Hello! In this blog, I’ll be giving you a beginners’ guide to using the free open-source audio editor, Audacity!

Audacity is cross-platform compatible, it’s free, it’s open-source, and it does a lot of stuff when it comes to audio production.

To get started, open Audacity and click the green maximise button to open the window up to a full screen so you can see clearly what you’re working with.

audacity audio editing

Audio Hardware Setup Inside Audacity

If you’re a complete beginner, head up to the Core Audio section at the top of the screen where you’ll see the input (what you’ll use to record the audio) and output (what you’ll use to listen to the audio once you’ve recorded).

audacity audio editing tutorial

Select the correct options from the drop-down menus (it could include your built-in microphone, a webcam mic, or an external mic).

audacity audio editing tutorial

Usually for something like a built-in microphone you’ll have a choice of two channels – mono and stereo. Select mono here to simply have one channel.

audacity audio editing tutorial

Then, select your output – this could be your built-in computer output, or it could be your audio interface output that you’ve plugged in to some external speakers, for example.

audacity audio editing tutorial

Once that’s all set up, you’re ready to record your first piece of audio into Audacity!

How do you do that? Well, it’s super simple!

Recording Audio Inside Audacity

The buttons in the top left of the screen will be familiar to you if you’ve used a tape recorder or anything similar, and all you need to do to record is hit the big red button and record your audio.

audacity audio editing

To stop recording, either hit the spacebar or the yellow square stop button.

When recording, you’ll notice the levels appear at the top next to the microphone, showing you how loud you are. If you’re hitting the yellow or red, you’re getting a bit too loud.

audio editing in audacity

The numbers across the top of the recording are the time in seconds. Click anywhere along here to drop the play bar and begin playing from that point (by pressing the play and stop buttons or just clicking in the time bar where you want to play). 

audio editing in audacity

You can also stop playing by hitting the pause button and hitting it again to start playing again from the same point. And the rewind and fast forward buttons will take you to start and end of the track you’ve recorded.

audio editing in audacity

At the top in the middle, you have input and output volume levels. And the numbers in the bottom left are the audio position times in seconds.

audio editing in audacity

And that’s just about it. I hope this beginners’ guide to using Audacity has been useful! Let me know how you get on! I release new videos every week and teach how to do audio production. Make sure to subscribe to my channel.

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