Audio Editing with Audacity


What is Audacity?

  • Why you would use it
    • Audio podcast
    • Narration for a digital story
    • Audio for an audio slideshow (interview, etc.)
  • Why it’s better than recording straight into iMovie or Movie Maker

Example Story

Albino Redwoods: Ghost of the Forest

Using Audacity

For a step-by-step tutorial, check out our Audacity Educast series

  • Importing audio files
  • Saving your project
  • Playing tracks
  • Tools
  • Editing
  • Recording (along with an overview on some recording techniques)
    • Choosing a location: Listen…is there a fluorescent light humming? An air conditioner on? Someone talking in another room? Good noise versus bad noise: Does the background noise give a sense of place? (e.g. busy street, seagulls, etc.) Record some room tone. Move locations if it’s too noisy.
    • Check recording levels. An external microphone should be placed at an angle, about 6 inches from the subject’s mouth, to avoid “p” pops and “s” hisses.
    • Get what you want. If you are interviewing, ask for retakes if you get interrupted. Make sure the person you are interviewing answers in complete sentences. Record some ambient noise. Re-record VO.
  • Exporting your finished piece

Online Research for Effects and Ambient Noises

Audio Postcard Recipe

  • Brainstorm and come up with a topic.
  • Write the script – narration & think of two sound effects and music (optional)
  • Record the narration in Audacity.
  • Search for sounds online via Google Search or YouTube MP3.
  • Download each sound file.
  • Import sound files into Audacity.
  • Sequence the sounds in order.
  • Change audio levels as needed to make the sound mix good quality.
  • Export as WAV or AIFF.
  • Serve cold.

Converting Your Audio File to MP3 Using iTunes

  • Open iTunes
  • Go into iTunes preferences
  • Click on “import settings” at the bottom of the window
  • In “Import Using” menu, select “MP3 Encoder”
  • Click OK. Then click OK again.
  • Drag your audio file onto the iTunes window
  • Select the audio file
  • Click on “Advanced” window
  • Select “Create MP3 Version”
  • Drag new version of the audio file into your folder

Go For It!

Access raw audio files from the Albino Redwoods story


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