(sonicArts) basic audio editing – audacity

Some of you have worked with basic audio editing; some have not. This post is designed as a starting resource for the basic audio editing you will need to do for your Soundwalk assignment, and it also covers one of the quirks (saving audio files) of Audacity.


Before you begin, make copies of all your audio files. Always keep copies of the original audio before you start editing in any editor, DAW, or other processing program. I would create a soundwalk folder. Inside that soundwalk folder I would create a subfolder for the copies of the original audio files.

bringing files into audacity

Launch Audacity. If you don’t find it in the dock, use Spotlight via the magnifying glass in the upper right corner of the screen.

Depending on how you recorded your soundwalk, you may have one long file or you may have several shorter files.

If you have one long file, bring it in to Audacity by dragging it from the finder into the Audacity workspace window (drag and drop).

If you have more than one file, you can select them all in the Finder, and drag them all into the Audacity workspace. Each file will open up in its own track.

finding audio selections and basic editing

You can use the transport controls to play, pause, stop, rewind, and fast forward audio, or you can use some basic keyboard commands. The space bar will start and stop audio playback. Audio starts playback from the insertion point (cursor), which you can move by clicking anywhere in the track. If you click in the time bar running across the top of the track, playback will start immediately from that point without having to press the space bar.

You can select a range of audio by means of click-and-dragging. With a range of audio selected, pressing the space bar will start playback at the beginning of the selection. Audio playback will stop when the cursor reaches the end of the selection.

You can select ranges of audio and apply basic editing (cut, copy, paste, delete) just like you would in a word processor. These commands use the same keyboard commands as in any other program, or you can find them in the Edit menu. Cut, Delete, Trim, etc., commands are in a a Remove Audio or Labels sub-menu.

Fade in and Fade out commands are found in the Effect menu. Select the audio you want to apply the fade to, and choose the appropriate command.

assembling and saving your finished soundwalk

My suggestion would be to create a new track and copy audio into that track. Apply fades as needed. When finished, select all the audio in the track, and choose File | Export Selection in order to save as an audio file. THIS IS IMPORTANT. Audacity doesn’t natively/by default save data as an audio file. You must export a track to save it as an audio file (for our purposes, in AIFF or WAV format).




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