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THTR 491: Narrative Podcasting: Making Your First Recording

A guide to using Audacity for podcast recording and to finding free resources for music and sounds.

Additional recording resources

Check out some additional resources here for general audio production.

UNLV Audio Production Guide

Audio Podcasting Worksheet

Audacity's Online Manual

Here are some resources for making field recordings to add some authentic ambience to your podcast.

Field Recording Resources Worksheet

Field Recording on Smartphones Worksheet

Don't forget you can always make an appointment or send an email to an audio expert.

Knowledge Production Consultations

Setting up and recording with Audacity

Let's get started with recording in Audacity by doing a little warm-up activity. For this activity, all you'll need to do is record a short audio clip introducing yourself to the rest of the class.

Start off by heading over to LinkedIn Learning again and finding part 2 of Garrick Chow's Learning Audacity tutorial. It's simply called Recording. For now, use the first 5 sections of the tutorial to get you ready to record a simple clip. These sections are: Set up your hardware, Create a new projectSave your project, Record, and Add tracks.

1. Head to LinkedIn Learning now to watch the tutorial videos.

Once you are ready, go ahead and try making a short recording. It doesn't need to be more than a few seconds - this is just a practice exercise. Here's an example of a short introduction that I recorded as an example for you: Leah's Introduction

HINT! You might have to download the file to listen to the introduction.

2. Record your short introduction using Audacity now.

It would be pretty boring if you were listening to a podcast that was literally just people talking the whole time... am I right? The best podcasts incorporate music, background sounds, and sound effects to create an ambiance that draws you into the story. There are different ways to add these extra bits of audio to your production. You might want to record some sounds yourself or you can also use some that you find online. Of course, you'll want to give credit if you find sounds or music online that you are going to use... I'll go into that a bit more later. For now, pick some music and sound effects from these samples.

3. Download a few sample audio files to your computer now.

You're going to have to add the files you've chosen to the clip that you already recorded in Audacity. To do that, you need to Import them. You can find out how to do this by watching the Import audio clip under the Getting Started section in Garrick Chow's tutorial on LinkedIn Learning. Or if you are already comfortable with importing files, you can find the option under File - Import in Audacity.

4. Import your sample files into your Audacity recording now.

You did it! That's it for now! In the next short exercise, you'll learn to move the clips around and do some basic editing to finish up your short introduction.

Need help? Check-in with your other classmates and don't forget - this project is a team effort. You can also reach out to me for assistance at any time along the way.

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