/end of each track, and properly tag the resulting MP3/FLAC files.

    I have used it for a number of years now, and it does the job admirably. You can find it by googling "VinylStudio".

  4. #4
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    I don't know whether Audacity would meet your definition of "simple way" but it would do the combination of multiple audio tracks/files, such as you describe. Personally, I would have no hesitation doing something like this in Audacity, but you need to pick the program you'd be comfortable using.

  5. #5
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    There is a much easier way to create track breaks in Audacity than the method Lincoln describes. Press Ctrl-A to select the entire file, then go to the Analyze menu and select "Silence Finder...". I use a Silence Level of 26, a Minimum Duration of 1.5 seconds, and a Place Label setting of 0.50 seconds. Click "OK", and Audacity will automatically place a label everywhere it finds a break in the sound of sufficient length. You can edit these labels to equal the track names, or allow Audacity to generate automatic names when it exports the MP3 files. To generate MP3s (or WAVs if you didn't install the LAME dll), go to the File menu, and pick "Export Multiple...". This brings you to a dialog box where you can specify the output format (MP3, WAV, or Ogg Vorbis), and how you want the output files to be named (either the label name, if you changed it, or a prefix plus sequential number if you didn't). Audacity will use the labels as separation points to create a separate file for each track.

    For some recordings, you may need to adjust or delete some of the labels to obtain best results, but once you've done it a couple of times, it becomes very straightforward.
    Last edited by amcpherson; 2011-01-31 at 16:14.

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