The open source audio editor Audacity does not have the most modern interface, but it is extensive and therefore often receives a recommendation. The program is suitable for creating podcasts as well as for post-processing of sound content. It does not matter whether the latter are sequences that you created from scratch with Audacity or those downloaded from the Internet. The numerous effects in the program are somewhat nested – no wonder, as they form an important backbone and make up a large part of the pompous range of functions.
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1. Record your own voice with Audacity
Connect a microphone to your computer via USB; This is usually not necessary with a notebook, since an audio recording unit is usually already integrated here. Start Audacity and click on the red circular recorder icon in the toolbar at the top. Begin speaking or singing. End the recording with the space bar. Pressing the space bar again plays the recorded content. Press [Space] during playback, it ends and starts over when you press the hotkey button again.
2.Remove (cut) unnecessary audio sections
You can import audio files to be edited into Audacity by dragging and dropping them. If you want to remove a sound section, select it while holding down the mouse button. If you hit the space bar, just listen to that part; there is no endless playback. If, while listening in, it turns out that too much or too little of the unwanted audio sequence has been marked, use the mouse to redraw the marking rectangle. Then listen in again. With the unwanted precisely selected, press the Delete key to banish it. Tip: With long audio files, it is often difficult to work precisely when marking. It helps to enlarge the view: To zoom or scale, scroll up while holding down the Ctrl key. You can normalize the display by scrolling down.
In case you’re wondering where to start your mark, you can find unwanted sequences by listening to the entire audio work. The Audacity visualization provides rough information as to which content is waiting at which point: A long (almost) straight line with no upward or downward deflections probably contains pauses in conversations or contains a very low voice. Incidentally, an audio part cannot be included [Entf] delete if you are currently playing it; If necessary, stop playback by pressing the space bar or by waiting until playback has come to an end.
3. Play sequences several times in a row
The keyboard shortcuts known from word processors also work with Audacity: Use Ctrl-A to select everything, Ctrl-C to copy and Ctrl-V to paste. Ctrl-Z undoes the previous action, Ctrl-Y revises Ctrl-Z. If you want an interesting sequence to amuse the listener several times in a row, select this audio part and press Ctrl-C. Click where you want to insert the part. Then press Ctrl-V.
Repeat this as often as you like. If you like, you can also delete with Ctrl-A and [Entf] everything and paste the previously copied with Ctrl-C via Ctrl-V several times, so that this content forms the exclusive foundation of the audio project. Again, don’t forget to click the mouse before pressing Ctrl-V.
4. Increase the volume of the audio
To increase the volume of audio, highlight a sequence and go to “Effect> Boost” at the top. Now set the gain in a dialog that pops up. There should be a tick in front of “Allow overrides”. Confirm with “OK”. With Windows Media Player or with the all-rounder player VLC play the files created by Audacity.
5. Change pitch
6. Other effects
Other interesting effects in the menu bar section “Effects” are “Echo”, “Change speed”, “Backward” and “Shorten silence”. The latter has the effect that Audacity eliminates speaking pauses in which nothing can be heard and thus moves parts of the voice together. This reduces the overall length.
7. If there are two voices in the audio, edit only one
8. Combine two audio files into one
Combining two audio files into one is quick and easy: import them using drag & drop. Each file is assigned its own track and thus a line. Select the sequence of the file visualization below and cut it out with Ctrl-X. Click at the end of the upper file visualization, there paste the content from the clipboard with Ctrl-V. At the end you save via “File> Export”.
9. Insert beeps to obscure content
With just a few clicks you can beep out unwanted parts of audio files. This is necessary for a recorded interview, for example, if you want to publish it online. Of course, you should have permission from the interlocutor to publish.
10. Save with Audacity
A file edited with Audacity is saved via “File> Export” and a click on the entry of the desired format; choose for example “Export as MP3”. A few other formats are available; a DLL encoder has to be retrofitted for WMA encoding. The key combination Ctrl-S is only used to save pseudo: With this you do not create an audio file, but a project file that essentially only reads Audacity.
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