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Podcasting-Audacity

Audacity is an open-source audio editor that runs on the Macintosh. As of this writing, the most current, stable version is 1.2.6. You can download the latest version online for Mac, Windows, or Linux.

We have installed Audacity on all machines in Goochland County. If it is not available for students, see your media specialist about having it enabled.

Audacity Basics

Before you run Audacity, be sure and visit the Sound System Preferences to select your microphone (external or internal) as the input device.


Sound Preferences in Mac OS X.

To begin recording (below, in shuttle controls, in red), click the big red circle button in Audacity, and it begins to record. You should notice the level meters moving as you speak, or pick up sound with the microphone. To stop recording, click the stop button.


A simple recording.

Use the zoom (+) and (-) (above, in green) to look at your timeline in more, or less detail. Use the i-bar tool (tools, above in yellow) to select portions of the timeline. This makes a selection, much like you do in a word processor with words. Once a portion of your timeline is selected (highlighted above, blue), you can perform edit functions (copy, cut, paste, clear).


Editing a selection. Press the delete key on the keyboard to erase portions of your recording.

The envelope tool is used on the timeline to change amplitude. This will diminish or increase the volume level of your recording. The time shift tool will slide your selection around, so that sounds on different tracks can be coordinated.

Each time you make a new recording in Audacity's window, it places that new recording on a new track.


Track controls (orange) and multiple tracks in Audacity.

You can use the Project menu to import audio from other files, and add and remove tracks. I use the "x" in the upper-left hand corner of tracks to delete them, too.

On the left-hand side of each track are controls for the track. -/+ adjusts overall track volume, and L/R adjust pan (where in the stereo image the sound originates). The mute and solo buttons silence one track, or all the rest, when listening to playback with multiple tracks.

Exporting a Project

While you edit in Audacity, you can save your project. This file isn't suitable to post on the Web. Instead, choose File > Export, to save the file as an MP3.


MP3 Tags Options

Use the ID3 tags to add information to your MP3 file, if you like. If for some reason LAME is broken on your computer--the software required to make an MP3--you can also save your project as an AIFF file, and import into iTunes to convert to MP3 or AAC. Be sure to include the file extension .mp3 when exporting from Audacity.


Audacity Video Tutorial


Follow the link below to access this video tutorial.

John has published a video tutorial on using Audacity to set up a podcast. Download the Quicktime video or Subscribe to TechTimesLive! via RSS.

Audacity & Podcasting Tutorials

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Page last modified on December 08, 2006, at 11:09 AM