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Audio Recording and Editing: Audacity

Resources for creating audio projects, from simple recordings to more complex files.

Why Use Audacity?

Audacity is free, and can be used both on Mac and PC computers. Audio can be recorded in a few clicks - selecting Record, speaking into the microphone, and selecting Stop.

The program can handle multiple tracks, but is best used for simple audio projects.

Workshop Files

Read handouts and resources specific to WIC workshops on Audacity.

About Audacity

Audacity logo

Audacity is a free, cross-platform audio editing program available online, as well as available on all of the computers in the Weigle Information Commons. Audacity facilitates audio imports, recording, editing, working with multiple tracks, and exporting. 

Download the program for free at Be sure to download the LAME encoder located there as well, which allows export to the familiar .mp3 format.


The Interface


Audacity Interface





Get the desired signal as loud as possible (without clipping) into the microphone. This allows you to reduce the gain, which will also reduce the low-level noise. The further a microphone is away from the source, the more you have to amplify the mic's input signal to get to a usable level. But, boosting the gain amplifies everything, including background sounds and even the internal electrical noise of the amplifier. Ideally, the microphone should be right on top of the source, with the gain no higher than necessary to get peaks around -3dB. If you are doing multi-track recording, record each individual track as loud as possible. Set the final volume of each track during post-production mixdown.

LinkedIn Learning @ Penn

LinkedIn Learning provides over 77,000 training videos related to new technologies and software. Faculty, students, and permanent staff can access LinkedIn Learning through Pennkey access.

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