What Is It?

Audacity is an easy-to-use, open source audio editing software program that is available as a free download. Versions are available for desktop computers that run the Mac, Windows and Linux operating systems. Audacity has a variety of features that can meet the needs of a range of audio recording projects, from a very basic short live recording to more elaborate, multi-track projects that combine audio from a variety of sources.

Key Features
  • Live recording of audio from a microphone or computer “line in”
  • Editing of audio recorded within Audacity or created by other programs or devices (such as iPod or CD audio)
  • Multi-track capability for mixing different audio sources
  • Multiple filters and tools to improve sound quality and create special effects
  • Ability to export in WAV and MP3 formats
  • Option to change the user interface to display in one of more than 35 languages
Who Uses It?

Audacity is used by hundreds of schools and institutions of higher education around the world and by many more private individuals and companies for basic audio recording and editing needs, since it is a no-cost solution for a variety of basic and intermediate digital audio editing needs. Many students and instructors also download Audacity to their local computers to make recording and editing possible in their own work space.

Things to Consider Before Using Audacity
  • You need to have administrative rights on your computer to install downloaded software, so you may need to ask your technical support staff member for assistance with this step.
  • You need to have a basic understanding of the difference between the project workspace and an exported audio file, since the project file cannot be uploaded to a course Web space for playback by others.
  • Depending on what it is you are trying to do, you may need to use another tool such as iTunes, QuickTime Pro or other editing software to complete the final steps for your project.
  • If you are digitizing the work of others or using interviews, there are copyright and Institutional Review Board issues to consider.

Uses as an Instructional Technology

  • Record live responses to prompts during a class session held in a computer lab
  • Record a narration or introduction to be placed in a course Web space
  • Create audio review materials for student use
  • Edit raw interview recordings to create a more polished final product
  • Digitize cassette or CD audio course materials to share with others (additional post-production steps may be necessary)
  • Combine recordings made by individual students for a group project

Resources at The College of Wooster

  • Audacity is available for use in the Taylor 205 lab.
  • Assistance with installing, configuring or using audacity is provided by Instructional Technology.
  • Click here for documentation on Audacity
  • You may be interested in reading the ELI 7 things you should know about Podcasting.

The content on this page was derived from webpages maintained by the Duke University Center for Instructional Technology