10 Great Ways to use Audacity (Taken from 'Tip of the iceberg blog)
  1. Make an audio/radio advertisement - My Grade 3 students are using Audacity to advertise products the school produces to support service learning for their Advertising unit.
  2. Promote language learning – record kids speaking in one of their language classes then upload to Voki to create speaking Avatars. One of the Mandarin teachers at our school, Wendy Liao, did this very successfully with Grade 4 students.
  3. Create Podcasts – limited only by your imagination. I recommend checking out whatKim Cofino and colleagues are doing with Podcasts at ISB. Celeste Hopkins and her Grade 2 students use Audacity to create podcasts of book reviews, reports and poetry readings. Mr Balcom‘s students created music tracks for their video podcasts. Find a need and get podcasting!
  4. Record speeches to provide evidence of learning, and upload to Glogster (a wonderful online poster tool) to share with a wider audience, as I’m doing with Grade 4 students for their environmental unit.
  5. Promote reading development by recording kids reading books, as Colin Beckeroutlines in his post on Emerging Readers.
  6. Create sound stories for images using free sound effects websites, as my Grade 2 students are doing for the school arts festival. You could easily use creative commons Flickr photos as your source of ‘sound-rich’ images.
  7. Record sound for PowerPoint slides to enhance any presentation (hat tip to Colin Becker).
  8. Record comments/opinions to load to a Voicethread at a later stage. This can be useful if there are problems with multiple users on a Voicethread or to save time.
  9. Record compositions or class singing to share with others (e.g. parents).
  10. Record soundtracks for animations as my Grade 4 students did for their animation project on the systems of the human body.



  1. 1Connect your gear. In your instrument preferences, set the output destination of your instrument. Set the input of Audacity to match the output from your instrument. In this example, the signal is routed through the Soundflower interface from a software synth‘s output to Audacity’s audio input.

external image Ouput-input.jpg

    • While sound cards and interfaces vary, it’s a good practice to monitor your actual instrument to prevent latency issues. Because latency is always a factor when monitoring the recorded signal, it’s very difficult to find your groove when playing. In Audacity, set your preferences as shown:

external image Preferences_-Recording.jpg

  1. 2Confirm connection. Check to make sure you outputs and inputs are properly routed by first selecting Start Monitoring from the popup menu below the input meters (by the microphone icon), then playing your instrument.

external image Start-monitoring.jpg

    • The LR input meters should respond.

    • If the meters are hitting 0dB, use the Input Volume Sider to lower the input level so that the meters only approach 0 during the loudest sections.

external image Adjust-Volume.jpg

  1. 3Choose how to activate recording. When everything is connected properly, and your levels are set, you’re ready to record. You have two options:
    • Press Record and start playing. There will generally be some silence at the beginning of your track. This can be trimmed away when you’re done recording.

    • Alternately, you can enable Sound Activated Recording in your Recording preferences. Check the Sound Activated Recording checkbox, then set the Sound Activation Level (DB)—the lower the number, the quieter the sound that will trigger recording. This is useful if, for example, you are recording in another room and don’t want to have a long silence at the beginning of your track as you walk back and prepare to play.

external image Preferences_-Recording-2.jpg

  1. 4Record your track. Whichever method you choose, it’s now the moment of truth! Press the red Record button (or press “R”, and when you’re ready, start playing. You’ll see the waveforms written to your track as you play.
    • Note: will this should not generally be the case if everything is set as described above, if you are flat-lining (i.e., the waveform displays as a straight line) when you record, that means that signal is not getting from your instrument to your track. Confirm your connections and try again.

  1. 5Stop recording. When you are finished, press the square yellow Stop button. You should see something similar to the image below.

external image Recorded-sound.jpg

    • If you chose Sound Activated recording, Audacity will automatically stop recording when the sound drops below the threshold level.

    • To add additional tracks while listening to previously recorded tracks, make sure “Overdub: Play other tracks while recording new one” is checked in Preferences: Recording.

  1. 6Set a date and time to record. There’s an alternate recording option that most software sound recorders do not have, and that is Timer Record.
    • From the Transport menu, select Timer Record..., or press Shift-T. In the resulting window, you can set the Start Date and Time, and either the End Date and Time, or the Duration. This lets you set your recorder to turn on when you are not around. Why would you do this? Because you can!

  1. 7Extend your recording. If you want to add additional material to your existing recording, press Shift-Record, or type Shift-R, and new material will be appended at the end of the existing recording on the current track.

For more step-by-step instructions on how to playback, edit and apply effects visit: http://www.wikihow.com/Use-Audacity