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Audacity's logo. Blue headphones with orange sound waves in the middle.

Audacity is an easy-to-use, open-source audio editing software program that is available as a free download. It is available for Macs, Windows, and Linux operating systems. Audacity has a variety of features that can meet the needs of a range of audio recording projects, from basic recordings to more elaborate, multi-track projects that combine audio from various sources. 

What can it do?

  • Live recording audio from a microphone or computer.
  • Editing of audio recorded within Audacity or created by other programs.
  • Multi-track capability for mixing different audio sources.
  • Multiple filters and tools to improve sound quality and create special effects.
  • Ability to export to WAV and MP3 files.
  • Option to change the user interface to display in 35 different languages.
Audacity's software interface.
Audacity’s software interface.

Uses in a Course

  • Record live responses to prompts during a class session on a computer.
  • Record narration or introductions to place onto a course web page
  • Create audio review materials for student use.
  • Edit raw interview recordings to create a more polished final product
  • Digitized cassette or CD audio course materials for sharing (additional post-production steps may be necessary).
  • Combine recordings made by individual students for a group project.

Things to consider before using Audacity

  • Audacity project files can’t be uploaded to YouTube, websites, etc. They have to be exported into an audio file like WAV or MP3. 
  • iTunes and QuickTime Pro or other editing software may be necessary to complete the final steps of your project depending on the desired final product.
  • When digitizing other’s work, interviews, or lectures, you have to consider copyright and Institutional Review Board issues, including permission from people who are getting recorded.


  • Audacity is available on computers in Taylor 205 and the Sound Studio(Andrews Library).
  • Audacity can be downloaded for Mac, Windows, and Linux from their website.

Additional Help

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