Why Audacity?

Audacity is an excellent tool for databending projects for a few different and specific reasons:

  1. It is Free/Libre Open-Source Software (FLOSS), meaning you are free to do with it as you please.
  2. It allows you to open literally any file on your computer and interpret that data as audio, regardless of the data the file is meant to represent.
  3. There are lots of great examples of people who've done this, including videos and a wonderful tutorial by Antonio Roberts.
It is a very powerful and useful waveform audio editor, but #2 above is the real magic here. By choosing the menu option File -> Import -> Raw any file can be interpreted and edited as audio data.

Once a file (such as an image for example) has been opened in Audacity, it is possible to peform audio transforms on its data. For example it is possible to add one second of echo onto an image file. When Saving this data back to disk, it is also possible to output the data with no file header which means there are fewer steps required to munge the modified data back into a compatible format (for example, to look at what one second of echo has done to the image data).