The freeware application Audacity is a powerful, easy to use sound editor that works on both Mac and Windows, including the latest version of both operating systems. After spending only a short time with it, I could load sound files, record, change the pitch so that my voice sounded like a baritone or a child’s voice, convert a sound effect to match the same format as my recording, and paste in my sound effect after the recording to create one long track. Some features I don’t know how to use—I don’t know that much about sound—but there are many useful and easy features even for the sound-ignorant.
Download A Tutorial
The PDF file you can download from this page will get you started with Audacity, and take you step by step through the functions I learned in my first adventure. Try it out–it might make a fun and productive short workshop. After that, you’ll hopefully be posting comments here on new ways you have found to use this handy application!
Download the latest version of Audacity from the Source Forge web site. Follow the instructions on the Audacity site for installation on your particular operating system. Download, decompress, and install the main Audacity application, and also download and install the optional LAME MP3 encoder, which allows Audacity to export MP3 files. Using MP3 files will save you plenty on file size, and many applications (Classroom Suite, Clicker 5, My Own Bookshelf, and the newer versions of PowerPoint) can load and use them.
Sources For Free Sounds
One obvious use for Audacity would be customizing and linking up sound effects. For a library of 5,000 free sounds, link to beachware.com. You will need to install the Shockwave plug-in, and then you can browse the entire sound library sorted by category. For more free sounds, look in the sidebar on this page for the Free Stuff links (scroll below the Contact Me button). The Free Sound Project is an especially good source.
Application needed: Audacity (see download link below)
Subject area: Sound editing.
Level: Author, teacher tip.
CLICK HERE to go to the Audacity download page. Versions for both Mac and Win.