Audacity guide



  • Audacity overview
  • Audacity audio editor works on Windows OS, such as Windows 98, Windows ME, Windows 2000, Windows XP, Windows Vista and  include these features:
    audio editing, recording from Line in inputs, Mic inputs, CD digital, AUX inputs, OS sounds from other  audio playback software, players etc. Using Audacity you can convert WAV to MP3, WAV to OGG, MP2 to MP3,  MP2 to WAV, MP2 to OGG, MPA to MP3, MPA to WAV, MPA to OGG, MP3 to WAV, MP3 to OGG, M2A to MP3,  M2A to WAV, M2A to OGG, AIFF to WAV, AIFF to MP3, AIFF to OGG, OGG to WAV, OGG to MP3, AU to WAV, AU to MP3, AU to OGG. All formats for importing  (WAV, MP2, MP3, MPA, M2A, OGG, AIFF, AU) could be edited using all internal effects (or filters, if you have some experience  with audio editing software). These effects are:
    amplify, bass boost, change pitch, change speed, change tempo, click and pop removal, dynamic range compressor,  echo, equalization, fade in, fade out, fft filter, invert, noise removal, normalize, nyquist prompt filter, phaser,  repeat, reverse, wahwah, cross fade in, cross fade out, delay, gverb, hard limiter, high pass filter, low pass filter,  sc4 filter, tremolo filter.
    Audacity is the free software and supports these languages: Arabic, Bulgarian, Catalan, Chinese (Traditional),  Chinese (Simplified), Czech, Danish, German, English, Spanish, French, Italian, Lithuanian, Hungarian,  Macedonian, Dutch, Norwegian, Russian, Slovenian, Finnish, Swedish, Ukrainian. It is very comfortable to use  Audacity on your own language, but this guide will show English items.

  • Audacity download
  • Donload the latest version of the Audacity here:
    Audacity download

  • Audacity guide overview
  • This guide includes step-by-step tutorial for new users how to open, edit, export audio files, plus some audio editing  examples for video conversion purposes, such as PAL 25 fps to NTSC Film 23,976 fps and NTSC Film 23,976 fps to PAL 25 fps.
    Here it is a main guide menu, we recommend to you start learning  here - Audacity installation

    Audacity languages selection during installation
    Audacity main window
    Edit audacity preferences
    - Audio in/out
    - Quality - Default sample rate
    - Quality - Default sample format
    - Quality - Real time sample rate converter
    - Quality - High quality sample rate converter
    - Quality - Real time dither
    - Quality - High quality dither
    - File formats - How to work with uncompressed files
    - File formats - Uncompressed export format
    - File formats - Uncompressed export format other
    - File formats - OGG export setup
    - File formats - MP3 export setup
    - File formats - MP3 export setup lame_enc_dll browse
    - File formats - MP3 export setup - Lame version and default bitrate
    - Spectrograms
    - Directories
    - Interface
    - Keyboard
    - Keyboard combination for export as mp3
    - Keyboard combination for export as mp3 result
    - Mouse
    Audacity control toolbar
    Audacity edit toolbar
    Audacity mixer toolbar
    Audacity meter toolbar
    Open file
    Supporting file types
    Open file waveform
    Vertical zoom for waveform
    Main view commands selection format
    Hand cursor to the right
    Hand cursor to the left
    Start selection point
    End selection point
    Correct end selection point
    Select all file
    Audacity skip to start button
    Audacity play button
    Audacity loop play button
    Audacity record button
    Audacity pause button
    Audacity stop button
    Audacity skip to end button
    Track menu listing
    - Stereo track
    - Stereo track split
    - Stereo track after splitting
    Make stereo track after editing
    Edit menu listing
    - Select submenu
    - Move Cursor submenu
    - Snap to submenu
    View menu listing
    - History undo level 1
    - History undo level 2
    - History undo level 3
    Project menu listing
    - Edit ID3 Tags
    - Quick Mix
    - Adding a new mono audio track
    - Adding a new stereo track
    - Adding a new label track
    - Adding a new time track
    - Align Tracks submenu
    - Align and Move Cursor submenu
    - Adding a new label at selection
    - Adding a new label at playback position
    - Indicating of the added labels
    Generate menu listing
    - Silence
    - Silence resulting window
    - Tone Generator
    - Tone Generator Result for Sine Wave 440 Hz
    - Tone Generator Result zoom view Sine Wave 440 Hz
    - White Noise
    - White Noise Result Waveform
    - Click Track for New Track
    - Resulting Window for the Click Track
    - Pluck
    - Pluck Result for 60 Midi Note Number
    Effect menu listing
    - Amplify
    - Bass Boost
    - Change Pitch
    - Change Pitch range
    - Change Speed
    - Change Tempo
    - Click and Pop Removal
    - Compressor
    - Echo
    - Equalization default window
    - Equalization - Load Predefined Curve
    - Equalization - Load Predefined Curve EMI 78 loaded result
    - Equalization - User edited curve at resized window
    - Fade In
    - Fade In resulting Waveform
    - Fade Out
    - Fade Out resulting Waveform
    - FFT filter - Default window
    - FFT filter - User edited curve
    - Invert
    - Noise removal
    - Normalize
    - Nyquist Prompt
    - Phaser
    - Repeat
    - Reverse
    - Wahwah
    - Cross Fade In
    - Cross Fade Out
    - Delay
    - GVerb
    - Hard Limiter
    - High Pass Filter
    - Low Pass Filter
    - SC4
    - Low Tremolo
    Analyze menu listing
    - Spectrum analyze
    - Beat finder
    - Beat finder result
    - Silence finder
    - Silence finder result
    File menu listing
    NTSC Film 23.976 FPS To PAL 25 FPS
    PAL 25 FPS To NTSC Film 23.976 FPS





    During an installation of "audacity-win-*.*.*.exe" setup file Audacity will ask the language you prefer to use.  We recommend to select from the listing "English" language to make exactly understandable our guide and using in it items,  terms, links, actions etc. Later, from "Preferences" menu, you can change language to your own at any moment.


    Start audacity all languages selection


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    After the launching of the Audacity we will see main program window. This contains main menu with File,  Edit, Project, Generate, Effect, Analyze, Help items, toolbars for base editing functions, audio timeline,  blank space for edited audio tracks. It is recommended to use values depicted on the screenshots in this guide.


    Audacity main window


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    Before a starting of using of Audacity, firstly we need to edit Audacity preferences. To view preferences window,  please select "Preferences" from "Edit" menu, or simply press "CTRL+P" key combination. In most cases preferences  editing have to be done once for the all next times using.


    Edit audacity preferences


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    Audio I/O tab. On this tab select "Playback" device - Wave mapper, or sound card name if your PC have more  than one sound card, and you definitely know from what you are waiting for the sound, i.e. you connected your  monitors, headphones to them.
    For "Recording" device select "Wave mapper" or sound card name from the listing - in this case don't forget  to connect (plug) audio sources to audio inputs of the selected sound card. If you are not planning to record  audio, there are will not be any kind of cables plugging, etc. Select more than "2 channels (Stereo)" if you are  planning to record from multi-channel source. By default "2 channels (Stereo)" is OK.
    "Play other tracks while recording new one" and "Software Playthrough (Play new track while recording it)" are  unchecked options and there are better to use them for advanced users.


    Edit audacity preferences audio in out


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    Quality tab. Audacity supports these default sample rates, select from the list: 8000 Hz, 11025 Hz, 22050 Hz,  32000 Hz (Digital radio broadcasting purpose in some cases), 44100 Hz (standard for Audio CD recording) - red arrow,  48000 Hz (standard sample rate for DVD Audio) - green arrow, 64000 Hz, 88200 Hz (doubled CD sample rate),  96000 Hz (doubled DVD sample rate), Other (Any sample rate you desire, option for the advanced users).  For base editing purpose select the target sample rate and work with it - i.e. 44100 Hz for Audio CD, 48000 Hz for DVD,  result will be good. If you plan to record multi channel project and you have professional sound card, working with  96 kHz, 24 bit audio format, use these values, result will be better, don't to resample your project to the desired  sample rate (DVD, Audio CD, etc.). If you plan to work with increased sample rates in your projects, use the values  calculated by multiplying the target sample rate to 2,4 - 96 KHz for DVD, 88,2 kHz for CD. Remember, the project size  on your hard drive will grow also. And finally, doubled sample rates will work correctly, if your sound card built on  a ADC/DAC (Analog-To-Digital, Digital-To-Analog) converter with the same sample rates. Consumer sound cards work with  44,1 and 48 KHz and lower frequencies, sound cards with 96 KHz chip on the board will cost to you more than $300, so  you decide.


    Edit audacity preferences quality default sample rate


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    Quality default sample format. By default Audacity use 32-bit sample format. If you don't  need such precision, select 24 bit or 16 bit. It will decrease the project size on your hard drive. For consumer  sound cards you can use 16-bit sample format, if you have 24-bit sound card, change to it, but don't forget to check  wave mapper or direct sound preferences in your Windows OS reading sound card manual - this option for the advanced users.  Therefore, we use 32-bit sample format by default in our guide.


    Edit audacity preferences quality default sample format


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    Real time sample rate converter. If you have modern processor in your PC, it is to set  "High quality Sinc interpolation" for the best results.


    Edit audacity preferences quality real time sample rate converter


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    High quality sample rate converter. Set this value to the "High quality Sinc interpolation" even you have not  modern processor - this option will help to get best results when you will save your project to the target sample rate.


    Edit audacity preferences quality high quality sample rate converter


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    Real-time dither. We don't use real-time dither - select "None"


    Edit audacity preferences quality real time dither


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    High-quality dither - for the best accuracy we select "Triangle" option


    Edit audacity preferences quality high quality dither


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    File formats tab. To work with uncompressed files faster check "Read directly from the original file (faster)".  Another option - "Make a copy of the file before editing (safer)" will allow to you do not work with source file, saving  it from the any editing.


    Edit audacity preferences file formats how to work with uncompressed files


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    Uncompressed export format defines the format for the exporting Audacity project after editing  - "WAV (Microsoft 16 bit PCM)" is ok in most cases.


    Edit audacity preferences file formats uncompressed export format


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    Other uncompressed export format could be used by the advanced user - changing a header, sample format. Using "Other" mode  you can select 24 bit sample format for the exporting.


    Edit audacity preferences file formats uncompressed export format other


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    OGG export setup. If you plan to export your projects as OGG Audio files, adjust this option following this values:  0 will set 64 kbit bitrate, 5 (default)) will set 160 kbit and 10 will set 500 kbit for OGG exporting. Remember, that  OGG audio compression is more optimal than MP3 compression, and you can get good results at low bitrates.


    Edit audacity preferences file formats ogg export setup


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    MP3 export setup. For mp3 exporting you will need free Lame Encoder library - "lame_enc.dll". Audacity installation  package do not include this DLL file, so you can download it here -  Lame Encoder v. 3.97 download - lame_enc.dll library.  After the downloading end extracting from the ZIP archive, press "Find library" button,  select a path to the "lame_enc.dll" on your hard drive - green arrow.


    Edit audacity preferences file formats mp3 export setup


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    MP3 export setup - lame_enc.dll browse - for the question "Would you like to locate lame_enc.dll now" press "Yes"


    Edit audacity preferences file formats mp3 export setup lame enc dll browse


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    MP3 export setup lame version - Default bitrate. After that lame _enc.dll was plugged to the Audacity with v3.97 (red arrow),  select the default bitrate for the MP3 exporting from the listing - green arrow


    Edit audacity preferences file formats mp3 export setup lame version default bitrate


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    Spectrograms tab. Check the default value "256" - red arrow, if you need grayscale color using,  check "Grayscale" - green arrow, and select the maximum frequency to draw in spectrograms (blue arrow).  By default this frequency is 8000 Hz, don't worry it is the limit for the spectrograms drawing, for the full  frequency range sample rate exists - sample rate must be divide to the 2. For example, for 44100 Hz the frequency  range is 0-22050 Hz, it is the rule from the discrete mathematics.


    Edit audacity preferences spectrograms


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    Directories tab. Select the path for the temporary Audacity files (red arrow) with enough space on it.  Free space on the disk will be shown at the "Free Space" section


    Edit audacity preferences directories


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    Interface tab. On this tab user can change Audacity interface settings. The default settings depicted on screenshot is ok  here you can change the language of Audacity interface to your native, if you desire. "Minimum of dB mode display range"  could select the accuracy of spectrograms drawing on your screen - it could be useful for 24-bit editing, for example.


    Edit audacity preferences interface


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    Keyboard tab. On this tab we can adjust keyboard combinations for frequently used operations in Audacity. 


    Edit audacity preferences keyboard


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    Let show an example for the keyboard combination adjusting for "Export as MP3".  Select the desired string - then press "CTRL+SHIFT+M" keyboard combination (red arrow).  After that press "Set" button to add your combination to the preferences listing


    Edit audacity preferences keyboard combination for export as mp3


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    Result of our example for the keyboard combination adjusting shown in the listing.


    Edit audacity preferences keyboard combination for export as mp3 result


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    Mouse tab shows to the user mouse actions in Audacity. It is the last preferences tab, so we can press "OK".


    Edit audacity preferences mouse


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    Audacity control toolbar contains buttons:
    "Selection Tool" - this tool is for the waveform selection using  mouse and "Shift+Left", "Shift+Right", "Shift+Home", "Shift+End" keyboard combinations.  Holding "Shift+Left" or "Shift+Right" will select the range of waveform depending of the  Selection format you have choose.  "Shift+Home" will select the waveform from the cursor to the start position of the audio track.  "Shift+End" selects the waveform from the cursor to the end of the audio track.  To edit selection you can also use  Audacity Hand cursors. To use this tool press "F1" key.
    "Envelope Tool" will help to you to change the volume of the waveform parts using mouse on selected points. To use this tool press "F2" key.
    "Draw Tool" helps to you to change the individual samples of the waveform - for the advanced users. To use this tool press "F3" key.
    "Zoom Tool" helps to the user change waveform zooming, using left (Zoom In) and right (Zoom Out)  clicks of your mouse, or holding "Shift" key using left mouse for "Zoom Out".. To use this tool press "F4" key.
    "Time Shift Tool" moves your waveform to the right or to the left providing time-shifting for the audio track.. To use this tool press "F5" key.
    "Multi-Tool Mode" combines the tools described above in one - need some experience with Audacity, could be used later.. To use this tool press "F6" key.


    Audacity control toolbar


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    Audacity edit toolbar contains these features:
    Cut, Copy, Paste as the based editing options in Audacity editor.
    Trim outside the selection will remove the audio to the left and right sides from the selection.
    Silence will make the silence during selection of the waveform.
    Undo and Redo buttons are for undoing or Redoing the Audacity operation.
    Zoom in and Zoom Out for you if you prefer toolbars instead of mouse operations
    Fit selection in window button will scale the selection to Audacity window's width.
    Fit project in window will scale the full project to the window's width.


    Audacity edit toolbar


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    Audacity mixer toolbar contains these features:
    volume for output and input device, and the name of the device


    Audacity mixer toolbar


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    Audacity meter toolbar includes:
    left meter part for the playback, and the right for the recording, including selecting for the monitor input.  Any of the could be changed to the "Vertical stereo", or to the "Linear" scale, but the "dB" mode will work  more closer to real sound equipment.


    Audacity meter toolbar


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    To describe all base features of the Audacity editor, we need to open file from hard drive. Select "File menu"  click "Open" for the browsing of a media file.


    Open file


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    Audacity supports these file types:  WAV, MP2, MP3, MPA, M2A, OGG, AIFF, AU, so you can select any file with these extensions.


    Supporting file types


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    After the opening user could see audio file waveform.


    Open file waveform


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    If you work with two channel (stereo) audio file, you may apply Vertical zoom for waveform.  Move the mouse cursor to the bottom black line of the waveform, press left mouse button and holding it  resize the vertical scale of the waveform.


    Vertical zoom for waveform


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    Audacity gives to user various selection formats - "min:sec" is ok, other selection formats are for the  advanced users, who need to select sample depending of video format, Audio CD frames etc.


    Main view commands selection format


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    Waveform selection was described here -   Audacity control toolbar using.  After the selection was made the special Audacity "Hand cursor" could occur if you move mouse cursor to the  right and the left border of the selection. These cursors allow to user to change the length of the waveform selection to any side.


    Hand cursor to the right


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    It is the Audacity "Hand cursor" to the left direction.


    Hand cursor to the left


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    To define start point of selection could be needed to Zoom in to desired scale, then click using mouse to the  waveform point to view vertical Audacity cursor line, after that Hand cursor will be shown. Position of the  vertical cursor line could be changed using another mouse click or simply using "Left" and "Right" key's pressing.


    Start selection point


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    To define the End selection point, Zoom Out the waveform, and using mouse on "Hand cursor"  "Shift+Left" and "Shift+Right" key combinations.


    End selection point


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    Length of selection could be adjust with a high accuracy using  Zoom In functions at a high scaling.


    Correct end selection point


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    Users of the audio editing software work with tracks, editing them, in most cases, for whole track -  for this purpose we need "Select all file" selection - could be selected from "Edit -> Select ..." menu or  simply "CTRL+A" key combination.


    Select all file


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    During audio editing user need to control playback - Audacity includes frequently used buttons from  Audacity control toolbar. This button realize "Skip to Start" function and could be called by "Home" key also.


    Audacity skip to start button


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    Audacity "Play" button starts playback of the selection or the whole track if nothing is selected..


    Audacity play button


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    For some purpose Audacity gives to user an opportunity for loop playing - just hold "Shift" key and press  changed "Play" button.


    Audacity loop play button


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    "Record" button's pressing will start recording from the input device you selected in Audacity preferences.  The recording level will be active also.


    Audacity record button


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    "Pause" button make a pause during playback and recording.


    Audacity pause button


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    "Stop" button makes playback and recording stopped.


    Audacity stop button


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    "Skip to end" button moves Audacity cursor to the end of the track. This function could be called by "End" key pressing.


    Audacity skip to end button


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    Each track in Audacity has own "Track menu" - red arrow.


    Track menu


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    There are some differences for "Track menu" listing for stereo and mono tracks - this screenshot  shows to you a variant for stereo track. Any active string from the "Track menu" could changed:
    Name - defines the track's name
    Waveform and waveform dB switch modes of displaying for track's waveform
    Spectrum mode shows frequency spectrum instead of waveform, remember that the maximum frequency for waveform is the  changing value in the preferences
    Pitch (EAC) builds curve using Enhanced Autocorrelation Algorithm - for advanced users
    Set Sample Format changes the format for this track only, not the global preferences
    Set Rate changes the rate for this track only, not the global preferences


    Track menu listing for stereo track


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    To split stereo track use this option from the "Track menu"


    Track menu listing for stereo track split


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    Audacity will split stereo track to a "Left" and "Right" tracks - it could be edited in  an individual order and then mixed to the Stereo Track back.


    Stereo track after splitting


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    Just select "Make Stereo Track" to create stereo track from "Left" and "Right" channels after editing.


    Make stereo track after editing


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    Now, take a look at "Edit" menu listing, which contains these options:
    Undo - cancel the previous operation or operations to an initial if the user need it.
    Redo - repeat the operation if it was cancelled by user - from the initial to the last
    Cut - removes the selection from the track, copying this selection to the clipboard, it could be the whole track, "CTRL+X" key combination.
    Copy - copying of the selection to the clipboard, "CTRL+C" key combination.
    Paste - paste to the selected point, "CTRL+V" key combination
    Trim - removes all waveform outside of the selection, "CTRL+T" key combination
    Delete - simply removes selection, "CTRL+K" key combination
    Silence - makes a silence during the selection, "CTRL+L" key combination
    Split - makes the silence in the source track, and makes the new audio track in the same project with the waveform at the same time position
    Duplicate - makes the new audio track in the same project with the waveform at the same time position, without the silence in the source track, "CTRL+D" key combination
    Select  - defines the selection modes:
          Select All - all waveform
          Start To Cursor - from the initial waveform's position to cursor
          Cursor To End - from the cursor position to the end of the waveform
    Find Zero-Crossing - corrects left and right edges of the selection finding zero-level crossing of the waveform to prevent parasite sound clicking after copy and paste operations, "Z" key.
    Selection Save - saves in the Audacity internal buffer the selection to restore it later
    Selection Restore - restores the selection, if the "Selection Save" operation was made earlier
    Move Cursor  - defines these movements of the cursor:
          To Track Start
          To Track End
          To Selection Start
          To Selection End
    If any waveform's selection was on the screen, it will be unselected
    Snap-To  defines snapping options:
          Snap-On - enables snap
          Snap-Off - disable snap
    Preferences as described earlier


    Edit menu listing


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    Select submenu


    Edit menu listing select submenu


    Top Edit menu




    Move Cursor submenu.


    Edit menu listing move cursor submenu


    Top Edit menu



    Snap-To submenu.


    Edit menu listing snap to submenu


    Top Edit menu



    View menu listing contains these operations to make the audio editing with Audacity more easy, correct and comfortable:
    Zoom In - increases the Zoom scaling, "CTRL+1" key combination
    Zoom Normal - resets any Zoom scaling, showing on the screen 10-second's timeline, "CTRL+2" key combination
    Zoom Out - decreases the Zoom scaling, "CTRL+3" key combination
    Fit In Window - changes the Zoom scaling to place the whole track's waveform in one window, "CTRL+F" key combination
    Fit Vertically - resizes the height of the waveform on the screen to maximum possible height, "CTRL+SHIFT+F" key combination
    Zoom To Selection - changes the Zoom scaling so the selection will take a window's width, "CTRL+E" key combination
    Selection Format  - defines the selection mode for the audio editing
    Float options allow to user to remove Audacity Toolbars


    View menu listing


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    Audacity includes great History Undoing levels, so you can step-by-step into reverse direction, but jumping to any level of undoing.  In our example we used 3 operations, so we can undo them at any level (red arrow). You can also select level to discard from the "Discard Undo Data" section in the "History" window. This is Level 1.


    View menu listing history undo level 1


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    Level 2 screenshot.


    View menu listing history undo level 2


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    Level 3 screenshot. Green double-sided arrow shows that the Amplify -3dB changed the waveform.


    View menu listing history undo level 3


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    "Project" menu listing provides these operations with Audacity projects:
    Import Audio - imports any supported audio file into Audacity Projects, "CTRL+I" key combination
    Import Labels - imports labels from text file to place them into "Label track" in the project
    Import MIDI - imports MIDI file to view it, not allowing to play, edit, save them
    Import RAW Data - imports uncompressed data from the files, recognizing type of the data automatically, do not use this command with compressed audio formats
    Edit ID3 Tags  allows to user to define ID3 tags for MP3 exporting, ID3v1 or ID3v2 selection is possible
    Quick mix  allows to run mixing of all selected tracks - to select hold "Shift" key and click using mouse the tracks you need
    New Audio Track - adding a new blank mono audio track to the Audacity project with the same sample rate
    New Stereo Track - adding a new blank stereo audio track to the Audacity project with the same sample rate
    New Label Track - adding a new blank label track to the project at the bottom part of the window.
    New Time Track - adding a new timeline track to the project at the top of the window.
    Remove Tracks - removing of the selected tracks from the project, to select track hold "SHIFT" key and click the left information zones of it - selection is done, when the info zone's color change from gray to blue color
    Align Tracks - moves the edges of the project to specified points. These points could be:
          Align With Zero - moves the start edge to the zero timeline position
          Align With Cursor - moves the start edge to the cursor position. Timeline will not be changed, so until this cursor point you will see the silence
          Align With Selection Start - moves the start edge to the start of the selection, timeline will not be changed, selection will be the same
          Align With Selection End - moves the start edge to the end of the selection, timeline will not be changed, selection will be viewable at the timeline only
          Align End With Cursor - moves the start edge of the project, so the length of the track will be equal time range from zero to cursor position, and this part will be taken from the end of the track.
          Align End With Selection Start - moves the start edge of the project, so the length of the track will be equal time range from zero to selection start position, and this part will be taken from the end of the track.
          Align End With Selection End - moves the start edge of the project, so the length of the track will be equal time range from zero to selection end position, and this part will be taken from the end of the track.
    Align and Move Cursor - repeats previously described operations with edges movements, including cursor moving. These operations:
          Align With Zero
          Align With Cursor
          Align With Selection Start
          Align With Selection End
          Align End With Cursor
          Align End With Selection Start
          Align End With Selection End
    Add Label At Selection - adding a label at the start of the selection to the start position to a new label track - use "CTRL+B" key combination.
    Add Label At Playback position - place a new label to the existing label track during playback in Audacity - press "CTRL+M" key combination to view new label,  marked as  white triange flag at the label track - red arrow. The previous labels are marked as red triangle flags - green arrow.


    Project menu listing


    Top Project menu



    Window for editing of ID3 Tags in Audacity.


    Project menu listing edit id3 tags


    Top Project menu



    Quick mix operation in progress.


    Project menu listing quick mix


    Top Project menu



    Adding a new mono audio track to the project.


    Project menu listing new audio track


    Top Project menu



    Adding a new stereo track to the project.


    Project menu listing new stereo track


    Top Project menu



    Adding a new label track to the project.


    Project menu listing new label track


    Top Project menu



    Adding a new time track to the project.


    Project menu listing new time track


    Top Project menu



    Align tracks submenu.


    Project menu listing align tracks


    Top Project menu



    Align and move cursor submenu.


    Project menu listing align and move cursor


    Top Project menu



    Adding a new label at start of the selection.


    Project menu listing add label at selection


    Top Project menu



    Adding a new label at playback position.


    Project menu listing add label at playback position


    Top Project menu



    White and red flags as labels at playback position.


    Project menu listing labels at playback position result


    Top Project menu





    "Generate" menu listing include some internal into Audacity tools to generate various types of sounds for projects. These tools are:
    Silence - creates the silence in the selection with the same length - green arrow.  View results of the Silence here.  If you will change the length of the silence manually, the track's time length will be changed to the value equal difference between selection time and the user's silence time, so the resulting track time could be decreased on increased.
    Tone Generator - generates the sine, square or sawtooth waveform instead of the selection with length of the selection (red dashed double-sided arrows), with amplitude equal as an user defined, from 0 to 1, (green dashed double-sided arrows).
    Tone Generator Results for our example is shown here, and  Zoom In view of the generated sine wave. If the user entered the length value manually, the final track time could be increased or decreased as described in "Silence" generator.
    White Noise - generates the frequency summary spectrum sound, called as "White Noise" - sum of the low frequencies at the same time.  Zoom In view of the white noise waveform is shown here. If the user entered the length manually, the track time will be changed as described in the "Silence generator".
    Click Track - generates the track with taps (clicks) with defined Tempo for Audacity projects, to synchronize the beats.  For new track  Click Track result is shown here
    Pluck - generates a pluck as the user defined, sounds as a guitar, with 1 second length, if the cursor placed at the zero time position.  Pluck result for 60 midi note number is shown as our example.


    Generate menu listing


    Top Generate menu



    Generate Silence window.


    Generate menu listing generate silence


    Top Generate menu



    Generate Silence resulting waveform.


    Generate menu listing generate silence result


    Top Generate menu



    Tone Generator window.


    Generate menu listing tone generator


    Top Generate menu



    Tone Generator resulting waveform.


    Generate menu listing tone generator result


    Top Generate menu



    Zoom view of the sine wave for Tone Generator.


    Generate menu listing tone generator result zoom view sine wave


    Top Generate menu



    White Noise window.


    Generate menu listing generate white noise


    Top Generate menu



    White Noise resulting Waveform.


    Generate menu listing generate white noise result waveform


    Top Generate menu



    Generate Click Track for New Track.


    Generate menu listing click track for new track


    Top Generate menu



    Click Track for New Track Result.


    Generate menu listing click track for new track result


    Top Generate menu



    Generate Pluck.


    Generate menu listing pluck


    Top Generate menu



    Pluck result for 60 Midi Note number.


    Generate menu listing pluck result for 60 midi note number


    Top Generate menu





    "Effect" menu provides the main features for audio editing using Audacity, including:  AmplifyBass BoostChange PitchChange SpeedChange TempoClick and Pop RemovalCompressorEchoEqualizationFade InFade OutFFT filterInvertNoise removalNormalizeNyquist PromptPhaserRepeatReverseWahwahCross Fade InCross Fade OutDelayGVerbHard LimiterHigh Pass FilterLow Pass FilterSC4Low Tremolo.


    Effect menu listing


    Top Effect menu



    Amplify - provides amplifying of audio in dB scale - for new users, -6 dB will decrease the audio volume level at 50% (two times lower), positive values increase the volume. This operation could be useful for tracks mixing before it to prevent audio clipping. Audacity allows clipping (check this option, but it is not recommended).


    Effect menu listing amplify


    Top Effect menu



    Bass boost - amplify the bass frequencies near the user defined (200 Hz as shown) and it's level in dB.


    Effect menu listing bass boost


    Top Effect menu



    Change Pitch - provides pitch changing for the audio track,  could be measured in  Notes (Tabs),  semitones, frequencies, percents, could be increased or decreased.


    Effect menu listing change pitch


    Top Effect menu



    Change pitch Notes (Tabs) range.


    Effect menu listing change pitch range


    Top Effect menu



    Change Speed - modifies the speed of the track, including the tempo and pitch, works as analog of real speed changing for the motor of the tape recorder, vinyl turntable, etc.


    Effect menu listing change speed


    Top Effect menu



    Change tempo - modifies the tempo of the audio track without changing the pitch - excellent digital effect audio track mixing, video editing,  such as  NTSC Film 23.976 FPS To PAL 25 FPS audio conversionPAL 25 FPS To NTSC Film 23.976 FPS audio conversion. Could be measured in percents, Beats Per Minute (BPM).


    Effect menu listing change tempo


    Top Effect menu



    Click and Pop Removal - removes parasitic clicks from vinyl records, depending of the source quality, must be adjusted in a few turns, using "Preview" button with desired selection. Two faders in this effect - threshold and width.


    Effect menu listing click and pop removal


    Top Effect menu



    Dynamic range compressor - provides sound dynamic compressing such as real equipment with options: threshold (red double-sided dashed arrows), ratio from 1,5:1 to 10:1 (green double-sided dashed arrows), attack time from 0,1 second to 1 second. Previewing is enabled also.


    Effect menu listing dynamic range compressor


    Top Effect menu



    Echo - provides echo effect for audio, recommended for voice channels, adjusting delay time and decay factor - use preview to get desired results.


    Effect menu listing echo


    Top Effect menu



    Equalization - provides frequency equalizer audio editing, adjusting the frequencies bands levels. This effect could be used with predefined curves and user defined curves - it will be shown at bottom screenshots.


    Effect menu listing equalization default window


    Top Effect menu



    To load predefined curve just check the preset from the list, then press "Load Predefined Curve".


    Effect menu listing equalization load predefined curve


    Top Effect menu



    Our example shows how EMI 78 predefined curve was loaded - green arrow shows the changed equalization settings.


    Effect menu listing equalization load predefined curve emi 78 loaded


    Top Effect menu



    In most cases user edited curve is needed - to achieve the best result, firstly resize the equalization window to the maximum of the width and height. Then using a mouse place points at the frequencies you want to adjust and change the level of them. Using of "Preview" during this operation is very useful. After all changes will be done, press "OK" button to apply equalization. "Clear" button resets all levels to the 0 dB. Equalization effect uses logarithmic frequency scale, to work with linear frequency scale use  FFT Effect


    Effect menu listing equalization user edited curve at resized window


    Top Effect menu



    Fade In - operation, that simulates fader up movement digitally, increasing the level of the audio - it is recommended to select the desired time selection, a few seconds for example, and use this effect. The waveform range, marked with a green double-sided dashed arrows will be changed.


    Effect menu listing fade in


    Top Effect menu



    The resulting waveform for 3 seconds selection after Fade In effect is shown here.


    Effect menu listing fade in result waveform


    Top Effect menu



    Fade Out - this operation simulates fader down movement digitally, decreasing the level of the audio - it is recommended to select the last few seconds of audio track to use this filter - this selection is marked with a green double-sided dashed arrows.


    Effect menu listing fade out


    Top Effect menu



    Resulting waveform for Fade Out effect is shown here.


    Effect menu listing fade out result waveform


    Top Effect menu



    FFT filter - similar to the Equalization effect, but uses linear frequency scale. The default window is show here. User could work with this default window, but it is recommended to enlarge it size.


    Effect menu listing fft filter default window


    Top Effect menu



    To make user edited curve, place points on the curve, and then change the dB level of the curve. Green arrow marks the frequency point, red arrow marks the dB level. "Clear" button resets all adjusted levels, use the "Preview" button to achieve the desired results. When the user's curve will be done, press "OK" to apply this effect.


    Effect menu listing fft filter user edited curve


    Top Effect menu



    Invert - this operation inverts the phase of the audio, useful for using for stereo audio tracks to restore the right phases if it were rotated cause error analog cables plugging, etc.


    Effect menu listing invert


    Top Effect menu



    Noise removal - removes the noise from the audio. It is very aggressive effect, firstly define the audio selection with noise to define a kind of noise - red arrow. Then adjust the level of the noise removing - green arrow. Use "Preview" to control the depth of noise removing, need to obtain some experience to get good results.


    Effect menu listing noise removal


    Top Effect menu



    Normalize - this operation scans the audio selection (or whole track, if need), and amplifies the level of the audio that the maximum will be at 0 dB level. Audacity could adjust level to -3 dB level, if this option will be checked - red arrow, plus DC offset removing option. It is recommended to use Normalize effect for audio tracks recorded from Line inputs, Mic Inputs, etc.


    Effect menu listing normalize


    Top Effect menu



    Nyquist Prompt - this effect for the advanced users only, to process the audio using non-usual Nyquist prompts.


    Effect menu listing nyquist prompt


    Top Effect menu



    Phaser - this effect combines source signal with phase shifted clone of it.


    Effect menu listing phaser


    Top Effect menu



    Repeat - repeats the audio selection the desired times and places it instead of old selection. Double-sided dashed green arrow shows the length of the old selection, red arrows marks the number of repeats, and the solid green arrow shows the new selection length.


    Effect menu listing repeat


    Top Effect menu



    Reverse - this operation makes the selection placed in reverse direction.


    Effect menu listing reverse


    Top Effect menu



    Wahwah - this effect combines the phase shifting and spectrum shifting in one - use "Preview" to adjust it.


    Effect menu listing wahwah


    Top Effect menu



    Cross Fade In - another version of the Fade In effect in Audacity.


    Effect menu listing cross fade in


    Top Effect menu



    Cross Fade Out - another version of the Fade Out effect in the Audacity.


    Effect menu listing cross fade out


    Top Effect menu



    Delay - this effect creates a fixed number of echos, with adjusted level of echo in dB, delay time, and the number of echos - no "Preview" here, use this effect and Undo (CTRL+Z) to find the desired quality, This effect in most cases use for vocal audio tracks, etc.


    Effect menu listing delay


    Top Effect menu



    GVerb - this effect creates a sound as broken with mixed echos or something similar, recommended for advanced users.


    Effect menu listing gverb


    Top Effect menu



    Hard limiter - limits the audio using dB scale (red arrow), with wet level option, must not be equal to zero. It is not recommended to use dB limit lower than -6dB for normalized signals, cause the hard limiting will destroy the audio - "Preview" mode will show it.


    Effect menu listing hard limiter


    Top Effect menu



    High Pass Filter - this filter will pass all frequencies higher than "Cutoff frequency".


    Effect menu listing high pass filter


    Top Effect menu



    Low Pass Filter - this filter will pass all frequencies lower than "Cutoff frequency".


    Effect menu listing low pass filter


    Top Effect menu



    SC4 - similar to the real SC4 digital effect, providing soft sound dynamic compressing features.


    Effect menu listing low sc4


    Top Effect menu



    Tremolo - this effect creates a sound with vibrating feature.


    Effect menu listing low tremolo


    Top Effect menu



    "Analyze" menu includes tools for audio analyze, such as:  Spectrum analyzeBeat finderSilence finder.


    Analyze menu listing


    Top Analyze menu



    Spectrum analyze will help to user to define the frequency spectrum of their audio tracks, useful to limit or expand exporting bitrate for Audacity projects and other purposes, such as define the frequency limitations for microphones, analog tape recorders, etc. Use cross-type cursor to select the frequency (red arrow) to define it level in dB (green arrow). Spectrum analyze results could be exported to a text file using "Export" button.


    Analyze menu listing spectrum analyze


    Top Analyze menu



    Beat finder will find beats corresponding to the defined level in percents.


    Analyze menu listing beat finder


    Top Analyze menu



    Beat time points will be marked in a "Label track" with "B" flags.


    Analyze menu listing beat finder result


    Top Analyze menu



    Silence finder will find the silence time points, corresponding to the defined "Silence level", "Minimum silence duration". User could define the placement of found silence time points (before silence ends).


    Analyze menu listing silence finder


    Top Analyze menu



    Silence time points will be marked in a "Label track" with "S" flags.


    Analyze menu listing silence finder result


    Top Analyze menu



    "File" menu will need to use before or after all editing of the audio files. It includes options:
    New - creates new Audacity window for the new project, "CTRL+N" key combination.
    Open - opening of the audio file for editing in Audacity, "CTRL+O" key combination.
    Close - closes audio file in Audacity, "CTRL+W" key combination.
    Save Project - saves an Audacity project to the *.aup files plus some additional folders, "CTRL+S" key combination.
    Save Project As - saves an Audacity project to a new *.aup files plus some additional folders.
    Recent Files - shows sub listing with recent projects and audio files listing.
    Export as WAV - exports the Audacity project to WAV file, so here is the final step after opening or importing for MP3 to WAV, MPA to WAV, MP2 to WAV, M2A to WAV, AIFF to WAV, OGG to WAV, AU to WAV conversion.
    Export Selection as WAV - the same as above for selection.
    Export as MP3 - exports the Audacity project to MP3 file, so here is the final step after opening or importing for WAV to MP3, MP2 to MP3, MPA to MP3, M2A to MP3, AIFF to MP3, OGG to MP3, AU to MP3.
    Export Selection as MP3 - the same as above for selection.
    Export as OGG Vorbis - exports the Audacity project to OGG file, so here is the final step after opening or importing for WAV to OGG, MP2 to OGG, MPA to OGG, MP3 to OGG, M2A to OGG, AIFF to OGG, AU to OGG.
    Export Selection as OGG - the same as above for selection.
    Export Labels - exports label tracks to TXT file with time points and labels names in it.
    Export Multiple - exports audio tracks and label track in one tool, just select the format for exporting (WAV, MP3, OGG), export location.
    Page Setup - setup for printing
    Print - prints the Audacity project.
    Exit - terminates the program.


    File menu listing


    Top



    NTSC Film 23.976 FPS To PAL 25 FPS audio conversion.
    Audacity could change the tempo (i.e. speed) of audio, so, for PAL speed is 25 frames per second, For NTSC Film is the 23,976 frames per second. Let variable p=25, n=23,976 for our calculations.
    Out equation is
    n+n*dx=p
    dx - non dimensional coefficient
    n*(1+dx)=p
    1+dx=p/n
    dx=(p/n)-1 ds=dx*100%=((25/23,976)-1)*100%=4,271%
    Use this value for NTSC Film 23.976 FPS To PAL 25 FPS audio conversion with "Change Tempo" effect.


    Ntsc film 23-976 fps to pal 25 fps


    Top



    PAL 25 FPS To NTSC Film 23.976 FPS audio conversion.
    Let variable p=25, n=23,976 for our calculations.
    Our equation is
    p+p*dx=n ,
    where dx - non-dimensional coefficient.
    p*(1+dx)=n
    1+dx=n/p
    dx=(n/p)-1
    dx=(23,976/25)-1
    ds=dx*100%=-4,096%
    Use this value for PAL 25 FPS To NTSC Film 23.976 FPS audio conversion with "Change Tempo" effect.


    Pal 25 fps to ntsc film 23-976 fps


    Top


    Author of this tutorial hopes that presented information helped to learn basic Audacity features for audio editing.

    See more video guides at Videohelp.com and  Doom9.org

    To contact to the author of this guide, please send e-mail:
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