Klaymen here, acting as your guide to using Audacity. For this introduction to Audacity I’m going to help you set up Audacity for an optimal recording ability. Or in other words, not get hassled and have to rerecord because of a technical issue. We will be setting up Audacity with the most common asked for recording quality which is;
Don’t worry if you don’t understand these numbers yet. That’s why I’m here. Let us get started. First things first, you need to have the program on your computer. You can get it here; http://audacity.sourceforge.net/
When you’ve installed it we’ll be ale to move on. Open the application and it should look something like this;
Under the file drop down menu you have the standard options –New, Open, Close, Save Project. Save Project As. Any options in grey instead of black means the option is not available. The most common reason for this is because you have nothing recorded at the time. I will get into this more later on but first let us check out our preferences.
To get to the preference menu click File, then at the bottom of the drop down menu click Preferences (Ctrl+P).
The first item to check is the Audio I/O tab. Here you can set wich audio devices you’re using for Audacity. You can change these to better suit your taste but we’ll keep it simple. For now, just make sure that your recording Channels is set to 2(Stereo).
Next is Quality. Click its tab and you will get this menu;
For your Default Sample Rate make sure it says 44100 Hz. For your Default Sample Format set it to 32-bit float. The other items in this tab should be fine. If you have any problems with your recordings just set them to the selections in the above image.
Open the File Formats tab;
These options deal with the quality of your imported and exported audio files. Most people will want files in an MP3 format, but if you decide to export in WAV you want your Uncompressed Export Format at WAV (Microsoft 32 bit float) and your OGG Export setup at any number between 5 and 10 (10 being the best choice). Don’t worry about the MP3 right now. We’ll fix that when we get into saving audio files.
The Spectrograms tab shouldn’t need adjusting. The default settings of FFT at 256 and Maximum Frequency at 8000 should look like this;
Don’t worry about the rest of the tabs in the Preference menu. They deal with customizing keyboard short cuts and what toolbars are displayed. All we’re trying to do is get the program to where you can record at your best. Once you’ve set your Preferences you should never have to go back to them. It wasn’t so bad was it? That’s it for this first part tutorial for using Audacity. In the next installment we’ll cover basic recording and exporting of files. Until you read again…. See ya!