Practicum: Record Your Audio


The app used in this practicum is Audacity, a sound editing platform for exercise one and the practicum. If you do not have it already installed, you will need to do so. You can download it for free from the site. Make sure to closely follow the installation instructions for the specific operating system you are using.

Audacity's manual is thorough and reasonably easy to understand. Before getting started, it's a good idea to look it over to get a sense of what is there.

Getting Started

For the practicum, record yourself reading some text out loud (a poem will work well) while applying the sound concepts you have learned up to this point. The editing process will involve selecting the best takes of your reading, assembling them, and cleaning up the track from unwanted sounds like pops and clicks.

Step One: Record yourself reading the text. Read it at least twice. Don’t worry about saying it perfectly as this is just an exercise. When recording make sure to capture ten to fifteen seconds of room tone at the beginning (or at some point). It's helpful to record each take on a different track so you can easily move between them. Depending on your Audacity preference settings, it may or may not generate a new track when you begin a new recording. To create a new track, go to Tracks in the menu bar and select Add New and Mono Track.

Setting Levels and Recording:

Step Two: Audacity is a destructive editing platform, meaning once you delete part of a track it is completely deleted and cannot be restored. (This is different from apps like iMovie and Garageband, which let editors retore material that has been cut away by "dragging" or re-expanding the clip.) For this reason, it is a good practice to export a copy of your files in case you make a mistake that you can't undo. Export each track individually, otherwise, they will be mixed down into one audio file). To export, highlight a track and go to File, Export, Export Selected Audio. Export them as WAV or MP3 files. (WAV are the highest quality.)

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