MacMost Now 356: Editing Audio in Audacity

Audacity is a free open source sound editor that anyone who edits audio should have on their Mac. It allows you to record, edit, alter and export sounds. It can be much easier to use than GarageBand for simple tasks.

Video Transcript
Hi this is Gary Rosenzweig with MacMost. On today's episode let's take a look at the audio editor ‘Audacity'. So Audacity is an open source audio editing application that you can download and use for free on your Mac. You can get it at audacity.sourceforge.net. You can use it create and edit audio files.
Let's take a look. So here is what Audacity looks like. It gives all these controls at the top and a workspace here in the middle. To add sound you need to open a sound file or record your own. Recording should start with preferences, and going there and select the recording input device. You can choose any of the microphone type devices you have attached to your Mac. Once you have selected that, you can simply press the record button and record some audio and then press stop. Now you have got the waveform here of what you have said. To play back audio, just hit the play button, you can also select an area and just listen to that. Now you can use cut, copy and paste and delete just as your Word save your editing text. So for instance I can edit out the sounds at the beginning by selecting and hitting delete, I can edit out this portion here by selecting hitting delete or I could say cut it and then paste it somewhere in the middle. Not only that but I can record more tracks, so for instance I already this bit recorded here, I can record again and record a second track. Or you have recorded down here and mix it with the first one. There is also a lot you could do inside Audacity. You can select an area and you can apply an effect. You have tons of effects in here. Some of them are more like special effects like phaser and reverse and echo and things like that. others are more basic like changing the speed, pitch, tempo of a particular section of the sound. When you are done editing of sound you can save it out and it will save in an Audacity format so you can open it up and have all the tracks and everything here again. You can also export it out. You can export it in various formats depending upon how you have Audacity set up. By default it will export things as wav files. It can also export as MP3 if you add an optional package to Audacity to give instructions on how to get that MP3 exported in there, and different formats as well. You can change it to export it in more of a Mac like format by going to file format and selecting aiff as the default export format.
And that just scratches the surface. You go to Audacity site, there is a help section and in there, there is complete documentation, quick reference guide, there are even tutorials on how to do some common tasks. They can also do a lot of this in Gross Band, but Gross Band has a lot of overhead. There is a huge interface with the whole music composition side to it. With Audacity you are simply editing sound files and it is easier to get in and out. If you do any work with sound on your Mac, Audacity is a must have. So check out Audacity, download it and install it, add it to your tools, and if you can, donate to help the development. Till next time, this is Gary Rosenzweig with MacMost Now.

Comments: 2 Responses to “MacMost Now 356: Editing Audio in Audacity”

    Gill AND JANE JACOBSON
    2/11/10 @ 10:43 am

    have used audacity,or tried to use.It sucks

    i.m.joseph
    3/15/12 @ 2:36 pm

    This is great for a beginner, however I’ve been using audacity for years. What I was originally looking for in this post http://macmost.com/recording-internal-audio.html comment/question was a tutorial on how to use Soundflower – iShowUHD and Audacity. I have tried and tried several times to create a file with an evp and voice over recording at the same time. The iShowUHD is capturing the video and my voice over but not the audacity program audio or evp. Thanks

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