Tip#19: Audacity – The FREE, Cross-Platform Sound Editor

Dddtix_124 From Brad Fountain (Field Manager, NC/SC)

Audacity_1What is it and why do I want it?

Audacity is a free, easy to use audio editor and recorder that educators and students should find very useful in producing content for use in presentations.  Audacity can used to: record live audio, covert tapes into digital recordings, edit MP3 and WAV files, cut, copy, splice, and mix sounds together…plus a lot more.

For the download go to http://audacity.sourceforge.net/

It can be used for projects such as students recording narrations over unitedstreaming editable video clips, students creating their own digital stories, or for creating your own classroom podcast.  Once you start using it for student projects you will be asking yourself "How did I live with this application?"

Audacitywindowssmall_1 Don’t let the screen shot scare you.  Audacity is a very easy program to use, plus it has plenty of features for to advance to as you become ready.


However, if you like to have a walkthrough you can go to http://audacity.sourceforge.net/help/tutorials to watch tutorials on how to use Audacity.  If you are a person who likes a manual go to http://audacity.sourceforge.net/help/documentation for a printable version.

If you have been using Audacity you may not be aware that Audacity cannot encode MP3s so you need to install an encoder that can be linked.  A trusted encoder can be found at http://audacity.sourceforge.net/help/faq?s=install&i=lame-mp3.

So if you are looking to add some spice to audio of your student’s presentations give Audacity a try.

Did you discover something new?  Deliver the discovery to at least three more colleagues and show them the benefits of what you discovered. Then document your event on the report form! Get points for discovering, delivering and documenting! Maybe you will win this week!

Download den_event_summary2.doc


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One Comment;

  1. Pat Ruffing said:

    I am a big fan of Audacity and have used it for multimedia projects since last year, basically adding musical background to digital stories narrated by students. I agree it is a fabulous tool. I do have a question for DEN members on something that has been a problem for me for some time. I hope someone can offer a suggestion.

    I have a collection of midi songs that I got as free downloads on the Bravenet website. Since midi is not a format accepted by, say Photostory, I needed to convert those to wav files to use in Audacity, which does not accept midi files. I did this last year with a download I purchased for about $30-35. At the beginning of this year I had to reformat my hard drive and eventually get a new computer, and my download was lost. I can’t locate the receipt I printed to show that I paid for it, or even which one it was. I am looking for suggestions for a good program to use, since there a several out there but the trial versions don’t let you do enough, and I need it like yesterday! I would like to be able to convert internally, and I don’t know if I am clear on the technical details here, but the program I used before recorded from what was played thru the speakers, so if someone closed a door nearby that was picked up. Is such a thing possible? Or am I crazy to even deal with midi files to begin with? I have the collection I used from last year, and many kids have already chosen their music for their stories from that collection, so I don’t have time to gather more for them to choose from, and I need more than 60 seconds in almost every case. I liked the midi files because they were songs that kids could recognize but all instrumental.

    Also, is there any way to change the amplification with the music file that you can create in Photostory itself? The kids really like that option, but I can’t fade out the volume so it doesn’t conflict with their narration.

    Thanks for any suggestions.

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