December 17, 2020
by Dan Delong
Most days, I look at all those vinyl LP records and CDs, purchased in my youth, and wonder what to do with them. Should I pack them all up? Should I sell them? Or, should I pick out a bunch to digitize? If the turntable and CD player still work, and they have audio outs, hardware for digitizing is inexpensive. Audio files, including uncompressed formats, do not take up a lot of storage space.
Audacity, another free program, does a great job for both recording and editing audio files. However, OcenAudio is also getting good reviews for its full gamut of features and ease of use, compared to Audacity.
Like most editors, two channel stereo is the default result for recording and playing. With OcenAudio, multiple inputs are possible, on up to 8 channels. Meaning, if you connect other devices, recording on 8 tracks is possible. Each track then becomes independently editable, with fades, silence, and adjusted with an 11 or a 31 band virtual equalizer.
While playing with this program, a friend called to ask how to isolate audio from a cell phone video, recently recorded for a song contest. Since Audacity can import video files and export just the audio, I tried loading an MP4 video file into OcenAudio. It also worked without a hitch, making it easy to save as MP3, or a wide variety of other formats.
Since I happened to have a previously digitized copy of an old cassette, that's the file I first loaded, to try out the editing features. OcenAudio loaded this 55 minute, 56 MB file, recorded at 128 kbps, very quickly on a slow laptop, and offered to analyze the file.
The first problem found had to do with DC offset (aka DC bias), which is a lack of coordination, or imbalance, between AC current switching and signal flow. That sounds foreboding, and I still don't understand the problem, but the program fixed it quickly. Normalize and Gain worked equally quickly.
I found the graphic interface self-explanatory, but for a few technical terms (which can be looked up easily). Maybe I should not mention the fact that touch tone signals can be created with OcenAudio... handy for a PBX technician, but I wonder what it could be used for in the hands of a malevolent hacker?
Platform: Windows 7 to Windows 10 for 64-bit; Windows XP to Windows 10 for 64-bit [various LINUX and MAC versions]
Price: Free / Donate ware
Language: English and four others
Download Size: 43 MB
Installed Size: 104 MB
Download Site here.