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Working with Audacity

Record Audio Using Audacity

We work with Audacity because we have found it to be the easiest to use and you can make great quality audio recordings for free! We found the best thing to do to get comfortable with it is to have a play with it and have fun.

Also you can use it to record your next album and be a rock/pop/hip hop star! In order to record audio as you go you will need to have Audacity installed on your computer.

If you haven’t already installed Audacity please see the chapter Downloading and Installing Audacity.

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Getting Started with Audacity

Setting up Audacity

If you are recording with the microphone on your computer, the recording mode should be set to ‘Mono’. If it is then proceed to the section Testing Audacity.

  1. If it’s set to ‘Stereo’ click on it, this will revel a drop-down menu.
  2. Click on ‘Mono’

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Get To Know The Main Features Of Audacity

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  • Control Buttons: These buttons let you control all the basic functions of Audacity
  • Track: Each track is one continuous recording which can be listened to, edited and exported spearately
  • Cursor: The cursor is the line on the timeline that shows you from where you are playing. It also lets you highlight parts of the timeline so you can edit it.

Audacity Control Buttons

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 5 WORKING WITH AUDACITY  Record: Press to begin recording
 6 WORKING WITH AUDACITY  Stop: Press to finish recording.
If you press ‘Stop’ then press ‘Record’ again Audacity will start another track.
Also press to stop playback (when you press play to listen to the audio you have recorded).
If you press ‘Stop’ during playback then press ‘Play’ again Audacity will start again at the beginning of the track.
7 WORKING WITH AUDACITY  Pause: Press to pause the recording.
If you press ‘Pause’ then press ‘Record’ again Audacity will continue recording on the same track.
Also press to pause playback (when you press play to listen to the audio you have recorded).
If you press ‘Pause’ during playback then press ‘Play’ again Audacity will keep playing the same track.
 8 WORKING WITH AUDACITY  Play: Press to begin playback.
 9 WORKING WITH AUDACITY  Skip to End: Press to skip to the end of the track.
 10 WORKING WITH AUDACITY  Skip to Start: Press to skip back to the start of the track.

 

Best Practice Tips For Working With Audacity
For best results when recording:

  • Record in a room that is as silent as possible
  • Record a few test runs to see how loud your microphone is and how loud you need to speak and how close you need to be
  • Speak in a full clear voice. If you have a quiet voice try to speak up, if you have a loud voice speak normally
  • Most importantly - Your voice sounds absolutely fine! Everyone hates the sound of their voice recorded...everyone else thinks your voice is great

Testing Audacity

It’s a good idea to give Audacity a test run to see if its working and connecting to your computer’s microphone.

Test 1- Check ambient noise recording: Follow the steps in the following Recording With Audacity Section to:

  1. Set up your equipment
  2. Record (but don't say anything)
  3. Stop Recording after about 10 seconds
  4. Zoom in and see if the line is flat or has lots of bumps

Ideally you want a nice clean flat line when there is silence. If you have a lot of bumps when you aren’t talking your microphone is picking up external noise such as airconditioning, your computers hard-drive or fan, unwanted environment noise.

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Test 2- Check voice recording:

  1. Set up your equipment
  2. Record yourself speaking, telling the microphone about your day
    Try with different:
    - Volumes of your voice
    - Distances from the microphone
  3. Press play and listen back to your recordings to get an idea of how close you need to be and how loud you need to speak.

Recording and Playing Back With Audacity

  1. To record press the record button (red dot icon)

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  2. Speak, the cursor should move across the screen as you speak creating sound-wave line.
    Wide lines mean loud sounds, narrow lines mean quieter sounds.
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    This sound-wave line is the word “berabakaan” said 3 times loudly, normal, then quietly. The flat, squiggly line is the sound of the room with no one talking.

  3. To stop recording press the stop button (square icon)

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  4. To listen to your recording press the play button (forward arrow icon)

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Are you happy with it?

  • If so - move on to the section in this chapter called Exporting from Audacity and Uploading Into Miromaa.
  • If not - you have some options depending on what you don’t like about it:
    1- It’s just not right, you’d like to start again (see below)
    2- It’s good but there’s too much silence, or noise before or after (see next section 'Editing Your Track').

Just not right, and you want to start again?

  1. Click on the (x) button in the top left-hand corner of your time-line, this will delete it
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  2. Repeat steps a-d until you are happy with your recording

Editing Your Track

The recording is good but there is too much silence or noise before or after?

If you would like to delete the extra space you have 2 options which we will go through in the following two sections:

  1. Select and export the part you want to keep
  2. Delete the part you don’t want

1. Select and export the part you want to keep:

  1. Click on the time-line just before the sound-wave line gets wide where you start to speak
  2. Hold down your clicking finger and, with your mouse drag the cursor across the sound-wave line across the part you want. I only want the first, loud, “berabakaan” It should be highlighted as in the picture below.
    It should be highlighted as in the picture below:
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  3. Click on ‘File’ in the top left hand corner of the screen:
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  4. Click on ‘Export Selection’ from the drop-down menu. This will open a finder window.
  5. Navigate to your ‘Audio’ Folder
  6. Double-click on your ‘Audio’ Folder
  7. Name your audio file.

    At Miromaa we name the file using the word we have just recorded so it’s easy to find.

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  8. Make sure the ‘Save as Type:’ field is set to: ‘WAV (Microsoft) signed 16 bit PCM’
    If not, click on it to reveal the drop-down menu and select ‘WAV (Microsoft) signed 16 bit PCM’ from the list.

  9. Click on ‘Save’
  10. Click on ‘Ok’
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  11. Click on the (x) button in the top right hand corner of the screen to close Audacity and take you back to Miromaa

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  12. A pop-up will ask you whether you want to save before closing.
    Click ‘No’. You have already saved a copy when you exported.

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    Now that you are back in Miromaa the steps are the same as with pre-recorded audio.

  13. Click on the title of the type of multimedia you would like to add, in this case ‘Audio’
    It will go blue. Your image will disappear as you are now in the Audio section of the Multimedia Panel.

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  14. Click on the ‘Add’ button
    This will open your computer’s file explorer. If you do not see your ‘Miromaa Language Work’ folder.

  15. Click on ‘Documents’

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  16. Then click on ‘My Documents’

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  17. Double click on your ‘Miromaa Language Work’ folder
  18. Double click on your ‘Media’ folder.

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  19. Double click on your ‘Audio’ folder

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  20. Click on the audio clip you wish to upload
  21. Click on ‘Open’

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    To listen to your audio in the Editor:

  22. Click on ‘Audio’ in the list.

    The word ‘Audio’ is now written in black instead of grey, this means that something has been uploaded.

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  23. Click on the play button (>) to listen to your audio

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Congratulations you have just added audio to your entry!


To delete the part you don’t want:

  1. Click on the time-line just before the part you want to delete.

  2. Hold down your clicking finger and, with your mouse drag the cursor across the sound-wave line across the part you don’t want. It should be highlighted as in the picture below:

    In the example there is too much silence before the first “berabakaan” which we don’t want, the part is highlighted below.

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  3. Press delete on your keyboard.

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    The part you have highlighted will be deleted.

    The rest of the sound-wave will move towards the start of the time-line to close the gap. You can use this to take away the silence between words.

    If you want to keep both the first and the second words but don’t want all the silence between the words:

  4. Highlight the silence between the words (or whichever part you don’t want)

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  5. Press delete on your keyboard

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    The space between the words will now be deleted. Repeat these steps until you are happy with your audio clip.


Exporting from Audacity And Importing Into Miromaa

  1. Click on ‘File’ in the top right hand corner of the screen

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  2. Click on ‘Export’ from the drop-down menu. This will open the file explorer window.
  3. Navigate to your ‘Audio’ Folder
  4. Double-click on your ‘Audio’ Folder
  5. Name your audio file.

    At Miromaa we name the file using a word we can remember so it’s easy to find.

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  6. Make sure the ‘Save as Type:’ field is set to: ‘WAV (Microsoft) signed 16 bit PCM’
    If not, click on it to reveal the drop-down menu and select ‘WAV (Microsoft) signed 16 bit PCM’ from the list.

  7. Click on ‘Save’
  8. Click on ‘Ok’

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    A pop-up will ask you whether you want to save before closing.

  9. Click ‘No’. You have already saved a copy when you exported.

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    Now that you are back in Miromaa the steps are the same as with pre-recorded audio.

  10. Click on the title of the type of multimedia you would like to add, in this case ‘Audio’.
    It will go blue. Your image will disappear as you are now in the Audio section of the Multimedia Panel.

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  11. Click on the ‘Add’ button
    This will open your computer’s file explorer window. If you do not see your ‘Miromaa Language Work’ folder, click on ‘Documents’.

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  12. Then click on ‘My Documents’
  13. Double click on your ‘Miromaa Language Work’ folder

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  14. Double click on your ‘Media’ folder.

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  15. Double click on your ‘Audio’ folder.

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  16. Click on the audio clip you wish to upload
  17. Click on ‘Open’

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    Miromaa will upload your audio and take you back to the Editor.

    Congratulations you have just uploaded your audio into Miromaa!

To Listen To Your Audio In Miromaa

  1. Click on ‘Audio’ in the list.

    The word ‘Audio’ is now written in black instead of grey, this means that something has been uploaded.

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  2. Click on the play button (>) to listen to your audio.

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    Congratulations you have just added audio to your entry!