Getting Started with Tools
Desktop Apps Training - Other Applications

Starting a New Project


Once the program opens choose File, New and select a MP3 file, for example. Ctrl+N may also be used to open a new file. Import Audio may also be used by choosing Project from the Menu and then Import, the shortcut is Ctrl+I. Audacity imports WAV, AIFF, IRCAM, MP3, and OGG VORBIS formats. The track will appear in the lower window. Play the track by clicking on the Play Button.


Save a Project

Once the file is open save the project with a project name. Notice that Audacity will always save to a new name, in fact there is no option to “Save” a new file is opened so that the original file is not damaged. Save this first file as project2.aup. The .aup extension is so that Audacity can open the project again and edit the tracks. If the project was actually complete then it would be important to export the file as WAV, MP3 or OGG VORBIS depending upon how it was to be used. Other media cannot read the .aup file that Audacity uses, therefore it must be exported. All of the data that is created by editing the track will be saved in the projectname_data directory, project1_data may be seen here.


To continue editing on a project open the project by choosing File, Open on the Menu Bar and browsing for the project. Once the project has been saved the Ctrl+S may be used to save from the keyboard.

Once the project is open, explore some of the basic tools to become familiar with the abilities of Audacity.

Making a Basic Cut and Paste

Choose the Selection Tool, click on a specific location and drag the cursor until the desired area is selected. Notice in the example that the selected area is a darker color. Now choose the Cut Tool and cut the selection and then Paste the selection at the end of the project. Play the clip back to see the difference.

The selection is a darker color and was placed at the end. The cut and paste aspect of Audacity is something that will be employed often.

Silence a Selection

The Silence Tool takes all sound out of the selected area. In the example the first image shows the selected area and the second demonstrates the result of silencing the selection.

In reality a good alternative is to fade the sound out into the silence and then fade back in to the sound using the Envelope Tool.




Duplicate a Selection

Make a selection then choose Edit on the Menu Bar and Duplicate (Ctrl+D). This will create a second track with the duplicated selection.


The lower selection is an exact duplication of the selection. This technique will allow experimentation with the selection separate from the track that is being edited. By choosing the Solo Option on the track only the duplicate will play.






Mute may also be selected to allow only one track to play.

Split a Selection


The function of the Split is essentially like a Duplication except that the selection which is copied to another track is silent in the original track that it was taken form. To create the Split make your selection, choose Edit from the Menu Bar and click Split

Envelope Tool

The Envelope Tool allow fading and highlighting of the music track. For example when voice and a background song are combined, certainly the music should be softer so the voice may be heard clearly but still have an effect. Once the Envelope Tool is chosen then click on the track and wherever the cursor is located several white block appear that provide access to create louder sound by expanding it wider or fading sound by restricting the size of the track. In this example the track starts loud and fades.