To help you through the basics of recording and editing audio in Audacity, the library has created a tutorial. Use the tutorial to help you walk through the step-by-step process.
Alternatively, you can use the keyboard shortcut Command+Shift+I on a Mac and Control+Shift+I on Windows.
We usually recommend recording audio through a microphone or separate recording device rather than recording through your computer microphone. This is because the computer microphone picks up sounds from your computer. However, the WASAPI Loopback feature can record the audio coming out of your computer and then remove it from the recording.
NOTE: If this doesn’t work, you may also need to select the correct number of recording channels to match your device using the dropdown box to the right of device selection box. For example, if you have a 7.1 channel headset, select 8. This feature is not available for Mac versions of Audacity.
To maximize the volume of your recording, you can use the 'Normalize' effect.
NOTE: Extraneous noises in the recording can cause Normalize to create unwanted changes in the stereo balance, or prevent recordings being made as loud as they can be. Extraneous noises should be edited with Click Removal, Repair or Amplify before the Normalize step.
Use the Amplify effect to change the volume of your audio track. Amplify always preserves the relative volumes of the tracks and/or channels.
Unless you are professional narrator or voice-over specialist there are probably level (volume) variations during your narration. Remember, your listeners can't see you, so having a consistent volume for your narration is important so they'll be able to hear and understand everything you're saying.
You could go through and manually adjust the volume throughout your narration track, but there's an easier way - use Audacity's built-in Compressor effect.
The envelope tool is used to shape the waveform of your audio track to increase or decrease the volume of the audio in specific sections
NOTE: If the Cut, Copy Paste Icons do not appear in the toolbar, click View > Toolbars > Cut/Copy/Paste Toolbar
You can cut and paste parts of an existing track or tracks onto either an inserted blank track, or onto an existing audio track.
Create a control track (voice over) and then use the Auto Duck effect to automatically adjust the threshold level for background music.
Auto Duck analyzes the control track first of all, then applies the effect to the selected track(s). This second stage takes longer to complete than the first, so the estimated time remaining in the progress bar may be an underestimate until the later stages of processing.
More information can be found on the Audacity manual.
Metadata tags are stored with an audio file when you export the file and can be read by other programs such as iTunes. This includes information such as artist, album, track name, etc.
The LAME tool that allows the export of MP3 files is now included in Audacity for Windows and Mac computers. If you are using a Linux system and would like to export files from Audacity in MP3 format, you will need to download and install the optional LAME MP3 encoder. Instructions are linked below. Once you have downloaded and installed the LAME encoder you will be able to create MP3 files using Audacity.
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