external image moz-screenshot.pngexternal image moz-screenshot-1.png

What is Audacity?
Audacity is a simple, free audio editor software for both PC and MAC. Audacity can record live audio through a microphone, mixer, or digitize recordings. Audacity can also be used to mix music (i.e take part of a song and mix it with another part of a song to produce one complete song)

Who can use Audacity?
Audacity can be used by both teachers from all divisions as well as students from all divisions.

Creating a Podcast using Audacity:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uHgD6cVv9QU
Sample:Recording of our High school band using a mic, laptop, and audacity. Recording lasted for 2 minutes, used audacity to take just 30 seconds of it for sampling purpose
Sponge Bob sample.mp3

Audacity Main Web Page:

Download Audacity:

Lame MP3 Plug-in instructions. MUST have in order to save as MP3:
Windows LAME plug-in download:
  1. Go to the LAME download page.
  2. Under "For Audacity on Windows", left-click the link "Lame v3.98.2 for Audacity on Windows.exe" and save the file anywhere on your computer. Do not right-click the link to the .exe file.
  3. Double-click "Lame_v3.98.2_for_Audacity_on_Windows.exe" to launch it (you can safely ignore any warnings that the "publisher could not be verified").
  4. Follow the "Setup" instructions to install LAME for Audacity. Do not change the offered destination location of "C:\Program Files\Lame for Audacity".
  5. The first time you use the "Export as MP3" command, Audacity will ask for the location of "lame_enc.dll". Navigate to "C:\Program Files\Lame for Audacity", select "lame_enc.dll", then click "Open" and "OK".
  6. If you prefer the Zip option for the LAME download, save the zip file to anywhere on your computer, extract "lame_enc.dll" to any location, then show Audacity where to find it as in Step 5 above.
  7. In case of difficulty, please view our more detailed instructions on the Audacity Wiki.
MAC LAME plug-in download:
  1. Go to the LAME download page.
  2. Click to download either "Lame Library v3.98.2 for Audacity on OSX.dmg" or "LameLib-Carbon.sit", according to your operating system.
  3. Double-click the .dmg to extract "Lame Library v3.98.2 for Audacity on OSX.pkg" to Finder, or use Stuffit to extract "LameLib" from the .sit (either of these may happen automatically).
  4. Double-click the .pkg to install "libmp3lame.dylib" in /usr/local/lib/audacity, or save "LameLib" anywhere on your computer.
  5. The first time you use the "Export as MP3" command, Audacity will ask for the location of "libmp3lame.dylib" or "LameLib". Navigate to that location, then open the file and click "OK".
  6. In case of difficulty, please view our more detailed instructions on the Audacity Wiki.

Getting to know Audacity

Checking microphone input:
  1. Edit > Preferences
  2. Audio I/O tab > Recording
  3. Device = input to where your microphone is connected to
  4. Channels = 2 (Stereo)
Main Toolbar

external image tool_select.png
external image tool_envelope.png
external image tool_draw.png
external image tool_zoom.png
external image tool_timeshift.png
external image tool_multi.png

external image tool_select.png Selection Tool
This is the main tool you use to select audio. Click in a track to position the cursor, or click and drag to select a range of audio. If you drag from one track to another, you can select multiple tracks. Extend a selection by shift-clicking a new point in the track.
Playback will always begin at the position of the selection cursor. If a range of audio is selected, only the selected range will play.

external image tool_envelope.png Envelope Tool
The envelope tool gives you detailed control over how tracks fade in and out, right in the main track window. When the envelope tool is selected, the amplitude envelope of each track is highlighted in a green line, with control points at the beginning and end of each track. To change a control point, click it and drag it to a new position. To add a new point, click anywhere in the track where there is not already a control point. To remove a point, click on it and drag it outside of the track until it disappears, then release.

external image tool_timeshift.png Time Shift Tool
This tool allows you to change the relative positioning of tracks relative to one another in time. To use this tool, simply click in a track and drag it to the left or right. To align two tracks together or reset their time shift back to zero, use the Align Tracks Together or Align with Zero commands.

external image tool_zoom.png Zoom Tool
This tool allows you to zoom in or out of a specific part of the audio. To zoom in, click anywhere in the audio. To zoom out, right-click or shift-click. If you have a middle button, you can middle-click to do the same thing as Zoom Normal.
In addition, you can zoom into a region by clicking and dragging the mouse to highlight the region you want to see, then releasing the mouse button.

external image tool_draw.png Draw Tool
Enables the user to draw in to the actual waveforms. This is especially useful to eliminate small pops and clicks from material.
ALT + click smoothes a area of audio
CTRL + click & hold edits only one sample, no matter whether you move the mouse left or right.

external image transport_rewind.png
external image transport_play.png
external image transport_record.png
external image transport_pause.png
external image transport_stop.png
external image transport_ff.png

external image transport_rewind.png Cursor to Start
Places the cursor at the start of the project.
SHIFT + click expands the selection to the start of the project.

external image transport_play.png Play Button
Press the play button to listen to the audio in your project. You can also hit the spacebar to start or stop playback. Playback begins at the current cursor position. If a region of audio is selected, only the selected region will play. To quickly play the entire project, execute Select All before playing. If there are multiple tracks going to the same channel in your project, they will be mixed automatically for playback.

external image transport_record.png Record Button
Press the record button to record a new track from your computer's sound input device. Use the Preferences to configure the recording options. In particular, there is an option to record stereo or mono, and there is an option to play the other tracks while recording.
Recording always happens at the project's sample rate.

external image transport_pause.png Pause Button
Will pause during playback, or during recording. Press again to unpause.

external image transport_stop.png Stop Button
Press the stop button or hit the spacebar to stop playback immediately.

external image transport_ff.png Cursor to End
Places the cursor at the end of the project.
SHIFT + click expands the selection to the end of the project.

Internal Effects

This effect increases or decreases the volume of a track or set of tracks. When you open the dialog, Audacity automatically calculates the maximum amount you could amplify the selected audio without causing clipping (from being too loud).
Bass Boost...
This is a safe, smooth filter which can amplify the lower frequencies while leaving most of the other frequencies alone. It is most effective if you don't try to boost too much; 12 dB is usually just right.
A simple delay line.
This effect repeats the audio you have selected again and again, softer each time. There is a fixed time delay between each repeat.
First select the audio you want to apply the effect to. You may want to first add silence to the end of your track(s) so that the echo has plenty of time to die out. When you select "Echo..." from the Effect menu, Audacity will ask you for two numbers.
The first number is the amount of delay between the echos, in seconds. The second value is the decay factor, which is a number between 0 and 1. A decay factor of 0 means no echo, and a decay factor of 1 means that each echo is just as loud as the original. A value of 0.5 means that its amplitude is cut in half each time, so it dies out slowly. Smaller values will make it die out even more quickly.
The Echo effect is very simple and is not intended to be used in place of a Reverb effect, which simulates the sound of a room, concert hall, stage, or other natural environment. Audacity for MacOS and Windows comes with Gverb, a free LASPA Reverb plug-in.
Note that if you set the decay value to 1.0, you can use Echo to create loops that repeat as long as you want any never change volume.
Fade In
Applies a linear fade-in to the selected audio. For a logarithmic fade, use the envelope tool.
Fade Out
Applies a linear fade-out to the selected audio. For a logarithmic fade, use the envelope tool.
FFT Filter...
This is the most general type of filter. You define a curve that shows how much louder or quieter each frequency in the signal should be made.
If you're careful, you can use it to highlight exactly the frequencies you want. However, doing an FFT filter is more likely to result in artifacts, especially if the filter you draw is not smooth.
This effect flips the audio samples upside-down. This normally does not affect the sound of the audio at all. It is occasionally useful, for example when the left and right channels of a song both contain equal amounts of vocals, but unequal amounts of background instruments. By inverting one of the channels and not the other, the vocals will cancel each other out, leaving just the instrumentals. Obviously this only works if the exact same vocal signal is present in both of the channels to begin with.
Noise Removal...
This effect is ideal for removing constant background noise such as fans, tape noise, or hums. It will not work very well for removing talking or music in the background.
Removing noise is a two-step process. In the first step, you select a portion of your sound which contains all noise and no signal, in other words, select the part that's silent except for the noise. Then choose Noise Removal... from the Effect menu and click Get Profile. Audacity learns from this selection what the noise sounds like, so it knows what to filter out later.
Then, select all of the audio where you want the noise removed from and choose Noise Removal... again. This time, click the "Remove Noise" button. It may take a few seconds or longer depending on how much you selected.
If too much or not enough noise was removed, you can Undo (from the Edit menu) and try Noise Removal... again with a different noise removal level. You don't have to get a new noise profile again if you think the first one was fine.
Removing noise usually results in some distortion. This is normal and there's virtually nothing you can do about it. When there's only a little bit of noise, and the signal (i.e. the voice or the music or whatever) is much louder than the noise, this effect works well and there's very little audible distortion. But when the noise is very loud, when the noise is variable, or when the signal is not much louder than the noise, then the result is often too distorted.
Future versions of Audacity may include improved versions of this effect.
The name "Phaser" comes from "Phase Shifter", because it works by combining phase-shifted signals with the original signal. The movement of the phase-shifted signals is controlled using a Low Frequency Oscillator (LFO).
This effect reverses the selected audio temporally; after the effect the end of the audio will be heard first and the beginning last. Some people reverse small portions of audio to make inappropriate language unintelligible, while others believe you can hear subliminal messages if you listen to speech backwards. You can also create interesting sound effects by recording natural events and reversing the audio.
Just like that guitar sound so popular in the 1970's.
This effect uses a moving bandpass filter to create its sound. A low frequency oscillator (LFO) is used to control the movement of the filter throughout the frequency spectrum.
The WahWah effect automatically adjusts the phase of the left and right channels when given a stereo recording, so that the effect seems to travel across the speakers.

Educational Uses:

How to use Audacity software on a PC:

Possible uses for Audacity:
  • record a lecture for an absent student
  • capture an original song, chant, or cheer created by students
  • share a student interview with a famous visitor
  • narrate a book for students with learning difficulties
  • post a school recital online for parents

What you can do with your recordings after you make them?
  • Make an audio CD to give to your students to take home
  • Post it on your blogs, wiki, interactive sites, or podcast
  • Have it available for download so students can place them on their ipods/mp3 players or computers

Podcasting in Plain Engligh: overview video

Hands-on Lessons
Tutorial #1 - Recording and editing:
  • Using a microphone and computer, record the following:
    • your name
    • where you are from
    • how long you have been working at Le Jardin Academy
    • your favorite hobbies
    • what you hope to learn from this class
Select all recording. Copy and paste after the first recording
  • On the copy version:
    • Select ONLY the "how long you have been working at Le Jardin Academy" portion
    • Select an effect and apply it
    • Play audio to hear change
    • Select ONLY the "where you are from" portion
    • Delete that part

  • Close and do not save

Tutorial #2 - Importing audio

  • Import an audio into audacity
    • Project > Import Audio
    • Browse to the common drive > folder "1 - Audacity Training"
    • Select Baha Men - Who Let the Dogs Out.mp3. Click Open

  • Modify the audio to only include 30 seconds of the beginning of the music
    • Pointer Tool
    • Select everything BUT the first 30 seconds of the track
    • Hit the delete key on the keyboard, or select Edit > Delete
    • Now you should only have the first 30 seconds of the music
    • Click the Skip to Start button
      external image transport_rewind.png
      external image transport_rewind.png
    • Play to hear

Tutorial #3 - Saving project and exporting as MP3

Difference between saving project and exporting

Saving Project:
  • use when needing to go back to re-edit/modify/add or delete
  1. Click File > Save Project As > Make a new folder on desktop > Name project and save it

Exporting As MP3 (use mp3 because it is universal)
  • export when project is complete and ready to distribute/share

  1. Click File > Export as MP3
  2. Type in a File Name
  3. Click Save
  4. A dialog box will appears asking if you would like to locate lame_enc.dll now?
  5. Click Yes
  6. Browse to where the lame plug-in is located. For this example, it is located on the common drive:
    1. Browse to the common drive
    2. Open up the folder "1 - Audacity Training"
    3. Open the folder "MP3Plugin"
    4. Select the file "lame_enc.dll"
    5. Click Open
    6. Click On when "Edit the ID3 tags for the MP3 file" dialog box appears
    7. Save it in the newly created folder on the desktop
    8. The computer is now set to export MP3. This needs to only be one ONCE on each computer you use Audacity on

PRACTICE - on your own with minimum step by step instructions

  • Record your voice for about 15 seconds
  • Import the other audio "We are the Champions.mp3"
  • Modify the audio to only include the last 30-45 seconds of the music
  • Add the music to the end of your voice recording
  • Add an effect to the track. I recommend the Fade out
  • Export as an MP3