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Activity 4 - Editing Audio with Audacity

Editing Your Audio File

Using your sample 30 second recording, you will now explore the
options available for editing with Audacity. You must select a
portion of your audio file in order to edit (cut, copy, duplicate or
silence) it.

Make a Selection
 Click the selection tool
 Move your mouse point to an area of the wav file graphic
 Press and hold the left mouse button while you drag the
mouse to mark an area
 Press the spacebar to listen to the audio in the marked area
 Note, that even though you can mark an area larger than or extending beyond the
actual audio clip in the track, the operations will only work on the actual clip. Playback
however will work outside the clip.

 To extend or contract your selection, hold down the SHIFT button and click on the
area you wish your selection to extend or contract to.
 If you click at a spot that is on the right hand side from the middle of the current
selection, you will set the right hand boundary of your new selection.

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Editing the Selection:

 Select Cut from the Edit menu or press CTRL+X
Before the cut After the cut

 To undo this operation, select Undo in the Edit menu or press CTRL+Z

 Select Copy from the Edit menu to copy the selection to the clipboard.
 You can then paste that data back in to any track by clicking where you want
this audio to be inserted and select Paste in the Edit menu, or press CTRL+V.

Working With Tracks

 Audacity always records to a new track

 You can import other sound files to create your

desired output (background music, sounds, etc.)
o Project, Import Audio

 You can mute individual tracks for editing purposes.

 To hear the tracks, press the green play button.

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Importing Audio

You may wish to add some background music or another audio

effect to your file. You will need to have the file stored on your
 Select Project, Import Audio
 Browse your computer for the file you wish to import

The imported file will appear on the

new track. Take note of how long it is
in comparison to your audio file. You may need to edit your
imported file.

The second track in the diagram to the left contains an intro loop. In
order to make room for the intro, the audio track must be split and
moved to the right. To do this:

1. Position your cursor at the beginning of the audio track

2. Select the Time Shift tool

3. Using the Time Shift tool hold the cursor over the
audio track recording, click and
hold the left mouse button
down and move the recording to make room for track two.

Fade Out Effect

Adding a fade out:

1. Select the portion of the track that you want to have fade out
2. Select Effect, Fade Out
3. Your sound wave will turn into a cone shape

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Making a mistake when recording?

When making a recording it can be frustrating if you say the wrong thing or make a mistake,
especially if you are doing a long recording, because you may come to the conclusion you’ll
need to start again. This is not the case as outlined in fig 5.

2. While recording it is recommended that you record a silent strip for about 3 seconds, this
produces a flat-line in the sound that can be used to identify the mistake later.
3. If you require time to compose yourself press the Pause button to temporarily stop the
recording. Press the pause button again to continue the recording.
4. Continue by repeating the section leading up to the mistake and carrying on with the
correct dialogue.

Section with the mistake Silent for 3 seconds and Continue with the correct
maybe pause dialogue
Fig 5

5. To remove the mistake after you have completed the recording and pressed stop.
6. Listen to the section in which you made the mistake to decide what needs to be
removed. This may take a few attempts.
7. Once you have decided what needs to be removed from the recording, use the cursor
to highlight the section as seen in fig 6. This is done by left clicking the mouse at the
start of the section, then hold down the left mouse button and move the cursor along
the required section.

Fig 6 ve
section of the recording by pressing the Delete key on the keyboard and the sound wave will
realign itself as shown in fig 7, shortening the length of the recording by the amount of time

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Fig 7

Adding some dialogue to my recording?

If you’ve made a recording, but once you’ve listened to it you notice that you left something
1. Simply press record again. This will open a second Audio Track, as seen in fig 8.

Fig 8

To place this Audio Track into the position required in the recording use the Time Shift tool
found in the Control Toolbar. This is done in the following steps:

2. Position the cursor line at the point in the recording where the second recording will fit
in, shown in Fig 9 on the following page.

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Fig 9

3. Then go to
the Edit
menu on the
menu bar Fig 10
and select
the Split option. This creates a small gap in the recording as shown in Fig 10.

4. Using the Time Shift tool hold the cursor over the second audio track recording, click
and hold down the left mouse button and move the recording to a position where the
start of it is aligned with the split as shown in fig 11.

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Fig 11

5. Finally do the same with the sound wave to the right of the split in the first Audio Track.
Using the time Shift Tool, positioning it at the end of the recording in the second audio
track, as shown in fig 12.

Fig 12

6. The recording will now play seamlessly with the new dialogue added.

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Working With Tracks

 Audacity always records to a new track

 You can import other sound files to create your

desired output (background music, sounds, etc.)
1. Project, Import Audio

 You can mute individual tracks for editing purposes.

 To hear the tracks, press the green play button.

Personalize your recording

Once you’ve completed your recording and you are happy with how it sounds, you can
personalise it by giving it a title and putting your name on it.

1. This is done by going to the Project menu on the Menu bar and selecting Edit ID3 Tags,
which brings up the box shown in fig 13.

2. This allows you to add a Title to your recording, this could be the main theme of the

3. The Artist name which is you if you recorded it.

4. An Album name, this could be the name of a series

of Podcasts. If your recording is one of a series of
Podcasts it’s position in the order can be put in the
Track Number.

5. The year it was produced can be put in the Year


6. For the Genre this can be selected from a large list,

as a Podcast tends to be a vocal recording this is
the genre selected.

7. Finally if you wish you can add further comments.

Finish and save the information by pressing ok.

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Saving Your Recording

1. You can save your recording by going to the File Menu and selecting Save Project As…
2. This option saves the recording as an ‘Audacity Project’ which is a format called .aup.
3. This format can then be listened to again but only on Audacity software.
4. Unfortunately this format can not be played on typical digital audio devices.
5. Therefore the file has to be converted into an mp3 format, which is much more
6. This can be done by selecting the Export As mp3 option on the File Menu.

Unfortunately Audacity doesn’t have the ability to do this on it’s own. To achieve this we need
an add-on called lame_enc.dll which has to be downloaded from the internet and is also free.
This will only need to be done once. Follow the instructions on the following page.

Exporting Your Final Project to WAV/MP3

Once you have completed all of your audio editing, you will need to export your work. Go the
File Menu > Export to WAV to export your audio file.

You will be prompted to save your work in a

location. When the audio is exported, you
are finished. Congratulations!

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