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THTR 491: Narrative Podcasting: Basic Editing Functions

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

Additional LinkedIn Learning tutorials to check out

Are you looking for more instructional content on podcasting? LinkedIn Learning has much more than just instruction on Audacity. Look up these other tutorials for more info.

Producing Podcasts - by Danny Ozment

Planning, producing, publishing, and promotion

Content Marketing: How to Podcast - by Martin Waxman

Getting started, setting up, recording, and marketing

Creating a podcast logo (Video from the Drawing Vector Graphics Laboratory) - by Von Glitschka

Using Illustrator to create a logo


Editing your first recording

In the last exercise, you imported some sounds to Audacity. You've also already recorded a short introduction. Now it's time to mix it up with Audacity to make something that sounds more interesting. Let's get started!

Of course, we're going to head back to the Garrick Chow LinkedIn Learning tutorials to get some quick tips on Basic Editing: Make selections, Cut, copy, and paste, Split clips, Volume automation, and Use common effects.

1. Watch all of the 5 sections of the tutorial on Basic Editing now.

Now, take some of the music and sound effects that you picked out and mix them up with your clip to create a more auditorily interesting introduction. If you aren't sure where to get started with something like that, you can listen to my sample introduction: Leah's Introduction (Peaceful Edit)

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

2. Create your updated self-introduction with music and sound effects now.

Awesome job! Be sure to share your introduction with your classmates and more importantly - use the ideas you get from this exercise to inform the rest of your podcasting project.

I encourage you to check out the rest of Garrick Chow's tutorials on Audacity whenever you have time. There are lots of good tips and tricks for navigating Audacity included in the videos.

Multitrack recording with Audacity

One thing that will probably come up when recording for a podcast is multitrack recording. Multitrack recording means recording onto two different tracks at the same time. For example, when doing an interview it's convenient to have the host recorded into one track and the guest into another. That way each track can be edited separately later.

Audacity isn't necessarily set up to make a  multitrack recording, but because it's free, open-source, and very popular, people have figured out a workaround to make audacity work for multitrack recording.

Garrick Chow's LinkedIn Learning tutorial includes a section called Recording two tracks simultaneously under the Recording section that gives details on this workaround. I encourage you to experiment to see what works for you.

Recording using other devices

You may not always be recording directly into Audacity. If you go out to make recordings outside the classroom, you may use a digital voice recorded, or your smartphone, or even plug a small microphone into the headphone jack on your smartphone or tablet and use it to record.

In this case, you'll import your recordings into Audacity just like you did with the music and sound effects for your self-introduction exercises. Audacity can use popular file formats like WAV, AIF, MP3, etc. You can find a complete list of file formats that you can use on the Audacity Online Manual.

The library does have some technology that you can check out. Currently, there are restrictions due to COVID-19. For the list of available technologies and the most up-to-date information on restrictions, head over to the guide on Technology Lending at Lied.

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