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Audacity

Audacity Basics

This document outlines the basic functions of Audacity. This document will show you how to open Audacity, select an audio input device (e.g., microphone, audio CD), record, replay, and save audio.

This document covers the following tasks in Audacity:

return to topOpening Audacity

Audacity can be accessed through the Start menu.

  1. To open Audacity, from the Start menu, select All Programs » Audacity

return to topSelecting Input Sources

Audacity has the ability to record audio from multiple input sources (e.g., microphone, audio CD). There are multiple ways to select an audio input device, but some options are not compatible with all operating systems.

Selecting Input Source: Mixer Toolbar Option

Using the Input selector on the Mixer toolbar is the easiest way to select an input source. Certain operating systems (e.g., Windows Vista) will not allow access to the Input selector pull-down list. If the Input selector pull-down list is grayed out, to change the input device, use the Selecting Input Source: Dialog Box Option.

  1. From the Mixer toolbar, select the Input selector pull-down list » select the desired device
    The device selected for audio input will appear in the pull-down list.Mixer toolbar

Selecting Input Source: Dialog Box Option

You can use this method to select an audio input device when using Audacity on any operating system regardless of the availability of the Input selector pull-down list.

  1. From the Edit menu, select Preferences
    The Preferences dialog box appears.

  2. On the Audio I/O tab, in the Recording section, from the Recording Device pull-down list, select the desired device

  3. Click OK

return to topRecording Audio

Once you have designated an input source, you can immediately begin creating your own audio files. Use the following instructions to record audio.

  1. From the Control toolbar, click RECORD Record button
    A visual representation of your audio displays on the Waveform Display of the track.
    NOTE: Audacity immediately begins recording from the chosen input device
    Waveform Display

  2. Click STOP Stop button
    Audio recording will stop.
    OR
    Click PAUSE Pause button
    Recording will temporarily pause until Pause is pressed again.
    NOTES:
    If you click Stop and later click Record, a new track will display on screen. See Sound Track Basics: Adding Additional Tracks for further information.
    To continue recording from the place you stopped, use Pause. Clicking Stop will return your cursor to the beginning of the track.

Avoiding Microphone Pops

When recording vocal audio, you may find that there are audible "pops" in certain parts of your audio. This typically happens when pronouncing B's and P's. This can be remedied in two ways.

return to topPlaying Back Recorded Audio

Audacity allows you to listen to and review audio you have recorded. Use the following instructions to review your audio project.

  1. After you have stopped or paused your recording, click PLAY Play button
    The recorded audio will begin playing from the location of the cursor.

  2. Click STOP Stop button
    The audio will stop playing and the cursor will return to the beginning of the track.
    OR
    Click PAUSE Pause button
    Playback will temporarily pause until Pause is clicked again.
    NOTE: The cursor will not return to the begriming of the track when Pause is used.

return to topSaving Audio Files

The Save function allows you to save recordings in .aup format for later use in Audacity. Using this function you are able to return to unfinished projects and continue recording and editing. To convert final versions of files to the more widely accessible MP3 format, see Exporting Your Project as an MP3 File.

  1. After you have completed recording, from the File menu, select Save Project As...
    A Warning dialog box will appear.

  2. Click OK
    The Save Project As dialog box will appear.
    Save Project As dialog box

  3. Navigate to the desired file location

  4. In the File name text box, type a filename
    NOTE: The Save as type will automatically fill with .aup format

  5. Click SAVE
    The audio file is saved.

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