Welcome to the first lesson!  Here are the skills you'll have at the end of this lesson:  

  • Set microphone preferences
  • Use the monitor function
  • Make a recording in Audacity
  • How to examine a waveform
  • Use the solo and mute functions
Open up Audacity and let's dive in!

Set microphone preferences

     Good news!  Audacity will select your computer's default microphone, which is normally the built-in microphone.  If you want to use a USB or another external microphone, click the pull down menu next to the little microphone icon and select the mic you wish to use.

Use the monitor function

At the top-middle of the window, there is a monitor for your mic.
     Click on it and you should see red bars appear.  Go ahead and speak into your mic, the red bars should get bigger.  They represent the sound level of your mic.  Strive to speak and get the bars to be 3/4 full, this indicates a good volume for recording.  If you need more volume: Speak louder, move your mic, or adjust the mics volume on your system's settings.


Make a recording in Audacity

We are all set to record!  Hit the record button and say anything to create your first recording.  Hit the stop button when you are finished.  Press play to hear what you recorded. Press stop when you are finished listening.  Every time you press the record button, Audacity will record a new track.

How to examine a waveform

     What you see is a waveform, the visual representation of the sound you just recorded. The taller the peaks, the louder the sound.  You'll notice you've made two waveforms, this is a stereo recording.  Two waveforms, but one track.
As your recordings progress, this could get rather confusing. So let’s learn how to name our tracks.
Click where it says ‘audio track’ and select ‘Name'.  A dialouge box will pop us and ask you to enter a track name. Feel free to name it whatever you would like. For example, if you are recording a test to be read to a student, you could label it question 1, 2 etc…

Use the solo and mute functions

     The mute function does just that, it mutes the track so it will not be heard when you press play. Notice the track turns gray.
     The solo function does the opposite. When clicked, it mutes all the other tracks.
Congratulations!  You know how to make a recording in Audacity!  In the next lesson, we'll learn how to master your recordings.