Audacity Quick Start Tutorial
In this brief tutorial
Audacity will be used to edit and export an audio file.
Two audio files
are provided for you to use during this tutorial. Save the two following
audio files by right-clicking on the link and selecting (depending on
your web browser) Save Target As…. or Save Link As... * background_music and narration. Save
to a new folder called "Audacity Tutorial" on your network
Listen to the finished
Import Audio into
1. Launch Audacity
by clicking the icon located
in the Multimedia folder. Select Project > Import Audio. Locate background_music.mp3
by browsing to the location you saved the audio file to earlier and
select Open. This file will be added to the audacity timeline.
2. Import the narration.mp3
audio file as well using Project > Import Audio.
3. Your screen will
look similar to the image below. Notice that there are two tracks on
the timeline. One is background_music.mp3 and the other is the narration.mp3.
- To listen, press
the Play button. To stop, press .
- Notice that playback
begins where the selection tool is currently located. You can also click and drag
to select a portion of the waveform and only that highlighted portion
will be played back.
- Click the solo
button on the narration track to only hear that track.
- Delete unwanted
audio by using the selection tool to select the portion you wish to delete and hit
the delete key.
- In the middle
of the track named narration the narrator clears his throat. Delete
this section by selecting that portion of the waveform and hitting
the delete key.
Fade-In & Fade-Out
- Using the selection
tool highlight the first few seconds of the track named
background. From the menu, select Effect > Fade In.
- Next, highlight
the last few seconds of the track named background and select Effect
> Fade Out.
When played back,
you will notice that the background track fades in and then fades out
at the end.
Shift Tracks on
Use the Time Shift
Tool to slide tracks around on the timeline.
Set the background music to start playing briefly before the narration
begins by using the Time Shift Tool to click and drag the narration
track to the right a few seconds.
The volume of a
track can be reduced or increased by using the volume control for the
In our example, the background music is too loud. To lower the volume, move the slider to -12dB.
Saving and Exporting
are stored with an .AUP file extension. This file stores information
about your project so you can use Audacity to work with it later.
Audacity can export
your project to a variety of formats depending on your audience and
needs. The following table provides an overview of two common formats.
you plan to edit later
uncompressed audio file for Windows or Mac
CD’s, High Quality Recordings
format can be played with most media players
audio, portable music players
You can choose to
export all tracks in a project or just selected tracks. If you have
more than one track, Audacity will “mix down” your tracks. This means
that it will combine separate tracks into one track.
Save Audacity Project
- Select File
> Save Project As…
- Give it a name
and click Save.
Export as an MP3
- Click File
> Export as MP3…
- Choose a destination.
Be sure to remember where you saved your exported sound file to so
you can find it later.
- Click OK.
- If needed, enter
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.
file courtesy of:
Shastry, Nan. (2006).
Background_music.mp3. Sound clips for presentations. Retrieved
on December 12, 2006 from www.brainybetty.com.