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Simple Audacity Operation Guide

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Audacity is a multi-platform audio file editor distributed free of charge. The program is equipped with advanced tools for working with the contents of audio files, algorithms for performing spectral analysis of files, playing multi-channel tracks, mixing tracks with various characteristics, and more.

The Audacity library has dozens of effects to change the sound of the track. In addition to them, there are many official and unofficial extensions that can be connected from the outside. Most often used to cut music, for example, to install on a call.

Let's consider how to use Audacity, its main functions and tools. We will also show how to do something interesting using this application.

Installation

First of all, you need to get the installer of the program and install it, or download the portable version and unzip it to a convenient place on your computer. To download any version of the editor, go to the next page of our site and select the desired distribution.

For Linux, the program is available for installation from official repositories, for Ubuntu it will load after running the command: sudo apt install audacity.

After downloading the archive with the portable version, you only need to unzip it. To export files to mp3 format, you must separately download the LAME application for compression to mp3.

The upper part of the main application window is occupied by the main menu, which provides access to all Audacity functions. Below is a block of buttons for controlling the playback of an active audio track from a specified location:

  • Pause,
  • Playback
  • Stop,
  • Go to the beginning and end of the track,
  • Record a new track.

Then comes the block with tools for working with tracks, samples and their groups:

  • Isolation
  • Envelopes
  • Painting,
  • Scale,
  • Time shift
  • Multi-tool - switches to one of the first three, depending on the position of the cursor.

Next is a pair of volume meters at the input and output, after - the Quick Access Panel with shortcuts to frequently executed commands:

  • Cutting,
  • Copying
  • Insert,
  • Deleting audio data except the selected fragment,
  • Filling the selected fragment with silence,
  • Cancel and repeat steps.

After them are tools for scaling: enlarge, reduce, fit the selected area or the entire project into the window in width and a button for sequential switching between all display modes.
The last group of buttons is responsible for switching between sound devices.

Under the tools is the main part of the interface - the work area, where the diagram of sound tracks with a timeline is located. Here they are edited. The lowest part of the window is the status bar, it displays the status of the track, the selected instrument, the current position of the audio, the beginning and end of the selected fragment (the modes switch).

Sound recording

In addition to exporting audio files, Audacity can capture audio from audio devices (microphone). To do this, select your sound recorder, and then start monitoring it (top right in the toolbar).

Now click on the “Record” button to capture sound from the microphone.

To stop recording, there is a yellow “Stop” button. It can also be paused (“Pause”) in order to continue soon.

Soundtrack

Soundtrack is a way to visualize digital audio recordings. In Audacity, it consists of the following components:

  • Timeline - displayed at the top and shows the duration of the track,
  • File properties - the sound of the current track is muted here, its visualization (waveform, spectrum), colors for coloring various track elements and many other display parameters are changed
  • Scrubber - a line that marks the current position from which the file will start playing,
  • Audio track - here the visual signal is visualized in the selected form.

Under the first track there will be a second and subsequent ones after they are opened in the program.

Trimming tracks

Audacity allows you to cut out fragments of audio files for export to a file of the desired format. To accurately select the beginning and end of a section, use the scaling tools or the “Start and end of selection” in the status bar. You can change the scale with the mouse wheel while holding Ctrl.

To specify a fragment, select the "Selection" tool, with its help we mark the beginning and end of the fragment. As a result, the desired area will be highlighted.

To save the marked fragment to the audio file, do the following:

  • We call the menu item "File",
  • Move the cursor to the “Export” item and select the desired format,
  • Specify the saving parameters, in particular, bitrate,
  • Save the result.

Gluing tracks

To connect several pieces of audio into one, you need to import them through the “File” main menu item.

Select the necessary fragments, as described above, and use the copy-paste functions to create the composition. They can also be moved using the Time Shift tool.

Mixing

Mixing or mixing is the process of combining several tracks into one. To do this, import several files into Audacity, and then save the result to a file. Previously, tracks can be edited, aligned, changed their volume level, apply sound effects, etc.

Noise removal

The application allows you to remove extraneous sounds from the recording. Open the file and select the desired fragment.

We call the “Noise reduction” command from the “Effects” main menu item. Click "Get noise profile" to automatically detect third-party sounds.

Once again open this window and click “OK”. You can pre-configure the noise reduction profile by dragging the sliders and listening to the result.

To save the result, select "Export" from the "File" menu.

Specify the format and parameters of the output audio file.

Using Audacity is very simple. We examined typical situations of its operation, in fact, the program has much more possibilities.

Download and install Audacity

Since the program is free, you can always download and install it from the official website in Russian at the link: http://audacity-free.ru/.

Attention! The download link is at the very bottom!

After clicking the "Download Audacity" button, the archive with the program will be downloaded. Opening it you will see three files. The one we need is highlighted in the screenshot below:

Along with the Audacity installation file, the archive contains the Adguard program, which honestly doesn’t affect how Audacity works, but is supplied for advertising purposes. But you can try. The program is really useful.

Run the installation file and install Audacity.

Audacity Window Elements

Let's run Audacity and look at the main elements of the window:

All window elements are described in the official manual, but in English.

  1. Menu bar
  2. playback and recording panel (play, rewind, record buttons),
  3. toolbar (zooming tracks, markers, etc.),
  4. recording indicator (displays indication on the left and right channel, in stereo recording),
  5. playback indicator (displays the indication on the left and right channel, during playback),
  6. adjusting the microphone volume and playback sound (mixer),
  7. Editing panel,
  8. playback speed
  9. panel of playback and recording devices,
  10. timeline
  11. selection bar
  12. status bar.

How to open a file in Audacity

Audacity allows you to work with the following audio file formats AIFF, AU, FLAC, MP2, MP3, OGG, WAV, on MAC OS - M4A (AAC), MOV.

To open the file, you can use the Menu Bar -> File -> Open or just grab the audio file and drag it into the program window.

Let's open any audio file.

The audio file opens as a sound wave. The screenshot above shows the sound wave for stereo recording (therefore 2 tracks). Each open audio file is presented in the form of 2 panels:

  1. control panel (file information, volume control and file balance),
  2. sound wave of the file (the area in which work on the sound occurs - cropping, stretching, changing the wave, etc.).

How to save in mp3 format

Despite the fact that Audacity already out of the box supports many formats, the most popular one is mp3, you need to configure it manually. This is due to licenses for the format itself.

First you need to download the lame_enc.dll file, which will add support for mp3.

Unpack the dll file somewhere, from where it cannot be accidentally deleted. I recommend in the folder where the program is installed Audacity. Let's go to the folder. Right-click the Audacity icon and click Properties, then click the File Location button.

2.8.1. Audio I / O Tab

This tab of the Audacity Options dialog box controls the settings for recording and playing sound. From the drop-down lists, you must select the available recording and playback devices. Another important parameter is the number of channels in your audio recording.

If you want each new record to have one channel, then select mono, if two, then stereo. If the option is activated

To play existing tracks when recording a new one, you can record a file while playing another file.

This is convenient when, for example, you need to record a voice to the accompaniment. The mode to play new tracks when recording them can be convenient for self-monitoring recording through headphones.

2.8.2. Quality tab

The Quality tab controls the sampling parameters of the audio signal. The higher the sampling, the higher the quality of the signal recording. As practice has shown, the most optimal value for the parameter is the sampling frequency equal to 44100 Hz, and for the parameter the sample size is 32 bits. A sample is understood as the accuracy of measurement of each sample on the signal presentation graph. It is reasonable to leave the remaining parameters of this window unchanged, since their default values ​​are most optimal.

V.A. Goryunov, A.N. Getting down. Processing and editing audio using Audacity.

2.8.3. File Formats Tab

On the file formats tab are the settings used when importing or exporting files to various formats.

When the option Copy file before editing is activated

the program will run slower, but you will always have a copy of the file for editing operations. The Read directly from file mode is faster, but less secure.

The MP3 export options option shows the version of the LAME library. If this library is not installed, then you will not be able to export your project in MP3 format.

To install this library, click the Download LAME library button. In the browser window that opens, it will load

V.A. Goryunov, A.N. Getting down. Processing and editing audio using Audacity.

site http://Audacity.sourceforge.net/download from which you can download it.

2.8.4. Catalogs Bookmark

On the Catalogs tab, a place is assigned on the computer’s hard drive, where temporary Audacity files will be located, as well as autosave and caching options.

Audacity uses temporary directories to place the project in a format while it is being edited. If you change the directory for storing temporary files, you must restart the program for the changes to take effect.

2.8.5. Interface Tab

In the Interface tab, the interface parameters are set

Audacity programs. The Behavior group of parameters allows you to configure the behavior of the spectrogram of the audio signal, as well as sliders and buttons during playback or recording.

Enabling the Update view during playback option

consumes significant processor resources and can sometimes cause pauses.

The Language option allows you to select the desired language for the program interface.

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