Preparing to Record
1. Start Audacity. It is a sound tool that is located
in your "Multimedia" directory on your desktop.
Your desktop should look similar to this:
2. Make sure
that your microphone is plugged into the correct "mic in" port
on the sound card located at the back of your computer.
3. Make sure
that the "Select" box has been checked and the volume slider
is up to about 3/4 at minimum, in the Window's Recording Control window
(this is NOT the slider that pops up when you click once on the icon located
in your system tray on the lower right hand corner of your desktop). If
you are not sure, then refer back to the Windows Control section of this
web site for detailed instructions on selecting it. It will look similar
4. If you
are using a microphone that has an on/off switch on it, make sure it is
switched to the "on" position.
5. In the
Audacity main window, select Edit>Preferences.
Next, select the Quality tab. Since this page is for
recording with a microphone, for the purposes of this tutorial, I am going
to assume that you will just be recording voice. In the Quality tab window
choose 11025 KHz. Leave the Default Sample Format set
to 16 Bit. Bit depths and bit rate settings will be discussed
6. When done
with the settings, click the Ok button to close the Audacity
7. To begin
recording, click on the round red Record button on the control toolbar
located at the top of the Audacity window.
Tip: Watch the "sound intensity" meter at the top of the window
while you are recording. Try to keep the fluctuating "red" level
from "banging" the side of this meter box area too much. If
it does, you will need to re-record your sample with the microphone a
little further back from the source of the sound or reduce the input slider
8. When you
are finished recording, click on the Stop button on the control toolbar.
to the File
9. To test
(hear) your file, make sure that you have some headphones or speakers
set up and plugged into the correct port (spkr out) on your computer's
sound card (located at the back of the computer). You also may need to
adjust the Windows "Volume" slider, by clicking once on the
sound icon in
the lower right corner of your desktop and adjusting. (Some headphones/speakers
also have their own volume controls to adjust as well).
ready to listen, click the cursor once, at the beginning of the "blue"
sound clip (wave), and then click the Play button on the control toolbar.
can start the playback of a sound file, from any position along the sound
wave. Just click the cursor at the point you want to start listening from.
Also, you may want to here only a certain "portion" of your
sound clip. Do this by highlighting the portion of the sound wave you
wish to hear and then clicking the play button.
Saving Audacity Project Files
11. By selecting Save Project As from the File menu,
Audacity will save everything in the window into an Audacity-specific
format so that you can save and quickly continue your work later. An Audacity
project consists of a project file, ending in ".aup", and a
project data folder, ending in "_data". For example, if you
name your project "Composition", then Audacity will create a
file called "Composition.aup" and a folder called Composition_data.
Audacity project files are not meant to be shared with other programs;
use one of the Export commands such as WAV or MP3 when you are finished
editing a file.
Be sure to
use a descriptive name and save your Audacity project file somewhere where
you can locate it at a later date. It is a good idea to save your Audacity
project to your H: drive.
Exporting Audio Files
12. If you
have decided that this is a "keeper" (you are satisfied with
it), then you are now ready to export the file in a format geared towards
your target application and/or audience. For this tutorial, the file will
be exported to the MP3 format.
- Click File >
Export as MP3…
- Choose a destination
and short name for the file. Be sure to remember where you saved your
exported sound file to so you can find it later.
- Click OK. If desired,
you can enter meta-data information about the file.
You should now be
able to open your newly created MP3 file with your favorite media player
or insert it into PowerPoint, video, or other multimedia project.