Record audio with Audacity

Audacity is free, open source software that makes it simple to record and edit audio on your computer. This tutorial will walk you though the basics of recording and editing with Audacity. If you need to install Audacity, you might want to start with this walkthrough.

1. Make sure the right microphone is selected

Before you start recording, you’ll want to make sure the right microphone is selected. If you’re using a USB headset, we recommend plugging it in before launching Audacity (as this will generally result in the right microphone being selected).


2. Check your recording volume

Next, you’ll want to check the recording volume. Click the line right of the microphone icon (where it reads “Click to Start Monitoring”) and speak into your microphone at the volume you’ll be speaking when doing your recording. A pair of green bars (or a single bar, if you’re recording in Mono) will appear in this space, indicating the recording volume. If the volume is too high, you’ll the bars will fill this space completely, turning yellow, then red at the right side of the space.¬†Adjust the microphone slider to the right of the monitor space so that the green bars are as long as possible without hitting the yellow or red.


3. Record your audio

Press the RECORD button to start recording.


If you need to pause your recording — to cough, answer the phone, etc — press the PAUSE button. Press PAUSE again to continue recording.


Press STOP when you’re finished recording.


Press PLAY to review your recording.


4. Edit if necessary

Need to cut something out of the audio — a cough perhaps? Click and drag on the audio waveform to highlight the section you wish to remove. Hit play to make sure you’ve captured the right section. Use the + or – magnifying glass icons to zoom in or out as necessary when making your selection. Hit the delete key on your keyboard to remove that audio.

delete-a-bitNeed to add to your recording? Use the horizontal scrollbar at the bottom of the page to scroll to the right until you see in the place you left off in the waveform. Click the waveform space to drop the play/record cursor in the point you wish to start recording, then hit record to continue recording. Press stop when you are done adding to your recording.


5. Export as MP3

Finally, you can save your recording as an AUDACITY file for editing and further modification by clicking FILE then choosing SAVE PROJECT.

To save your recording as a WAV or (preferably) MP3 file for sharing, click FILE, then choose EXPORT AUDIO.


Under SAVE AS TYPE choose MP3 (or WAV if you did not download and installed the LAME MP3 library). The default 256 kbp quality should be fine. Choosing a lower bitrate wtill result in lower sound quality and a smaller file. Choosing a higher bit rate will result in a larger file with greater audio fidelity.

save-asWhen saving as an MP3, you will be given the option to enter metadata for the file. Depending on how your audience listens to the file, this information may be displayed in the player. Enter whatever metadata you feel is appropriate, then click OK to finish the export process.


Install Audacity on a PC

Audacity is free, open source software that makes it simple to record and edit audio on your computer. Installing Audacity on a PC isn’t difficult, there’s an extra step that’s often overlooked if you want to save your recordings as MP3s, rather than much relatively large WAV files.

To download Audacity, go to the Audacity downloads page ( and choose the appropriate version. In this walkthrough, we’ll be looking at downloading and installing Audacity on Windows.for windowsThere are two versions of Audacity available for download, an installer version and a zip version. We recommend downloading the installer, because the install process will be a bit simpler.

download installerDepending on your browser and set-up, the file may automatically be saved to your downloads folder. If not, click SAVE FILE and choose a location on your computer where you’ll be able to locate the installer if fileNext you’ll need to run the Installer. If you’re using Firefox, you can do this by clicking the DOWNLOADS button to view the files you’ve recently downloaded, then clicking the audacity-win-(version).exe at the top of the list.

downloads firefoxIn Edge, you’ll want to click RUN on the downloads alert that appears at the bottom of the screen.

downloads  edgeTo launch the installer from Chrome, click the audacity-win-(version).exe button that appears at the bottom of the page.

downloads chromeIf you can’t find any of these links in your browser window, just use Windows Explorer to navigate to the folder you downloaded the file to, then click audacity-win-(version). If you didn’t select a location, you’ll likely find the file in your DOWNLOADS folder. In the GIF below we use the Windows 10 Explorer link on the taskbar to find our Downloads folder. If you don’t have Windows 10, press E on your keyboard while holding down the WINDOWS key.

exploreAt the first step of installation, User Account Control (a Windows security measure) will ask whether you want to allow the change. Choose YES.

Next, you’ll be prompted to choose your install language. Choose the appropriate language and click OK. Then click NEXT as you walk through the install setup steps. After completing the 4 steps, Audacity will install.

If exporting your recordings as rather large WAV files is sufficient, then you’re all set. We recommend installing the LAME MP3 library, which will allow you to save your recordings as much smaller MP3 files.

To download the LAME Library, launch Audacity. Then click EDIT, choose Preferences, select LIBRARIES, then under the MP3 Export Library section, click DOWNLOAD in the LAME MP3 Library line.

edit-preferences-libraries-downloadThis will launch a web page in your default browser. Click the LAME DOWNLOAD PAGE link on that page that’s been opened.

goto-LAME-downloadAs with installing Audacity itself, we’ll download the LAME exe, as this makes the installation process simpler. The download and install steps, too,¬† are basically the same as those we walked through for installing Audacity … Download and run the installer, allow UAC to run the installer, step through the SETUP wizard. Install and finish.

Now you’re ready to export your Audacity recordings to MP3 as well as WAV.


Check out this video on how to record audio with Audacity:


Hide a Grade Center column from Instructor view

Hiding a column from Instructor View can make your Grade Center page easier to manage. Some faculty hide columns they’ve finished grading (such as old attendance columns), or columns they’re not ready to deal with yet (future attendance columns).

Columns that are hidden from Instructor view are still visible to students (unless they’re hidden from student view before they’re hidden from Instructor View).

More importantly, columns that are hidden from instructor view are still included in gradebook score calculations. This means if you hide a column that is included in the total grade, or weighted total grade, it will still be factored in, regardless of whether you can see it or not.

If you’re cleaning up your grade center, we recommend deleting columns rather than hiding them, to reduce any potential confusion on the part of your students, as well as any possible side-effects on scoring.

The process for hiding a Grade Center column from Instructor view is simple. Click the options button to the right of the column you wish to hide, then choose “Hide from Instructor View”.

hide-column-instructorRestoring a hidden column to Instructor view is a little more complicated. You’ll need to point to the MANAGE button at the top of Grade Center, then choose COLUMN ORGANIZATION to find the column you wish to restore.

manage-organizationScroll down the page until you locate the column you wish to restore. Check the box to the left of the column name(s). Then point to the Show / Hide button at the top or bottom of the page. Choose SHOW SELECTED COLUMNS. Finally, most importantly, click SUBMIT at the top or bottom of the page to save your changes.

show-column-instructorTo learn more about showing and hiding columns and groups of columns from instructor view, check out our tutorials on Grading Periods and Smart Views.


Hide a Grade Center column from student view

Hiding a column from student view allows you to work with a column — record grades, etc — without students seeing the column or your changes on their My Grades page. Some faculty keep “scratch” columns in their grade center that never visible to students. Others have found making columns unavailable while adding grades reduces the number of emails they get from students (“My friend got a grade on assignment x, when am I going to get a grade?”).

To hide a column from students, click its options button, then choose “Hide from students (on / off)”. When a column is hidden from student view, a crossed-out icon will appear to the left of the column name. To show a column to students, repeat this process.


Delete a Grade Center Column

Deleting a Grade Center Column removes it completely from both the student and instructor view. Grade data is also removed when a column is deleted, ensuring that none of the information from the delete column is included in the total or weighted total columns.

delete-columnFirst, click the options button to the right of the column you wish to delete. Then choose DELETE COLUMN. Click OK to finish the process.


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