Draft:DLC Workshops/Audacity 101/Audacity

From WSU Technology Knowledge Base
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Downloading Audacity


Choose either Mac or Windows application to download. Install the 1.2 version. If you have any questions about installation, check with the Technical Support Center.

Importing and Saving Audio as MP3

Neither Audacity for the Mac nor the PC supports exporting audio to MP3 format when it is initially installed.

Installing LAME MP3 Encoder

After you install Audacity, follow the instructions located here to enable this feature:

Please read the instructions given to you in the download link.

How do I download and install the LAME MP3 encoder?

Sources for Loops/Sound Effects/Samples

In addition to sound files you have on your computer in either iTunes or Windows Media Player libraries, you can also other files that you download.

Sources for fee-based Royalty-Free Sounds are:

Some free Sources for Royalty-Free sounds are:

Be sure to understand Copyright & Fair Use before using any piece of music for a project and or other uses.

Basic Copyright Rules

Under Copyright laws Instructors and students are permitted a Fair Use of video and sound from commercial sources, movies, TV shows, etc. which are not otherwise free of royalties.

Current guidelines by Minnesota State for use of copyrighted materials INSIDE classrooms allows a good deal of latitude:

"The Minnesota State Colleges and Universities Office of the Chancellor has established the following guidelines relating to the performance of copyrighted works in the classroom, distance education and in public settings, for educational purposes based on copyright law, including the recently enacted TEACH Act."
"Educators at Minnesota State Colleges and Universities colleges and universities may show, display or perform others' work in the classroom, including videos, motion pictures, other similar audiovisual works, music materials, dramatic works, and other copyrighted works under the following conditions:
  1. The showing or displaying of the work is done in the classroom or similar place devoted to instruction.
  2. The teacher and the students must be in the same location.
  3. The audience must be composed of members of one class only.
  4. The showing or displaying of the work must be part of systematic instruction, which does not include recreational or cultural programs.
  5. The showing or displaying of the work must be the decision of the instructor, a student, or a guest lecturer.
  6. In the case of videotape, film, or other audiovisual work, the work must have been lawfully obtained.
Provided these conditions are met, few restrictions are placed on educators' use of others' work in a face-to-face classroom setting."

For more information about Minnesota State policy regarding the use of copyrighted materials, go to these Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ).

The reproduction or creative appropriation of content, not simply the playing of content for the sake of discussion or interpretation, has different considerations.

If you use content OUTSIDE classrooms, the use of audio/video loops or samples that are not royalty-free should be limited by Fair Use Standards: that is, segments should not exceed 10% or 30 seconds of copyright-protected recording.

NOTE: rules for use of copyrighted materials are complex. If you have additional questions, contact:

Thomas Bremer
Dean, Library & Information Services
Somsen Hall 202B
email Dr. Bremer
(507) 457-5141

Starting an Audacity Project

Open the application. The entry window looks like this:


To start a new track for recording, simply click on the Record button.Audacity4.jpg

To stop recording, click on the stop button.Audacity5.jpg

To add a sound file for a track, use the menu FILE→ OPEN and choose the file. It will be converted into the Audacity format, and displayed for editing.

Q & A

Q. I am using a Mac laptop. When I try to export my Audacity file to MP3 I get an error message.

A. On the Mac the problem appears to be with the location of the LAME MP3 Encoder installation. The default location installs into a folder in which permissions are not available to the user of the computer. Therefore, when trying to export/create an MP3 it will not allow you to finish the process. This occurs on both versions (1.2.6 or 1.2.12 which is the beta version).

Here are work around directions for those on a Mac:

1. Reinstall LAME MP3 Encoder (use the following link: http://audacity.sourceforge.net/help/faq?s=install&i=lame-mp3)

2. When going through the installation process select “Change Location” as shown in the picture below:


3. Recommended location to change your Library location to: home directory > library (i.e. = [your StarID]>library).

Other Resources

Audacity Online Training

Audacity and Windows 7

Audacity Wiki Home Page

Audacity Manual]]