Using Audacity to Record Audio

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Audacity is a free, open-source audio recording and editing application that runs on Mac, Windows, and Linux. This page will walk you through how to download and set up Audacity and the basics of recording your narration with it. The screenshots on this page were taken on a Mac, but the interface is generally the same on all platforms.

Downloading and Installing Audacity

  1. On the computer you will be recording on, navigate to the Audacity homepage at audacityteam.org.
  2. At the top of the page, click the “Download Audacity #.#.#” link (where #.#.# is the version) to download the latest version of Audacity for your platform.
  3. Navigate to the downloads folder to find the installer, then run it to install Audacity. Follow the instructions presented for your particular platform.

Using Audacity to Record Narration

  1. Before launching Audacity, connect your microphone.
  2. Launch Audacity.


    Fig. 1 – The Main Interface of Audacity

  3. Before recording, verify that your headset is the active input device. In most cases, this is the headset UW Extended Campus provided for you. You can see the active input device in the main interface above. Once this is verified, you are ready to record.

  4. Record one audio file per slide instead of doing your entire presentation in one long recording.
    • This allows you to easily re-record the content for a specific slide if there are errors in the original file.
    • This allows for easy, multi-session recordings.
    • Most importantly, it provides clear organization of your audio content for the Media Team. Remember that Media have to match up this audio with individual slides.
  5. When you are ready, click the record button to begin recording.
  6. When you are finished recording the narration for the slide, click the stop button to stop recording.
  7. Preview your recording by clicking the play button. It is always important to preview your recordings to see if there are any issues.
  8. Once you have recorded a slide, open the File menu and choose Export Audio. Export the file in .wav format, name it sequentially, and save it to a file folder for named after your presentation.

    For example: audio01.wav, audio02.wav (with the number corresponding to a specific slide number.)

  9. To record the next slide, click on the x in the upper left of the track to close the previous recording, then start the process again (record, stop recording, and export in .wav format).

  10. After you have recorded a sound file for each slide, you are finished.

Published on June 15, 2015 at 5:04:47 pm CDT. Last modified on May 06, 2020 at 2:41:23 pm CDT.