Audacity

Audacity is a free, open-source audio recording and editing program available for both Windows and Mac OS X. It is extremely simple to use while being powerful enough to record, edit, and present a wide variety of audio files. These instructions are written for the latest version of Audacity (2.0 as of April 2012). The differences between the Windows and Mac OS X versions are minimal.

A 10 minute audio recording .WAV file will be about 100MB. A MP3 file will be about 10MB. iTunes can convert a .WAV file into an .MP3 file as well.

Installing Audacity

Mac OS X

  1. Download Audacity and the LAME MP3 Encoder (required for MP3 files).
  2. Double-click the Audacity DMG to mount it.
  3. Copy the entire Audacity folder into your Applications folder.
  4. Double-click the LAME DMG to mount it.
  5. Double-click the Lame Library v3.98.2 for Audacity.pkg file to start the installation.
  6. Click Continue and then Install. When prompted, enter your password to your computer.
    1. Note – Administrator access is required to install the LAME Libraries. If your account does not have Administrator access, enter the Name and Password of an account that does.
  7. Click Close when the installation is finished.
  8. Audacity should automatically detect LAME. To verify, click on Audacity – Preferences and select Libraries. The MP3 Library Version should read LAME 3.98.2.
    1. If Audacity cannot find LAME, click on Audacity – Preferences and select Libraries. Click Locate … under MP3 Library, then Browse. The Where is libmp3lame.dylib? window will open at /usr/local/lib/audacity. Select libmp3lame.dylib and click Open and then OK twice.

Windows

  1. Download Audacity and the LAME MP3 Encoder (required for MP3 files).
  2. Double-click audacity-win-2.0.exe to begin the installation. Click OK or Next and accept all the default options.
  3. Double-click Lame_v3.99.3_for_Windows.exe. Click Next, Install, and then Finish.
  4. Audacity should automatically detect LAME. To verify, click on Edit – Preferences and select Libraries. The MP3 Library Version should read LAME 3.99.3.
    1. If Audacity cannot find LAME, click on Edit – Preferences and select Libraries. Click Locate … under MP3 Library, then Browse. The Where is lame_enc.dll? window will open at C:\Program Files\Lame for Audacity\lame_enc.dll. Select lame_enc.dlland click Open and then OK twice.

Recording with Audacity

Audacity
Audacity

  1. Open Audacity and make certain that your microphone is recognized.
    1. Select the Input Source from the drop down menu on the Mixer toolbar.
  2. Click the Red Record button and speak into the microphone to begin your recording.
  3. Click the Yellow Stop button to stop recording.
  4. If you wish to listen to your recording, click the Green Play button.
  5. To save, click File and select Export.
  6. In the Save As field, name your recording.
  7. In Format, select the file type (.WAV or .MP3 are the most common)
  8. Click Save.

Editing with Audacity

Audacity can edit just about any type of Audio file.

  1. To open a file, click File – Open and select your recording.
  2. To apply a change, Click and Drag to highlight a section of your audio recording.
  3. Most options for editing are located under the Edit and Effects menus.