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Audacity Basics: Recording, Editing, Mixing

I want to cover some very simple editing and getting some things like music into it. So here I already have the program installed. If you want more details, you could always go to audacity website. They have this great page on mixing and narration with background music, you can google that and read much more details which we’re professional than I’m going to do.

What I’m going to do first is make sure that I have already plugged in my microphone. That’s really important. I audacity if I plug the mic in after I open it. Sometimes it gets a little messed up, so I’m going to plug it in and then open the program. When I do that, I can click this little thing here to choose the mic. I want you can see that my computer’s like well, I don’t know you probably wan na record it out of the mic, that’s built into the computer right and I’m like.

No. I want to use this microphone here, the one that sounds a little bit better. So if you are plugging a microphone and make sure you pick the right thing now that I’ve picked the microphone that I want to use, assuming I plugged one in, maybe I just want to use the one that’s already built into the computer. What I like to do is do a quick little test to make sure the volume is right. I usually do that just by clicking in here right above the mic area, when I click it, it’ll start showing me in live real time, a visual representation of this.

If it looks like super hot super loud I’ll, adjust it with this little guy I’ll move it down a little bit. I can’t do that right now, because I’m using the same microphone for recording this article. So, who knows what would happen, but I would go up and down if I start recording like say by hitting the record button and if these Peaks that you’re seeing look really really tall if they’re, if they’re cracking the top and bottom they’re like it just stood There then, I’m probably want to go back and make them a little bit smaller, because in in reality of that that sound, it’s called clipping the sound of my volume being so loud that it hits the top.

What will make a little bit of distortion? It’s usually not a very pleasant sound for readers. This is just a test, so let’s just use it well. Here I am recording. Did you see how easy that was by the way I plug in a mic? I opened the the program. If I want, I kind of adjust the volume a little bit and hit record and bam, I’m doing this in real time now. The the obvious thing is that when I want to stop, I can stop okay great now.

I have this hole thing here. If I want to, if I want to see the whole thing at once, I could do this view fit in window, and now I can see by seconds 5. 10. 15. 20. I just did about a 40 second article um. I have a few options here that are really pretty simple. I I’m talking about a situation here where you might want to work in some music. So before I get music in here, I want to make my volume a little bit more.

Even you see how, in parts of it where I got quieter, it didn’t go up much at all and it times where I was louder. It was kind of a purely big. So I like to do something called compression now, if I hit control a it’ll select the whole thing, I could also do that just by clicking the track, and you see it’s a little darker – that’s it’s kind of like highlighting words in word. I’m saying hey. I want to do something to everything I just selected.

If I want, I can also choose a selection tool up here and kind of select different parts, but I want to I want to do something to this whole thing. I want to compress this whole bit, so I’m going to select the whole thing: go to effects, go to compressor. Now, compressor might be a weird term, for you might not be used to it. You might see a whole lot of scary things here. Well, if you want more details about ideal ways to adjust this, remember that that page I got here, it kind of has some suggestion things a lot of times.

I just leave it as default. It’ll default to the thing I did last time, I’m just going to hit OK and show you what happens, read the visual representation, all of a sudden, it’s a little more. Even that part that was a little quieter, there’s a little louder. The part that was really loud sometimes is even a little bit quieter and the whole thing sounds a little more even tone. Well, that’s great! That means that I can put music underneath it not be worried about the places.

I was talking, quiet, every being really quiet. Okay, it’s a it’s, a really simple, really easy little thing to do, select all compress now. What I want to do is get some music or some sound effects or something in here. So what I’m going to do is go to someplace, where I have some music. Well, here’s a weird piece: I’m going to drag this file into my audacity program and you see what would happen.

Is it literally dragged it in as a whole separate track underneath it? This is everything I just did remember a second ago we were kind of zoomed in a little bit more, so it took up more of the whole screen, but now this new track is playing underneath. So if I hit play you would the things I said and at the exact simultaneous moment you know I could say it 15 seconds. You would hear that track underneath it now, I’m going to zoom out a little bit, I’m doing, control and holding the rollerball in the mouse.

That kind of zooms me in and out. I, like that, a lot you can see that this audio track is way longer than my 40 seconds of talking. So I probably don’t want the whole thing. I probably want to cut something I might want to cut something of my narration and my own might want to cut something of this audio too. So, let’s, let’s do it one at a time. Let’s say I only want that first 40 seconds of the music.

Assuming that that’s exactly the part I want I’m going to highlight it. I can only do that because I chose the select tool here. First, I’m going to highlight what I want and when I’ve highlighted I’m just going to hit the delete button on the keyboard BAM, it’s gone, wow how easy and simple now again to make it easier. I can kind of zoom in and out remember with my mic control, rollerball thing, okay! So now here’s my talking, here’s this part now I might still have parts up here where I’m like.

Oh, I really want to to delete this part. Maybe this is all a mistake. Same thing right, I can highlight I can hit delete. I can do that. However much I want no say that the music really starts getting really good right here at about this twenty second moment and I’m like oh, I really wish my audience could kind of hear some of that music right there. Well, what I like to do is split. The track I so I put my cursor where I want it to go, and then I can go to edit clip boundaries and split you see.

It also tells you control, I will do it. I use control. I so much more read what happens when I hit that split. Well, barely anything you could see there’s a little bit of a line at now between this. That means that I’m going to zoom in you can see this stuff on. One side is different than the stuff on the other side. Now, if I want to accentuate that, if I want to make that a little clearer, I’m going to click up here to these tools and I’m going to click this one, that’s a time shift tool that essentially means I can drag stuff around.

Let me let me show you what happens when I drag when I, when I try to click and drag on this bottom track with the time shift tool. The whole thing moves now. I can’t I can’t select things the way I used to right. If I want to select something I to go back to the Select tool highlight it, but if I want to move it around, I click time shift tool. Now I can move stuff. Well, you see how this whole track is moving.

Well, I just split this top track, so now I can move the in different places. Does that make sense that they they get dragged separately? There they’re thought of as whole different clips, and I can be really useful when I’m trying to time my words with my music, so I’m like ooh there’s this really interesting part of music. I wanted to come right there and there’d be a little bit of silence, in my words as it as it comes back in that can be really really sweet right.

Okay, so so that’s easy enough right! We’re splitting tracks with ctrl I or edit clip boundary split. We’re moving them around using the time shift tool. Okay, so now this might be almost really good. This almost B might be worth me, exporting and and letting other people listen to accept. My volume probably isn’t levelled out, for instance, this remember volume is a feature of how up and down it is how close it is to the top.

This looks kinda loud in relation to my talking, which also is about the same light. I probably want that music a little bit quieter, now, there’s a few different ways to do that, I’m going to show you the way I like to I like to use this envelope tool, I’m going to click that, and you see the second. I clicked it all of a sudden things. Look a little different here. It’s like what’s going on. What I do is I is, I click at a point in a track and you see what it did.

Is it made this itty-bitty little dot there after I click there, I can adjust the volume of the things before that and after it up. So I clicked that so now, that’s kind of like a pivot. Now I’m going to click in a space before it and read what happens? I can kind of manually adjust everything before and after that pivot and remember smaller means quieter. So what I’m doing here is. I can make another pivot here.

I can make this part in the middle kind of louder if I want so, it feels a little bit more accentuated. Remember because the speaking stopped at that moment and then when I start talking again, I can drag another one and everything after that pivot point will get quieter. I can you know you: can you can see, I can kind of use it to fade a little bit to make it a little more interesting if I’m like.

Oh that’s still too loud like again I’ll, just drag it again and kind of even that out. This is a lot of playing around. I know it kind of looks weird here, but I in real life, I’m I’m constantly playing back the whole time to hear what it sounds like um. The easiest way to do that is to just click this top bar. So if I’m like, I want to hear what it sounds like starting right here. You click the start that bar and it’ll start playing back right at that moment.

Now you, you can’t hear it because of the setup on my computer right now, but it I swear. It’s there it’s playing it, so I’m like is that quiet enough I’ve hit play no I’ll, make it a little quieter and I come back and I grab that and make a little letter whatever now remember. If I want to select something I got ta go back to that select tool, I can still go back, select things on one track on either track.

You remember, click there to select the whole thing, and I and I could still do various effects to it. Even after I’ve done that it’s called the envelope tool, remember I I kind of think of it as a adjust the volume tool. That’s that’s the the most basic things I find myself doing all the time. I record I compress I split, I move and I adjust the volume with envelope. Ok, let’s say this is perfect.

Let’s say it’s exactly how I want I’m going to go back to the fit in window. Ctrl, F, just to kind of see the whole thing here. So I know now that I’m going to have one audio track where the music keeps going after the voice ends it’s about 50 seconds long say that’s fine, great! Well, there’s two different ways to save in audacity. If I hit file save project as I’m saving this whole project as an AUP file, which only audacity can open, I’m essentially saving this as something that I can come back to later.

So if I’m like call this like test for article, then I can, I can say this walk away and come back, but I can’t email that test for article AUP file to someone they they can’t open it up and be like. Oh I’m like grooving to this cool thing. You may know it’s not listenable by them, yet I need to export this first into an audio file that can be shared. So that’s actually not that hard. I’m going to go to file and export you notice.

Export is different than save right that that word is on purpose. Export means I’m going to make this, so someone else can listen. Now, I’m going to have some choices. The first option here is dot wave. Now that’s going to sound like really good quality, but it’s also going to be this mega huge. It’s going to be hard for me to share with anyone and if you’re doing this from my class, you might have to upload this file somewhere.

That doesn’t let you have too many file that might not let you upload a really really huge file, so I’m going to click the save as type and pick one of these often I choose August. You might not have heard of that. It’s kind of an alternative version of mp3, but you might have obviously heard of an mp3. Let’s it. Let’s just try. Let’s try the mp3 want to kind of see what happens. I’m going to go, go back and put it on the desktop.

I’m just going to call it test for article again now you do see it gives me some options you could play around with it’s always worth seeing. I I think, of the the bigger this number, the better it’s going to sound. Even a 320 kpbs’s isn’t going to sound it. Is it going to be the hugest file so going to be much smaller than that wave? So I might as well pick the big one I’m going to leave the rest of that hit.

Okay. Now, when I hit save it’s going to be like hey wait, these are all going to be mixed down to two straight and don’t worry about that yeah! That’s! That’s fine! Okay! Now it automatically here is filling in some of this info with the info of the song. I import it. Well, that’s that’s not right! I don’t want. When someone plays my new mp3 file in in iTunes or something I don’t want it to say. Oh, this is a truck by combustible Edison, it’s called vertigo.

Well, no, it’s not! This is a track by me, so I’m going to hit clear, clear all that out fill some stuff in here that works. Um, you know track title is test for a article. If you don’t have an album title or a track number or whatever that’s fine, I sometimes think it’s kind of cool to keep track of the stuff. I don’t know I I do like audio test it so then, later on, if I’m like man where’s that audio test – and I have a some program open that I’m using to listen to music, I use when a up I can search when they up for the Genre audio testing – oh there, it is I’d comment whatever, whatever leave the rest of this hit.

Okay, it’s going to think about it BAM. I have my file now so wherever it is, I saved that mp3 file. I can now share that with other people. That’s it! It’s really that easy. I know it looks like it wasn’t that easy, but I swear it is get in there and play around give it a shot. Bye,


Videos are truly an awesome way to get the point across. Any type of content from your business is important!

 

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