Audacity is truly, and absolutely a free software. Although it's free, it's still powerful than many audio editing software on the market today you can think o,. and it's available for Windows, Mac, GNU/Linux.
What You'll Learn Here.
In this tutorial you'll start learning how to install, configure, and use Audacity. Plus, activating the LAME mp3 encoder, and all in MS Windows.
For the installation process using other OS checkout the official Audacity website.
Before installing Audacity and the LAME mp3 encoder, make sure your system is equipped with a sound card and configured to record, and playback sound.
If not, then you'll have to go and read our tutorial about desktop audio recording setup before you continue.
Record and Playback Setup.
Sound Devices Configuration.
To record and or playback using Audacity, you'll first have to configure the In and Output devices.
This means, to set up the connection lines between whatever you're going to record, and or playback with, and Audacity.
These could be microphone input, line input and or speaker output of your system, in the preferences' section of Audacity.
To do this, simply lunch Audacity, select Edit, Preferences, and choose the device tab.
See image below.
The Default Settings.
Audacity usually displays the currently In-used sound card inside your system as the default input and or output device for recording, and or playback.
Depending on the kind of external devices you'll be using for sending your recording information into Audacity. You may leave the default settings as is.
Your source input for the current device should be selected from the recording section, in the device drop down list above channels.
You may be using, for example, [Microphone or line-Input] USB or Firewire as an external recording device. You'll then, need to select this by name after plugging it into the appropriate slot.
Monitoring And Adjusting The Input Levels.
Necessity Of Input Level Settings.
After making the necessary settings, you'll need to check and adjust the input level before starting to record.
If the input level is low, there will be background noise in your recording.
However, too high the level, will also distort the loud part of your recording, so the necessity of accuracy has the priority here.
Setting The Input Level Correctly.
To set the input level correctly, you'll have to turn on the Monitoring. [See Image].
Click the right-hand arrow of the two VU Meters or right-click over it and then choose Start Monitoring in the context menu.
If the meters are not visible, click View » Toolbars and check the Meter Toolbar.
Now, go back to the Preference tab, select Recording and check the Software Playthrough box.
Note: You'll have to unchecked it back if you want to record Stereo Mix.
Adjust now the Input level slider on the Mixer toolbar to the right (+), keep an eye on the red bar in the Input level meter.
Make sure it gets closer to the edge but not touching the scale, else your recording will distort.
Below is an image that shows you the In and Output sliders.
If you are sure of the quality of the sound, you're receiving, you can make a test recording. Press the record button and speak into the connected microphone. When done, press the stop button and then the play button to listen to what is recorded.
See controls image below.
Should you encounter any error, follow the message and troubleshoot appropriately.
Click here for the most current online manual for Audacity.
Explaining Menu Items | Working Tools.
The Main Editing Tools.
The main tools you'll need to edit your recorded or imported sounds in Audacity could be found under the command menus, Edit and Effect.
The Edit Menu.
In the Edit menu you can reach tools like. Copy, Cut, Paste, Trim, Delete, Duplicate, Preferences, and more. However, almost all the tools are disabled when there's no project opened.
The Preference Menu.
The preference menu is needed for configuring devices before recording or playback. Therefore, it's always available.
The Effect Menu.
The effect menu will give you tools and effects like. Amplify, Bass Boost, Change Tempo, Noise Removal, Cross Fade-In, Fade-Out and much more.
The effect menu is completely disabled when there's no project opened.
The Selection Tool.
To edit or apply an effect to an area in a project. You'll have to pick the selection tool, click in the track and drag across the desire area to select it.
The shaded area could then be copied, cut, or apply any effect as desired.
If no part of audio is selected Audacity selects all the audio in the project window, and whatever you'll apply will affect all instantly.
Below is an image showing a selected area in a track.
File Saving Methods.
Any file you'll save in Audacity, is saved as an Audacity project file with an ending. aup. And can be opened or edited only in Audacity.
To save your project files in formats like .wav, .mp3, and Alternatively, as a midi file, you'll have to choose under the File menu, the export command.
You can export a selection as an audio file, or even multiple tracks from your project as separate audio files.
Audacity also uses the import command, which works in the opposite direction of the export command.
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