If you are new to Audacity’s sound editing software, here are 16 basic things you need to know.
If you are installing Audacity on your personal computer, follow steps 1 to 3. If you are using the computers in Bozorth 134, then skip to item 4.
1. Install Audacity on your personal computer
- Go to http://audacity.sourceforge.net/
- Select version for your computer (Mac or Windows)
- Follow instructions for downloading to your computer.
2. Install the LAME .mp3 encoder so you can create .mp3s of your sound project
NOTE: You only have to do this once, the first time you set it up and use it.
Follow these installation instructions for your computer (Mac or PC)
Watch a video clip showing how to install LAME .mp3 encoder
3. Set your preferences.
Note: You only have to do this once.
Audacity > Preferences
Click Quality tab
Set Default Sample Rate: 41000Hz
Set Default Sample Format: 32-bit
Click Libraries tab
MP3 Library click Locate and put in the location of your mp3 encoder that you downloaded in step 2 above.
Watch a video clip showing how to set your preferences
4. Learn your Audacity workspace
Watch a video clip overview of the Audacity workspace
5. In order to do anything with an audio file, you must hit STOP button. If you press PAUSE, it will not let you edit it.
6. Import audio files
File > Import > Audio
Then click on the file you want to bring into Audacity.
Watch a video clip of how to import an audio file
7. Select sections of audio to edit
Now click the left mouse button anywhere inside of an audio track, and click and drag to the other edge of your selection, and release.
Watch a video clip of how to select a section of audio
8. Split Delete
This allows you to select a section of sound you want to get rid of without shifting the following audio over.
Then Edit > Remove Audio or Labels > Split Delete
Watch a video clip of how to use split delete
This allows you to copy a section that you want to keep and create a duplicate of it on another track.
Then Edit > Duplicate
Watch a video clip of how to duplicate a section of a clip
10. Moving Clips
Then click on the clip and drag it to the left or right. This is called time-shifting because you are changing the time at which that audio will be heard.
Watch a video clip of how to move a clip
11. Split and Move
This allows you to split a clip so you can move one section independently.
Then Edit > Clip Boundaries > Split
Then click on the clip and drag it to the left or right.
12. Zoom in and out
You have several options:
- Left-click zooms in one step
- Shift-click or right-click zooms out one step
- Middle button zooms in or out to Audacity’s default zoom level of about one inch per second
Watch a video clip of how to zoom in and out
13. Adjust volume of clip or fade in/out
A thick blue border will appear at the top and bottom of the waveform.
Put cursor on the blue border at the top. Click and hold it and drag the blue line down to lower the volume. Drag it up to raise the volume. The smaller the waveform, the quieter it will sound.
To fade volume in and out, you can create multiple points on the blue border by clicking on it. Then move just a section up and down.
Watch a video clip of how adjust the volume
14. Mix multiple tracks into one single track
You can physically mix multiple selected tracks using the Tracks > Mix and Render. The original tracks are replaced by a single Audacity track that combines the audio from the original tracks.
15. Noise removal
You can get rid of an unwanted noise in the background (like a hum or buzz.)
Highlight a section of your audio that only contains has that unwanted noise. It can only be a few seconds long.
Effect > Noise Removal
Click on Get Noise Profile button
Then select all of the audio track from which you want to remove noise.
Effect > Noise Removal > OK
Watch a video clip of how to remove a background noise
16. Export as .mp3
File > Export
Watch a video clip of how to export your Audacity file as .mp3