Free Audio Editor Audacity – Tips

Audacity is not only for making music, it can be used for touching up interviews, voice-overs, dubbing and even practicing foreign languages. Cutting and cropping is not the only function Audacity can do see below for the numerous tips.

How to manually record music from the PC speakers.

 May people have often wondered how to record music that you hear from the computer, e.g. from the speakers. You have probably tried putting a microphone to the speaker and getting terrible results. There is a more simple method.

Just plug a stereo cable into the audio out port of your computer or audio interface if connect. The audio out is probably where you would put your headphones. Then plug the other end of the cable in the line-in port.

Now Audacity should be able to hear what is coming from the speakers. You may need to adjust the volume levels though to avoid distortion.


How to eliminate background noise

Microphone recordings may often have a lot of buzz, static or white noise in the background.

The best thing to do here is select a selection of recording with no deliberate noise, e.g. a silent zone.

Next select Effect > Noise Removal from the menu

The click on Noise Profile

Then select the whole record

And finally Effect > Noise removal again

 That should do the trick.


Amplify and Normalize

 Sometimes you may have audio that is either too soft, too loud or a mixture of the two.

 If the whole track is either too soft or loud then use the Amplify function from the Effect menu.

If you have certain points in the track that are too loud or soft the using the Normalize function from the Effect menu.

What Normalize does is simply take the loudest and the softest points on the track and squeezes them together so that the whole track has a similar volume.

Please note that this is difference to compression. In compression, the volume is changed depending on the loudness of other sounds or instruments.



Truncating Silence

In both audio and video there will be points and gaps of silence which need removing. For short recordings it is easy to manually highlight to gaps and delete them by hand.

However that would be a lot of work for a 2 hour recording. For longer recordings, the best thing to do is the below.


Highlight the whole recording

Select Effect > Truncate silence.

There are some parameters to take note of, Min Duration, Max Duration, and Silence Threshold. These of for Audacity to determine the actual silent part.

Silence compression – This determines how much of the silence is deleted.

You may need to do some tweaking with these parameters.


Generating Sound Effects

 If you don’t have any sound effect samples, you can use the Generate function from the Generate menu to get you started.

 An alternative is a Free Sound Generator, web site below

 These sounds can be exported as WAV files for your own personal use.


Ripping Audio from Video

This method is very simply to do, however you will need two plugins called FFmpeg and LAME which both work with Audacity.

 Download links here –

 Once downloaded and installed, open the video file in Audacity, using File > Open

Select File > Export

Select MP# as the export type.

Save to finish


Begin with a good audio source

 Rather than cleaning up poor audio it will sound a lot more professional to start of with a clean recording in the first place. That means a good microphone and pre-amp to get clean noiseless sound into your computer.

1 thought on “Free Audio Editor Audacity – Tips”

  1. Audacity isn’t too pretty but pretty decent for a Free Audio Editor and has most the stuff you need. Well recommended.

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