I’ve been a long time user of Audacity for various audio editing tasks, but I’m now looking to step up my game and use it for more professional music production. I know Audacity is a versatile tool, but I’m wondering how I can optimize it for more advanced audio production work.
Are there recommended VST plugins or other third-party audio effects that work seamlessly with Audacity to enhance its capabilities for music production?
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What kind of music/instruments?
Are you a “one man band”, recording one instrument/voice at a time?
It all starts with a good recording of a good performance. You need a decent microphone (or multiple mics) and a good audio interface. A quiet “studio” with good acoustics or good sound absorption helps a lot… It’s mostly the soundproof studio than separates a pro studio from a home studio.
Ideally, a good recording wouldn’t need effects but in reality most pro recordings have compression/limiting, EQ, and reverb. Effects can be corrective, or they can be “special” effects (like delay/echo). Typically, they are subtle so the listener doesn’t notice them.
The built-in effects should be good-enough to start with before you go looking for something “better” or “special”. The built-in limiter is very-good. It uses look-ahead so it can limit without distorting the waveform.
Most 3rd-party VST effects don’t “officially” support Audacity so it’s hit-or-miss.
When you start mixing, note that mixing is done by summation (analog mixers are built-around summing amplifiers). Audacity doesn’t have a master mix-level control so you have to lower your track levels before mixing to prevent clipping, or there are work-arounds where you can create a mix that goes over 0db (the “digital maximum”) and then lower the mix-level before exporting to your final format.
Audacity is not the best for multi-track recording or mixing. Most people multi-track recording have trouble.
It’s capable of multitrack mixing but it’s missing some features of a full DAW.
Audacity also doesn’t support MIDI production.
If I could only choose one plugin for Audcaity,
it would be the free version of TDR Nova:
it’s a realtime equalizer, & multi-band compressor.
[ Far superior to Audacity’s native equalizer & compressor, which are not realtime].
I can’t see TDR Nova mentioned on plugins. audacityteam. org
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