Audacity is a free program that allows you to record and edit music. By default, the program contains a simple layout designed for the most fundamental recording and mixing jobs, but you can turn Audacity into a more powerful production tool by installing VSTs (Virtual Studio Technology) -- digital audio plugins that expand your range of capabilities.
Not all VSTs will work with Audacity. From the Internet, you can download and install VSTs for instrument effects, voice effects and most types of waveform manipulation. Audacity does not, however, support MIDI notation (as of May 2011), so you will not have the ability to use VSTs for virtual instruments and software synthesizers. Be sure to read the VST's description before downloading; if the word "MIDI" appears anywhere in the description, you cannot use it with Audacity.
Before you can install any VSTs for use with Audacity, you must download the VST Enabler, an extension developed by the Audacity team. The VST Enabler is a software extension that automatically integrates your VST downloads into your Audacity project window. You can download it free from the Audacity website, after which you must install it on your computer. The VST Enabler is available for both Windows and Mac OS X.
After installing any VST file from the Internet, just drag the file into the "Plug-Ins" subfolder found in your "Audacity" folder. To find your "Audacity" folder in Windows, open your "Local Disk" or "C" drive and select "Program Files." To find your "Audacity" folder in Mac OS X, open your "Macintosh HD" folder and select "Applications."
Accessing Your VSTs
After placing your VST files in the "Plug-Ins" folder, you can immediately access them from Audacity. Just open Audacity and click "Effects" on your menu bar (at the very top of your screen). Scroll down to the bottom of the list, beneath your default effects, and you will see your installed VSTs. Click any VST's name to open its corresponding "Options" window from which you can select your VST settings and apply them to your audio project.
How to Make Beats Using Audacity
Audacity is a music production program that makes it possible for you to manipulate and edit digital audio. Along with having Duplicate...
How to Install VSTs Into Cubase
VST stands for Virtual Studio Technology, and it usually refers to downloadable plugins that emulate sounds or sound effects. A plugin is...
How to Find Hidden Files and Folders in Windows
It is possible to create hidden or ghost files and folders on your computer. It is also possible to find these hidden...
How to Install VST Plugins in Pro Tools
A commonly cited problem with Pro Tools, an audio creation and production software, is that it will not work with third-party developers....
How to Make Music in Audacity
Audacity is a free audio recording and editing application developed by a group of volunteers, published by the Free Software Foundation under...
How to Use VST Plugins With Ableton
Expand the functions of your Ableton Live digital audio workstation by adding third-party VST plug-ins to the program. VST plug-ins come in...