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About Audacity for audio recording and editing

About Audacity for audio recording and editing

Overview: This article is for people who are interested in recording or editing audio using a free software application. Audacity is also an open source application, meaning that people with programming skills can modify the program or extend functionality for themselves and the community.

Intended Audience: Anyone who wants to record or edit audio can use Audacity. There are versions for both Macintosh and Windows platforms.

Purpose: This article is to provide an overview of what Audacity can do, so people will be able to make informed choices about using it for their audio recording and editing needs.

Prerequisites: To record audio, you will need a computer with a microphone, or an audio recorder that allows you to transfer the file(s) to the computer after recording.

To edit audio, you will need headphones or speakers.

Concept: While there are many pre-recorded audio clips for you to buy or download for free (just look at iTunes!), sometimes you may have unique needs that require you to record or edit your own audio clips. Audacity is an easy-to-use application that allows you to jump right in. 

Examples and Applications: Faculty and staff often use Audacity or other audio recording/editing software to create instructional audio files. Types of audio files might include:

  • edited or unedited lecture recordings
  • steps to a specific science procedure, such as setting up a chemistry lab experiment
  • a musical performance or monologue, either for students to review before writing an essay or that students create to demonstrate proficiency
  • passages of text recorded for language learners to practice comprehension, or recorded by language learners for instructor to review (e.g., students record a five-minute presentation for a Business German class)


Download location(s):

Training materials:

Examples of instructional uses for Audacity: 

Campuses using Audacity:

  • San Francisco State University
  • CSU, Chico

CATS willing to be an Audacity mentor: 

Peter DiFalco, CSU Chico 

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