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Using Audacity Part 3: Cool Stuff To Do With Audacity

Wednesday, August 24th, 2011 by | Filed Under: Multimedia

Now that we’ve got the basic and advanced down, let’s play!

Probably the first cool thing that most people want to get their hands on, once they’ve heard about them, is the special effects menu.  This is accessed by clicking on the “Effect” button right over the record button (provided you didn’t move the media player toolbar).

I definitely don’t have time to go into all of the effects here, especially since I can’t include sound clips in the posts, but will cover what I think are the coolest.  If Worldstart wants, and we get some demand for it in the comments, I will.

If you are a musically-minded recorder, you’ll enjoy “Change Pitch”.

This will allow you to change the pitch of your voice without changing the tempo.  So if you want to record “For The Longest Time” and don’t have Billy Joel’s range, instead of simply singing in the key of C for one of the vocal parts, you can simply change the pitch of your voice in that part to C.

The next cool effect is the self-explanatory title “Echo”.

You can pick the time that the echo delays here, as well as how fast the echo decays.

One effect that I really enjoy playing with is “Reverse”.  Do you remember the big “backward-masking” scandal of the early eighties in music?  This was where groups like Styx were supposedly putting backward, satanic messages in their music.  Well, you can create your very own cool backward-masked lyrics using this tool. It’s your choice if you want them to be satanic or not.  Below is a section of track first forward and then backward.

You can also use these tools to do things like change the speed and tempo of your recording.

One thing that I’ve always found helpful is the “Silence Audio” tool from the edit menu.  This allows you to remove (silence) a section of audio in a track.  For instance, if your cat meows at an inappropriate time, you simply select the section that contains the cat meow and click on this tool.

Another cool thing that you can do with Audacity is to combine multiple tracks into a single track.  If you have a band, for instance, and want that professional studio sound, then you can record the vocals on one track, the guitar on another and the drums on another, tweak them to exactly where you want them, and then combine them.  Probably the easiest way to do this is to insert a new audio track from the “Tracks” menu…

…then to select your new track and click “Import” then “Audio” from the file menu.

So, go!  Download Audacity if you haven’t already, record some stuff and play!

~Randal Schaffer

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3 Responses to “Using Audacity Part 3: Cool Stuff To Do With Audacity”

  1. Richard Manjoney says:

    How can I download the Audacity tips to my computer so that I have them all in one place. I was unable to do this using Works Word or Word.

  2. William Hintz says:

    This tip is great! The whole series on Audacity is great! Thank you very much. I have two comments.

    1. Yes, please present some sound clips to go along with this tip.

    2. The same type of series for the Acoustica software would be greatly appreciated ( I am referring to the conversion software for converting LPs and Tapes.

    In closing, I am sure I speak for the very large number of other subscribers regarding the following comment. All of your tips are very valuable information. They are very helpful, and most importantly, they work! Please keep up the great work. Looking forward to viewing the Acoustica series!


    William Hintz

  3. randal says:

    Hi, William. Thanks for your comment.

    I thought that it would be nice to include some audio clips as well. Unfortunately, there’s no support for that. As far as transferring your records and tapes using Audacity, you can find a tip for that here:

    And Richard, as far as saving the tips to your computer goes, I would just suggest copying the text of the tip and pasting it into a word document. You can also save the webpage containing the tip to your computer and view it offline. Do this from the “file” tab of your browser’s menu.


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