Audacity

We recently talked about microphones, and my Samson C03U, to capture the sound of your voice.  But what do you do with it?

More applications, particularly in elearning, have the ability to record your narration directly into your project.  But the ability to edit that audio is often limited.  I believe it is better to record into a separate sound recording and editing tool.  Then you can clean it up before importing to your primary application and syncing with your visuals.

Audacity is a free, open-source software product that runs on both Windows and Mac operating systems.  It can output to several formats, including WAV and MP3.  Did I mention that it’s free?

You know that background hiss that’s always in your audio?  Audacity can remove it.  Simply select an otherwise silent portion of the audio (where you’re not speaking), go to the noise removal tool to get a noise profile of that sound, then select the entire audio track, go back to the noise removal tool, and click OK.

Hate those breaths, mouth clicks, even chair squeaks?  You can silence them, just so long as they are not during your actual speaking.  And if they are, you can always re-record that section, silence the original section and render the two tracks together.

You know how sometimes your voice is too loud in some places and too soft in others?  Use the compressor tools to balance that out.

How about layering in some music, or inserting a sound effect?  You can do that in a new track, then sync that track with our narration track.

Want to sound like a chipmunk?  Well, you get the idea.  And we’re just scratching the surface.

Oh, did I tell you that Audacity is free?