Audacity tutorial

Have you tried Audacity, the free audio recording and editing program? It’s pretty nifty. Here’s a tutorial if you’d like to try it:

Audacity Tutorial

· Go to

· Download the current Audacity version for your platform, which would be Windows, Mac or Linux/Unix (this tutorial is based on the “stable” version, not the Beta version).

· Click on the Audacity installer (.exe file for Windows; .dmg file for Mac) and follow instructions (you may choose RUN instead of SAVE to make the process easiest).

· After downloading Audacity, go to your My Documents folder, your Home folder, or wherever you save your documents regularly and within that create a NEW FOLDER titled Audacity Files. Take a minute and make a mental note of where this folder is so you can find it later.

· You will also need the LAME encoder to convert Audacity files to mp3 format. Go to and read for background information; click on the appropriate LAME download page link for your platform.

· Click on the .zip file link (you may have to scroll down a little) for Audacity on your platform. Click SAVE when prompted, and then save the “zip file” in your Audacity Files folder.

· Close your Internet browser. Open your Audacity Files folder so that you see the .zip folder displayed in the window.

· In Windows, right-click on the .zip folder and choose Extract All from the pop-up menu. On the Mac, double-click the .zip file and it will automatically create an unzipped folder in the same parent folder (Audacity Files).

· Follow the instructions where prompted. When prompted to select a folder, you should have a path that looks something like this: C:\Documents and Settings\pcarr3\My Documents\Audacity files\libmp3lame-win-3.97. Examine what I have highlighted. Ensure that you are saving to My Documents\Audacity Files or Your Home folder\Audacity Files or whatever folder and subfolder you have chosen. This is important – LAME must be easily accessible when you save your Audacity files. When you are done, you may close your folder window.

· Now for the fun part! If you have a headset with microphone, ensure it’s plugged in to your computer. It cuts down on noise and embarrassment when you are recording. J

· Open Audacity.

· See the red button at the top? It looks a little grayed out, but that’s okay. Also locate the square button, which is grayed out but is going to be yellow when you record.

· Click the red button and say: “Testing, testing, this is my Audacity test” or some such nonsense.

· Click the yellow button when you finish.

· Now click the green “play” button. You should hear your recording. Way to go!

· Click on FILE (top left) and choose SAVE PROJECT from the menu.

· Make sure you are saving in your main Audacity Files folder!

· Save your file as Test1.

· Close Audacity.

· Open Audacity (I’m not being tedious, really; I’m just trying to teach you how to get back to your file).

· Now go to FILE>OPEN and open Test1.


· Be sure you are in your main Audacity Files folder before you save.

· You will be asked for some tags, which you may fill in or skip. (The next step may happen first.)

· The first time you save, you will likely be prompted to find LAME, because your computer needs to know where it is. Do NOT open the .zip folder; open the similarly named folder that is not a zip file. You may have to open yet another folder after that. Then click on the lame_enc.dll file. That’ll do it.

· You now have an mp3, and you can open it in iTunes or whatever you open mp3’s in. You can even download it to your mp3 player, so that you can walk around listening to yourself saying, “Testing, testing, this is my Audacity test.”


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