In this post, we’ll show you a beginner’s look at how to use Audacity, one of our favorite audio editing programs – an easy to operate, downloadble freeware program. Audacity is an essential for musicians, sound designers, artists, or anyone simply because it is so easy to use and the user can accomplish so much. It is compatible with both Mac and Windows operating systems. In this post, we’ll go over some major basics for operating Audacity.
First thing’s first, you need to open up an audio file. Audacity supports mp3, aiff, AU, and wav files but you’ll find that mp4s are not so compatible. Once an audio file has been loaded into the program, you’ll see a set of waveforms that represent that sonic profile of your clip. If you see one row of waveforms, that indicates the audio file is mono. If there are two, it’s in stereo format. Here is a look at the Audacity interface.
The top tool bar has many different icons that are all pretty self explanatory just from the way they look. There are playback buttons, which include the standard record, play, pause, fast forward, and rewind buttons. Input and output volume sliders are also located on the top tool bar. These are for adjusting volume levels of your microphone input and speaker output respectively. Now it’s time to start editing your audio.
Highlight a piece of your clip by dragging your cursor across where you would like to highlight. Towards the top right side of the tool bar you will see several editing buttons. From left to right they are cut, copy, past, trim outside selection, trim inside selection, undo, redo, zoom in, zoom out, fit selection to window, and fit project to window. Become familiar with these operations by simply experimenting with them and your audio clip. Audacity has many audio effects that you can apply to your clip including fade in, fade out, normalize, reverse, and many more. You can even use Audacity to mix two songs together.
Once you’re done editing, simply export your clip as a .wav or mp3 file and enjoy! Many of the users who have contributed to our royalty free music library use Audacity to edit their tracks. New versions of audacity are released frequently so keep checking for updates.