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Audacity Tutorial by the Knight Digital Media Center

Audacity Tutorial by the Knight Digital Media Center

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Published by: alhambrasource on Nov 16, 2012
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11/15/12 Audacity Tutorial | Audacity1/30multimedia.journalism.berkeley.edu/tutorials/audacity/printfriendly/
Knight Digital Media Center Multimedia Training
Tutorial: Audacity
ByJeremy RueFor updates and discussion on this tutorial, visit:http://kdmc.berkeley.edu/tutorials/audacity/
Introduction
 
Audacity is a piece of sound-editing software that is widelyknown for being open-source (free of charge) and offering cross-platform compatibility.Because it is free, however, there are some drawbacks. Generally, Audacity is not as robust andpolished as some other professional sound-editing programs, and there are some bugs in thesoftware that can cause it to crash unexpectedly.
Some of the advantages of Audacity:
Free of chargeCompatible with Mac OSX, Windows, Linux and other operating systemsLightweight and a relatively small program sizeOpen source with community support working to continually improve it
Some of the drawbacks of Audacity are:
Several known (and unknown) bugs exist that can cause the program to become unstableThe program is limited in its mixing capabilitiesSome aspects are more complex, and not as user-friendlyThe program is not as complete, as you will have to install plug-ins/encoders separatelyAudacity can be downloaded at the following location:http://audacity.sourceforge.net/download/(This tutorial was written using Audacity for Mac OSX version 1.3.6 in November 2008. While thescreenshots and some menu items are Mac specific, it is written to cater to all platforms. Due toAudacity's open-source nature, the program tends to update regularly, and some informationmay become outdated. We will try to keep it updated when possible.)
Downloading, installing and setup
Download and install Audacity
http://audacity.sourceforge.net/download/While the software makers allow users to download the latest "beta" versions of the program,doing so may have some unexpected consequences. Generally "beta" software is still in a testingmode and could be unstable. If working on production material, it is suggested that users
 
11/15/12 Audacity Tutorial | Audacity2/30multimedia.journalism.berkeley.edu/tutorials/audacity/printfriendly/
download the stable versions until the beta versions replace them.This tutorial was written using the latest beta version, however, to keep it as up to date aspossible.
Download and install MP3 encoder
While the MP3 encoder is listed as an optional download, it is required in order to export MP3files. MP3 files are ubiquitous on the Web, and their small size with relatively low quality lossensures that it will be quick and easy to download. Installing an MP3 encoder is
highlyrecommended
. The MP3 encode Audacity uses is called
LAME
.Despite its name, LAME is a ubiquitous, open-source MP3 encoder that allows many softwareapplications to create MP3s from uncompressed audio files. LAME is a reverse acronym for
LAME ain't an MP3 encoder,
which is deceptive because it
is
an MP3 encoder. The name was areference to the early version of the software.From the downloads page on Audacity's Web site, you will see some "optional" downloads. Clickon the link for the
LAME MP3 encoder
, or follow this link:LAME MP3 Encoder.Follow the instructions for downloading the LAME MP3 Encoder package to your computer. Onceyou have extracted the package, open Audacity, and select
Preferences
under the Audacitymenu (Mac) or Edit menu (PC).From the left menu, click on
Import/Export
(might be labeled differently in earlier versions of Audacity) then click on the
Find Library
button. If you didn't download the LAME library yet,there is also a download button to do this here as well.
 
11/15/12 Audacity Tutorial | Audacity3/30multimedia.journalism.berkeley.edu/tutorials/audacity/printfriendly/
Use the
Browse...
button to find the location of the LAME package file, either
libmp3lame.dylib
(Mac) or
lame_enc.dll
(PC).Click
OK
.
Workspace
Let's take a look at the Audacity workspace.At the top are several buttons that allow you to
play, stop, pause, fast-forward, rewind orrecord
a track.To the right of that are some
playback and record meters
which show you the sound levels.Since the volume at which you listen to your sound can vary depending on how load your

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