In part 1 of this series, we learned that you don’t need expensive equipment and software to make a great sound recording. I showed you how to download and install the great, free program Audacity. Today we’re going to learn how to use it.

Open Audacity and go to File menu. If you have already recorded your audio go to Import option and click on Audio.

audacity-import

Alternatively, you can press Ctrl + Shift + I. Mac users can do this by pressing Command + Option + I. This will import your audio into Audacity. You can also record audio in Audacity by clicking the red button  right below the Effect menu.

Locate the audio clip you want to import into audacity and click Open.

audacity-import-choose

Now let’s start editing our clip.  When we record audio at home , the microphone often catches the  background noise.  Let’s look at how to get rid of those unwanted sounds.

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Select a few seconds of silence in your recording. Go to Effect menu. Click Noise Reduction.

audacity-noise-reduction

After that Click Get Noise Profile.

audacity-noise-profile

Then select the whole audio track by pressing Ctrl + A or clicking on the gray area of the track on the left. Mac users should press Command + A to select the track or click as shown below.

audacity-make-selection

Go to Effect menu, click Noise Reduction again and press OK. Now all the background noise is removed from the recording which makes the recording pretty much clear.

After recording our audio clip, sometimes we realize that the sound of the audio is too low or too high. This can hamper the quality of the recording. After clearing the background noise, it’s time to normalize the audio clip. Go to Effect menu and click Normalize.

audacity-normalize

Click OK to complete the compression process.

audacity-normalize-ok

Go to Effect menu again and click Compressor.

audacity-compressor

Drag the sliders using your mouse and set Threshold level to -18 and Noise Floor level to -20. You can change these values as you like,  but it’s best to keep Threshold level between -10 to -20.

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Our recording is sounding a lot better now, but there’s still a lot we can do to improve it. We’ll continue the process in part 3 of this series.

~ S. Sakar