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Using Audacity Part 3: Cool Stuff To Do With Audacity

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