Hey, what answers do you need?
< All Topics
Print

Audacity

Audacity is a free audio-editing application that works on Windows, Mac, and Linux machines. 

On campus, PCs and Macs with Audacity are available in Andrews CoRE and the Andrews Digital Studio. Student assistants are available to help you.

Audacity Project Examples

Audacity can be used to

  • record narratives or interviews.
  • edit music or sounds for use with video.
  • help language students record themselves speaking a foreign language for assignments.
  • convert audio from analog sources such as cassette tapes to digital media such as CDs or digital audio files such as mp3s. 

Audacity Project Window

Audacity 3.2 Project Window with labels and descriptions of the tools
Audacity v3.2 Project Window

Visit the Audacity manual for an interactive version of the Project window and more screenshots.

Online Resources for Audacity

Software Installation

Download Audacity (for Windows, Mac, and Linux)

  • The optional FFmpeg library allows Audacity to import and export a much larger range of audio formats including M4A (AAC), AC3, AMR (narrow band) and WMA.
  • Older versions of Audacity for Windows and Mac and the current for Linux require(d) you to install the LAME encoder in order to export your Audacity file as an mp3. For those versions, visit download the LAME encoder

How-To

See our Audacity Workshop post for agenda and feature details.

Make a Recording

There are three steps to make your recording:

  1. Record your audio.
  2. Export your Audacity track as an MP3 file.
  3. Share the MP3 file

Step 1. Record Your Audio

(sound booth available in the Digital Studio in Andrews Library)

  1. Open Audacity, then save your project, naming it what you want.
  2. Begin recording by pressing the record button and begin speaking. You will see sound waves appear in a track in the Audacity window as it records.
  3. To pause the recording and begin recording again on the same track, use pause.
    • **Note: it’s better to keep everything on one track, so if you need to stop in the middle of your recording, use the pause button rather than the stop button.*
  4. When you finish recording, press the Stop button.
  5. Press play to listen to what you have recorded.
    • **Note: For recordings of short length, it’s easiest to start over if you make a mistake.  For recordings of longer length you can copy and paste from one track to another.
  6. Save your project.

Step 2. Export your Audacity Project as an MP3 file

  • If you are satisfied with what you’ve recorded, then from the File menu, choose “Export as MP3.”
  • After being prompted to name your MP3 file, you will see a small window with some options for tagging your file. Update tagging information, if desired, and choose ‘OK.”

Step 3. Share the MP3 file

To share the MP3 file (to your professor, for example), you have a few choices.

Edit Audacity Track

  1. If you are recording a new audio track
  • Click the record button to begin a live recording.
  • To pause the recording and begin recording again on the same track, use pause.
  • To stop the recording and begin recording on a new track or a new region, use stop.

2. If you are editing an existing sound file, select “Import Audio” from the project menu, and browse to your file to import it into Audacity.

3. To listen to what you have recorded, click your mouse in the track to show the cursor and press play. Audacity will play the track starting at the location of the cursor. If an area of the track is highlighted, Audacity will play only that area.

4. If you have multiple tracks, they will all play simultaneously unless you select “solo” or “mute” in the track settings (located to the left of each track).

5. To edit a track, select the desired portion by highlighting it or click on the track settings box to select the entire track. Cut, Copy and Paste are found in the Edit menu and other common effects are found in the Effect menu (If your project is paused in play mode or paused in record mode, you will not be able to edit).

6. To save an Audacity project for further editing, from the File menu choose “Save Project” and see the note below.

7. To export your project as a .wav or .mp3 file, from the File menu select “Export as MP3” or “Export as WAV” and see the note below.

Save vs. Export

Audacity makes a distinction between

  • Save audio project in Audacity project format which only Audacity can open (for further editing)
    • Note: if you save an Audacity project by File > Save Project menu, it will create a file with the extension “.aup” and a folder with the name of your project and _data. For example, if your project was named “beats” and you selected ” Save Project”, you would end up with a file named “beats.aup” and a folder named “beats_data.” If you need to transfer your project, you must move both of these files.
  • Export audio in formats like WAV and MP3 for use in other applications outside of Audacity
    • If you have more than one track in your project, exporting as MP3 or WAV will mix all of your tracks into one MP3 or WAV file. Only use this option if your project is finalized. You will not be able to split the tracks up again once you do this.
    • FFmpeg: The optional FFmpeg library allows Audacity to import and export a much larger range of audio formats including M4A (AAC), AC3, AMR (narrow band) and WMA.
Previous ARTstor
Next Audacity
Table of Contents