How To Record and Edit Audio with Audacity: A Step-by-Step Guide



How To Use Audacity To Record and Edit Audio: A Step-by-Step Guide

Audacity, the free and open source audio software, allows businesses to take sound production into their own hands.

Customized sound recordings with editing and high-quality output used to require a skill level beyond the small business owner or freelancer. But with Audacity’s easy to use platform, all your recordings can now be handled in-house.

For small and medium sized businesses that are interested in creating their own audio, Audacity may be a good fit. The ease of use will encourage your company to create more material, maybe even launch your own podcast.

The following step-by-step instructions highlight how to record and edit basic audio files.



Download Audacity

Once you download and open Audacity, you will be brought to the general layout dashboard.

How To Use Audacity To Record and Edit Audio: Download Audacity



Your screen may look slightly different because the drag and drop format allows you to make adjustments as needed.

How To Use Audacity To Record and Edit Audio: Download Audacity

How to Use Audacity

Pre-Record Checklist

  • Input Source
  • Microphone Check
  • Microphone and Speakers in Position

Input Source

While you can record directly from your computer, for the best sound quality it’s recommended that you purchase a separate microphone. The market is full of products that are specifically created for podcasts and business related recordings.

Once your microphone is plugged in, you will find it under “Primary Sound Capture.”



How To Use Audacity To Record and Edit Audio: Input Source

Microphone Check

Chose your microphone by name and from there you can adjust the audio levels and conduct your microphone check.

How To Use Audacity To Record and Edit Audio: Microphone Check



Microphone and Speakers in Position

Once your voice talent and script are prepared, you are ready to record. Be sure to place the microphone on a stable, unobstructed surface.

Audio Recording

Audacity’s layout contains the familiar: pause, play, stop, skip and record functions.

When you are prepared to officially record, click on the big red record button.



How To Use Audacity To Record and Edit Audio: Audio Recording

The Audacity platform comes to life when you start recording. The timeline displays in real-time, while your WAV files are being created.

How To Use Audacity To Record and Edit Audio: Audio Recording

Click the “Stop” button to finish recording. You can also press your spacebar.



How To Use Audacity To Record and Edit Audio: Audio Recording

Clicking the “Play” button will allow you to listen to your recording.

How To Use Audacity To Record and Edit Audio: Audio Recording

You will more than likely have some corrections or general edits to make before finalizing your recording.



Editing Audio Files on Audacity

The main tool that you will use to edit files is the selection tool that looks like a capital “I”.

How To Use Audacity To Record and Edit Audio: Editing Audio

Use this tool to click and highlight the section of audio you want to edit.

How To Use Audacity To Record and Edit Audio: Editing Audio

You can delete entire sections this way by simply highlighting them and hitting the delete or backspace buttons.

For other editing options, you can highlight the section and drop down the “Effect” menu from your toolbar.

How To Use Audacity To Record and Edit Audio: Editing Audio

The many effects and tools available within Audacity will turn your in-house production into a professional recording.

Once your recording is complete, you can save the file in MP3 or WAV format, the two most popular formats for different use cases.  And just like that, you can create audio content for your small business without having to spend any money. The only investment is setting aside some time to learn how to use Audacity, which can be accomplished rather quickly thanks to its intuitive and easy to use design.

Image: Audacity 3 Comments ▼


Michael Guta


Michael Guta Michael Guta is a Staff Writer for Small Business Trends focusing on business systems, gadgets and other small business news. He has a background in information and communications technology coordination.

3 Reactions

  1. Joel Libava

    Great step-by-step guide, Michael. However…

    I tried Audacity-and thought that it was not all that good. It took way too long to edit out noises, errors etc.

    I really wanted to start a podcast. I ended up feeling that the editing part would take too much time, so I never launched one.

    (Note: I was an on-the-air DJ. I produced commercials. I did my own editing.)

    The Franchise King®

  2. Aira Bongco

    I think that Audacity is the best free tool for editing audio. It is quite old but it is the easiest to use especially if you are not that used to audio editing tools.

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