Hey, friends. I'm here to help all you first time Audacity users dive right in, quickly take action, and move forward with your audacious Audacity goals. Stick with me right now and I will show you how to download Audacity, how to make an Audacity audio track, and how first time Audacity users can get over their first-timer fears, move forward, and quickly achieve these goals by making their first voice-over.
One thing before we get started.... I ask you to take a minute to arrange your browser screen so you can look at this tutorial side-by-side with another open browser window, if you can.
That way, on your left, you can see my directions, step-by-step instructions, and video or screenshots. Then on the right, you'll actually be doing and completing those steps in the other browser window. So, you'll be able to take each step along with me in real time, without having to toggle back and forth between tabs and windows in your browser.
Once you do that, then we can begin together. If you can't do that or don't know how, don't worry about it. Just click back and forth as usual and you'll do just fine.
Also, don't worry if you didn't watch my original tutorial video above. You can accomplish the same thing by taking each step along with me as it appears in the video screenshots below.
If you would rather have the video tutorial open and follow along with that instead of this written tutorial, then do that. Choose the one that fits your learning style best, move forward, take action, and you'll reach your finish line fast either way.
2. Click on "Audacity: Free Audio Editor and Recorder."
(Just as a cautious habit, I never just click on "Download" when that appears on the Google Search page, like it does here for Audacity. Bad guys are known to copy legitimate websites, so it looks real. But, they make that "Download" button automatically and immediately download malware and malicious software that can ruin your computer.
So, before clicking any download button, I ALWAYS go to the website first to make sure it's the real thing, THEN I'll find their real download button on the real website and click that).
3. Click on "Download Audacity 2.0.6" (or whatever the current version is) for Windows 2000, XP, Vista, Windows 7 or 8 or latest Windows OS.
I still run Audacity on an old Windows Vista laptop which I can't update to the newest Audacity version. If the newest Audacity version doesn't work for you, check the "Other Audacity Downloads for Windows" to make sure your older/outdated system has the right Audacity download for you.
4. In this step, you are just finding and monitoring your "download in progress." This will vary depending on your browser (Google Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer, etc.) and computer system.
A fancy page will probably appear here, but IGNORE everything on that page while you monitor your download file in progress. (You do not need anything else on that page, so ignore all the download buttons there).
I used Google Chrome browser and my Windows 7 operating system in my video. So to monitor my download, I simply looked at the bottom left corner of my browser window to see the downloaded Audacity filename and watched its progress there.
If you used a different browser like Firefox or Internet Explorer, then your screen may look different. (See next photo).
5. For Google Chrome users, Click on the arrow to the right of the filename and Select "Show in Folder." (Again, as a cautious habit, I never just open a file until I check it out, but you can just double-click to open it if that's your style). For other browsers, your screen and process may be different.
6. Click the ENTER button to install the necessary plug-ins when the "Install VST Effects" pop-up window appears.
7. On the "How to Get Help" window, Click "OK."
Make sure you bookmark this page for future reference, as it is full of helpful info you'll need later to get the most out of your Audacity recording software. But Audacity is ABC-simple to use, so just click "OK" and keep going for now.
8. Click on the "Microphone" drop-down menu, then Click on the name of the mic you want to use.
9. Make sure the microphone you want to use to record in Audacity is both listed, highlighted, and appears as the selected mic in the "Microphone" Menu box.
10. Click on the "Recording Channels" Menu box. Choose whether you want to record one track in Mono or two tracks in stereo and Click on your selection.
11. Again, make sure the type channel you want to use to record in Audacity is both listed, highlighted, and appears as your selected channel choice in the "Recording Channels" menu box.
12. Click on the "Speakers" Menu box. Choose which speakers or headphones you want to use to hear or monitor your recording in Audacity and Click on your selection.
13. Make sure the speakers or audio monitor you want to use to hear your recording in Audacity is both listed, highlighted, and appears as the selected speaker/monitor in the "Speakers" Menu box.
In the video, I did not check or change the "voice volume levels" for my recording at all. After you play back the first audio you make at the end of this tutorial, you'll have a better idea of how you'll need to adjust the volume recording settings for your own voice. You'll find those settings above and to the right of the microphone and other settings you choose in this tutorial.
14. It's showtime, folks! Click the RED Record Button (yes, I know it's blue in the screenshot, lol. I think my screencasting software did that).
So Click the red Record Button, count to 3 silently and breathe in, and once you see the recording bar start moving forward, THEN start talking or reading your script for your voiceover. (I say count to 3 first because if you start talking the second you hit the Record Button, sometimes it will cut off the beginning of your voice. It's better to give yourself some room to cut out those first three seconds, rather than be forced to rerecord your track when the beginning sounds cutoff).
Don't fret over what to say in this first audio track. In the video, I sang the ABC song, as an example. Remember, this is ONLY a test, so it's better if you just recite something you know -- the Pledge of Allegiance, a nursery rhyme, the ABC song, your favorite song, something like that. That way you'll actually start taking action and moving forward faster in this tutorial. If you're like me, if I have to stop and think about "what to say," it could take hours, lol. So just quickly pick the easiest thing you know how to recite or sing, hit the record button, and GO!
15. Click the Stop Button when you've finished your recording. You can trim off the end later when you edit, if you would like. But for now, you are done and you have your first Audacity audio track to prove it! Yahoozie!
16. GASP! Just as a tip for future productions, in the video I gave examples of things you can easily highlight and cut out of your Audacity recordings. I showed viewers where you can visually see some of my "gasps" for air when I breathe in between phrases. After I record, I quickly go back to the beginning of each gasp, put my cursor there, hold my mouse button down, and drag it to the end, highlighting the whole gasp. To edit that out, I just hit my delete or backspace key. Poof! No more heavy breathing from Robin, lol.
17. In this screenshot, you can see how I highlighted a pause in my voice (normally, I just highlight the gasps, but this photo doesn't show the spike of my normal gasp).
You can cut out the first few seconds or last few seconds of your audio track in this way, too. (I don't mess too much with the rest. Just be yourself -- warts, giggles, grunts, and all -- and people will love you for who you are! Don't try to be Radio Rodney with an over-the-top booming DJ voice! Just be you and you'll do just fine!
So for normal voice-over tracks you want to make for podcasts or later video productions, just be you and pretend you're talking to or explaining something to a real person you know AND like.(You'll sound better and more natural that way). Then, when you finish recording, limit your edits to the beginning, end, and those few weird gasps or screw-ups you just can't air without editing. Just don't overthink this or be too critical of yourself.
Time is money. And perfectionists rarely publish or air their work at all. So record, hit stop, make only NECESSARY quick edits, and go forth and conquer your REAL goals. (Audio editing that takes more than 5 minutes max shouldn't be one of them, lol).
18. Now we'll name our project, then name the audio track we just made.
Click File to see the drop-down menu.
19. Click on "Save Project As..." to go to your computer files so you can save this project where you choose.
20. And YIKES! We hit a Warning sign! This pops up to remind you that "Save Project" is for saving your entire Audacity project you're working on, not for saving just one audio file. To save just the audio file, you'll use File>Export later. But first, ALWAYS save your whole project by going to File>Save or File>Save As.... So now, just click the OK button to go forward with saving your project.
21. Once you're inside your own computer files, you know what to do. Enter the name you want to give your project. (I always include the word "project" in this name, so I know what it is later). All Audacity "project" files save with the file type ".aup" at the end automatically.
22. Click the Save Button or just hit your keyboard's Enter key and you're done.
23. Now let's name that Audio Track we just created. Click on "File" again.
24. Select "Export Audio...."
25. This will take you to your computer's files and folders again. Here you'll choose where you'll save your actual audio file. Below you'll notice that our "Sample audacity project" name is auto-filled in the File Name box. Don't just save your audio file with the same name. I'll show you what we did in the next frame.
26. Type a name for your new Audio Track in the File Name box. In the video, at first I chose "ABC Recording 1" as the name. After hitting some more options, I later decided to add something to that name to help me recognize what's in the file without having to open it or look at the file extension, as some folks, computers or programs hide all their extensions. (See later frame for further explanation).
27. Click on the "Save As Type" drop-down arrow on the right to see all the file types you can choose. You must select one of the these, click on it, and make sure your selected file type's name fills the box's screen before you click Save.. (More on choosing file formats later).
28. In the video, I chose to save my ABC Recording 1 audio track as a .wav file [WAV (Microsoft) signed 16 bit PCM].
29. Click the Save Button or hit the Enter key on your keyboard to save your file. Before you hit that Save Button, always double-check to make sure you've got the right name and file type showing up in those two boxes.
30. Woops! A little surprise. An "Export Audio" popup box appeared when saving our ABC audio track to my computer. This was just a little housekeeping problem. I had not been using my computer as the Administrator user, but signed on as another user instead. So I clicked the "OK button and kept moving forward.
31. At this point, I remembered that when working within certain programs, computer indexes, files, etc., I'm not always able to actually see the file extension. That means I cannot tell if my audio track is an .mp3 file or .wav file or some other type file. Certain production programs limit the file types they use, so I need to be able to see what kind of file my audio is, without being able to see its extension or file type at a glance.
So in the next frame, you'll see I decided to add something to the name of my audio track file.
32. Here, I added to the name of my audio track file, making it "ABC Recording 1 wav" so I can see at a glance that this file is a .wav file. That's important and very time-saving to me (when using certain programs I regularly use where they do not make the file extension visible). This may not be important to you. You don't have to do this. It just makes things easier if you happen to use some of those extension-hiding video production tools I use.
33. Here I chose the folder in which I wanted to save my "ABC Recording 1 wav" file.
34. Finally, after double-checking my File Name and Save Type data, I clicked the Save Button! Yahoozie!
35. In what should be our last step, the "Edit Metadata" box will pop up. You can fill this out or not, depending on your preferences. Or you may choose to just put your name as Artist Name, a keyword-filled Track Title, a Track Number, and add related or LSI keywords (latent symantic indexing keywords) throughout the rest of the spaces. (Some SEO folks claim this helps optimize the audio file for ranking purposes as a podcast or when used within a video).
36. Click the Save Button once you're done.
37. Now, I repeat that whole "Click on File>Export Audio>Name File>Choose File Type>Click Save" routine to repeat that process and save that same ABC Recording 1 file as an mp3 file. This time I'll rename that file "ABC Recording 1 mp3."
Here, I just want to emphasize that it's always a good habit to save your audio files in BOTH .wav format and in .mp3 format. That way you won't limit yourself when using various production software that utilize only one or the other. If that's not important to you, just choose one.
38. Fill out that metadata for your .mp3 file just as you did for your .wav file. Then click the Save Button and you're done.
39. Eeeeeck! Another roadblock! The "Locate Lame" box pops up telling us, "Audacity needs the file lame_enc.dll to create MP3s. Then it says, "To get a free copy of Lame, click here," with the arrow pointing to a Download Button.
So, no big woop! Remember how we downloaded the Audacity program and also added those two plug-ins to the mix? Well, you'll need to download this file, too, so you'll have the correct encoder that creates those .mp3 files for you.
So just click the Download Button, download and install Lame, and all will be right with your Audacity .mp3 Universe once again!
40. Click the Cancel Button, in case you don't care a flying flip about .mp3 files or downloading Lame. But stay tuned... to see what happens when you hit Cancel.
41. Whew! Thank goodness! The sky really doesn't fall when you Click on that Cancel Button. Only a little "Message" box appears that tells you, "Could not open MP3 encoding library!" Okey, dokey, what a surprise! Now let's move on...
42. So now -- after your sky didn't fall after all, all was well with your Universe once again, you got those Lame encoding files downloaded, all your beginnings and ends and gasps cut and edited, and saved your project files and .wav files and maybe even your .mp3 files -- now, after all that, it's now your time.
It's time for you to just sit back, grab a cup of your favorite java or cola and some popcorn, turn down the lights, settle down, and just listen to the sweet sultry sounds of your own voice.
Yes, it's showtime! Finally, it's time for you to find that .wav or .mp3 file you created... and simply...
Click the Play Button.
43. Ahhhhhhhhhhh, yes! Another Audacity Star Baby is born! What a great performance! Now... go do that again, again, and again!
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You found this article/tutorial entitled, "How to Download Audacity |Make an Audacity Audio Track| First Time Audacity Users " here: