Audacity is a free, opensource multi-track audio editor and recorder for Windows, macOS, GNU/Linux and other operating systems. Faculty and students may use Audacity for recording and editing audio for a podcast, for presentation rehearsal, for musical performances, or for many other teaching and learning purposes.

Get Started

1. Download the Audacity software to your computer.

2. To import and play an existing audio file, drag the files into the current project window, or choose File > Import > Audio. Learn more about how to import and play existing files.

3. To record audio directly to Audacity, connect your recording device to your computer then launch Audacity. While you can record directly from your computer, use a separate microphone for the best sound quality (such as the one attached to your headphones, or a higher quality one that you can check out from the Library Circulation desk or Media Services).

When you are prepared to record audio, click on the red Record button. Click the Pause button to pause your recording or the Stop button to finish recording that clip completely. You can also press your spacebar to stop recording. Clicking Play will allow you to listen back to your recording.

4. Audacity displays a visual representation of recorded or imported audio, known as a waveform. You can edit audio waveforms in Audacity in much the same way as you would edit text in a word-processing document. When you are editing text you first select the text you want to change and then choose what you want to do with it. You might want to cut or copy the text, delete it, paste new text in its place, or change it to bold. You do the same thing in Audacity: first zoom and select the range of audio you want to change, and then choose what you want to do with it. Learn more about editing audio waveforms in Audacity.

5. Remember to save your audio file often and before you close Audacity. You can also export Audacity files into MP3 or other audio file formats.


Need help?

For technical support for Audacity, search the ITS Knowledge Base or submit a help ticket here.

For pedagogical support for Audacity, schedule a consultation with a DLINQ team member.

External Resources