Thursday, March 26, 2009

Using Audacity

Several years ago, I downloaded Audacity the free, open source software for recording & editing sound. However, I have only used it to record the occasional voice clip & to play back digital recordings for purposes of transcription.

I attended a lunchtime session a couple of weeks ago by CPIT Japanese language programme, Henk de Groot on how he used audacity to create audio files for his teaching & student learning.
The session was well attended & Henk provided very good hints including
how to convert recordings from analogue sources, in most cases, it is less time consuming to just re-record in digital!

-best to use a microphone that is not multi-directional and a cheap one works just as well as a really expensive one.

-size of sound files – mp3 smaller & no difference in quality for voice compared to .wav files which are 6 – 8 times larger.

Henk also showed us how to edit an audio file and to especially view the file as a visual pattern. Deleting, cutting & pasting and cleaning up the file was demonstrated. Viewing the file as a visual pattern a good way for me to understand how to handle audio files as I am much more of a visual than an audio person.

To save the file, it was best to export as an mp3 file using another free programme that had to be downloaded once and stored on to you C drive. Clear instructions can be found here.
I am now more confident in using audacity :)