Learning how to use Audacity was incredibly simple for me, because I have a wealth of experience with more sophisticated audio editing programs, like Adobe Audition. Still, considering it’s a free program, Audacity is an incredibly useful tool for anyone looking to utilize audio sound bites in a multimedia presentation.
Getting Started in Audio Editing is a tutorial by Mindy McAdams that covers all of the necessary basics for novices of audio editing. I didn’t have the luxury of a tutorial when I began editing my band’s music, so I had to teach myself all the ins and outs of editing sound, which resulted in a lot of trial-and-error (as well as crappy sounding finished products).
Here is some advice for those new to audio editing:
- Learn the basics — Knowing how to cut, paste and trim within an audio file are a prerequisite to everything else.
- Take your time — There are infinite edits you can make, and you’ll never find what you’re looking for if you don’t try different ideas.
- Feel free to experiment — Some of the best things I’ve produced have happened completely by accident.
- Don’t get frustrated — It can be very tedious, but there is no better feeling than listening to a finished product that sounds great.
Learning about how to recover from mistakes and how to zoom in on a small sample of your audio file are critical for establishing a comfort level with audio editing. Once you have the basics down, then the fun can really begin; using effects and filters in creative ways can truly enhance your sound files.