Linfield Home » Arts & Sciences » Educational Technology and Curricular Innovation » Faculty Development Workshop 2010 » Audacity Exercise
Educational Technology and Curricular Innovation

Audacity Exercise

  1. Open Audacity and put on your headset with mic.

  2. Click the button with the red circle in the top left corner to begin recording.  Record a sentence or two of a poem, song, or story.  Click the “stop” button (the button with the square on it).  You now have a mono audio track.

  3. Trim the audio so that it does not have dead space or unwanted noise.  To do this, click and highlight the section that you want to remove.  Press delete on the keyboard to remove the highlighted section.  To be more exact, you can click on the magnifier glass tool at the top right tool bar area.  You can click play to hear your track.  You can click on the timeline to start in different places.

  4. Import a song.  Click File > Import > Audio.  Choose an mp3 song from the computer or from a CD then click open.  Congratulations, you now have two tracks.  It looks like 3 tracks, but the song you imported is a stereo track.

  5. Practice playing back the mono and stereo tracks by themselves.  The left end of the track gives you information about your track.  If you click the “Solo” button, you will only hear that track when you play back.  Unclick this button to hear all the tracks again.  If you click the “Mute” button, you will not hear that track on playback, but you will hear all the other tracks.  Note: you must press the “stop” button then the “play” button to start over. 

  6. Now to some tools.  We want to have the music low while your voice speaks the words. First, click the solo button on the stereo track.  Now click and highlight the music that should be lower volume than your voice.  Click the “Effect” button from the menu choices at the very top center of the window.  Move the mouse down to “Amplify” and click.  You can enter a direct amount to lower the volume (for example, -6), or simply drag the slider to the left and then stop on a desired level.  Click “OK.”  You should be able to see a difference on your track.  Unclick the “Solo” button and play your tracks to hear the difference.  If you want it lower or higher, click “Edit” then “undo” and try again.  Once you have some basic skills, you can play with the fade in and out to mix your music like a DJ!

  7. Now let’s add another mono track.  Record another verse by following the instructions for step #1. Or, copy and paste your original track by highlighting it, then click Edit > Copy.  Now click Tracks > Add New > Audio Track.  Put your mouse (and click) in the new track exactly where you want your content added and choose Edit > Paste.  You now have three tracks.

  8. Oops! You placed it in the wrong place.  Let’s move it over a little.  We will use the time shift tool.  Next to the record button are 6 tools.  The bottom middle tool is the one you will choose for this.  After clicking the tool, click on the new track recorded area and you can move the recording left and right.  To do this, click and hold the mouse button while moving the mouse left or right.  You can manipulate the audio on any track with this method.  Note: To re-gain normal control, you must choose the selection tool (top left tool next to the record button – it looks like a capital letter I). 

  9. Add an effect.  Highlight your audio in track 3 then click “Effect”, then down to “Change Pitch.”  In the new window, you can use the slider bar to raise or lower the pitch of your voice.  Left for lower voice, right for higher voice.  Make a change and click “OK.”  

  10. Save!  When you are ready, save your file.  There are two main things to remember: Save Project and Export.  Save project will let you continue editing the tracks later.  Export will collapse all the tracks into one file and make either an MP3 or WAV file.  Wav files are the format for creating music CD’s.  If you save as an MP3, you can post this in Catfiles so that your students can download to their iPod.  You are now making podcasts!