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SPAN 105: Super Spanish: Home

Using Audacity in the Earlham classroom.

It Might Get Loud. Textual Notes on Using Audacity to Create .mp3 Files

Using Audacity involves a series of steps. Here's an overview of workflow, with tips to make your task easier.

1. Set up Your Audio

  • Plug in headset/microphone. Allow computer to recognize any new hardware. This can take a few minutes.
  • Open Audacity (on Earlham lab computers, ALL PROGRAMS >> AUDACITY).
  • Check your preferences to make sure that the headset/microphone has been recognized. Fiddling might be required.
  • If you want to hear yourself as you record, select EDIT >> PREFERENCES >> PLAYBACK >> SOFTWARE PLAYTHROUGH (this will distort the sound, though!).
  • Select OK.
  • Make sure microphone is not muted and volume is on -- look at your headset wire; look at the computer audio settings.

2. Start Recording

  • Select RED BUTTON to start recording.
  • Select YELLOW BUTTON to stop recording.
  • Select PURPLE ARROW ON LEFT (back button), then GREEN ARROW (play button) to hear yourself from the beginning of your file.

3. Sound Editing Basics

  • Do you want to delete a section of your recording?
    • Highlight the portion of the track you want to replace and hit the delete key.
  • Do you want to replace or add to a section of your recording?
    • Decide what section you want to replace or add to.
    • Move the playhead to a clear space at the end of the track to record new material.
    • Record (RED BUTTON) the new material.
    • Stop recording (YELLOW BUTTON).
    • Highlight, then COPY the new material.
    • PASTE the new material where you want it to go, with the playhead as your cursor.

4. Ask Yourself: "Am I finished with my work?"

  • Yes, finished? Proceed to "Export as an .mp3" below.
  • No, not finished? Proceed to "Save as a Project" below.

4a. Export as an .mp3 (This is the Final Version of the File)

  • Select FILE >> EXPORT AUDIO >> Save as Type MP3
  • Save in [you choose].
  • Assign file name (e.g. Annie).
  • Select SAVE.
  • In pop-up window, EDIT METADATA, fill in the following form information:
    • Artist Name: Your name (e.g. Bruno Mars, Taylor Swift)
    • Track Title: Assignment Name (e.g. Big Project)
    • Album Title: Course name (e.g. Super Spanish)
  • To listen, right click on your file, then OPEN WITH ITUNES or use another program on your personal computer..

4b. Save as a Project (This is not the Final Version of the File)

  • Select FILE >> SAVE PROJECT.
  • Assign file name (e.g. Chris).
  • Select SAVE.
  • You can then go back to that computer to open it in Audacity at any point in time.

4b - Follow-up: Convert Your Saved Project to an MP3 File

  • Open your project file.
  • Save in [you choose].
  • Assign file name (e.g. Ana).
  • Select SAVE.
  • In pop-up window, EDIT METADATA, fill in the following form information:
    • Artist Name: Your name (e.g. Idriss Elba)
    • Track Title: Assignment name (e.g. Homework for 9/16)
    • Album Title: Course Name (e.g. Spanish 101)
  • To listen, right click on your file, then OPEN WITH ITUNES.

5. Upload Your MP3 File to Moodle

  • Sign-in to the Moodle course page.
  • Select the assignment link.
  • Select BROWSE, find your file, then select UPLOAD.
  • Want to substitute another sound file for the one you already uploaded to Moodle?
    • Make another .mp3 file using Audacity.
    • Upload the second file into your Moodle assignment, use the same name, and your first file will be overwritten.


Neal Baker

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Karla Fribley
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