I would do an intro for this entry, but I’m running short on time as is, so I’ll just tell you that this assignment also ballooned to three-and-a-half stars, compared to the plain three it had when I first selected it. Long story short, I have to, quote, “find a cool, easy-to-use digital tool online,” and “write up a brief tutorial on how to use it, and what it can be used for.” In other words, think ABC’s Shark Tank, if it were exclusively made for the people who brought you Napster and Facebook.

Today, I’m going to pitch Audacity to you. Now, Audacity is a downloadable audio editor that’s been available for public use since May 28, 2000. It’s main selling point has been two-fold: Not only can you record audio for editing from multiple sources – including directly, if your computer contains the right equipment – but it has also been used in the editing process of whole albums. That’s because of the available use of several editing techniques, such as the standard fade-outs and fade-ins, which are common with most recorded materials; trimming the audio, to cut out any noticeable mistakes; or simply normalizing the audio, entirely, to get rid of any background noises that might interfere with the recording during playback, which also makes Audacity perfect for potential podcast producers.

Audacity Pitch 2

Once your computer is finished downloading both Audacity itself, and the LAME file needed to import MP3s onto it, from your designated “safe” sites, simply record whatever it is you wish to hear. Whether its from a separate source, or by pressing the “Record” button on Audacity, chances are, once its uploaded, you’ll be able to hear it once the playback begins.

Audacity Pitch 3

From there, it’s off to the races you go, as every potential form of sound manipulation is now at your command. From testing the credibility of “backwards audio messaging” rumors with the Reverse feature, to creating your own singing lesson for the local choir with the Change Pitch option, anything goes!

Audacity Pitch 4

For example, if you wanted to sound like you were visiting a cavern, select the audio in full – or parts of it, if you want to take it slow – by typing in the starting, and ending, times of the part you wish to edit on the Selection Start and End/Length bars, conveniently located near the bottom of the screen. Go up to Effect, and choose the “Echo” selection, before pressing the “Play” button on Audacity, to hear the end result for yourself. If you’re satisfied with what you hear, save it as an Audacity file – and, later, as its own MP3 – by going up to “File,” selecting “Save Project As,” and typing in the title of your choosing, before repeating the process once more, this time clicking on “Export Audio” to save your finished project as whatever form of audio you need, including WAV and MP3! If not, just press the “X” button at the top-left corner of the audio file to permanently delete it… unless you happened to save it as its own file before you clicked on that button, which means you can have even more fun with it tomorrow!

With that, I earn seven stars, when I only wanted six, for my Web Assignment efforts this week, as well as complete all of the necessary requirements on my checklist.

Posted in Digital Storytelling (#ds106), DS106 Assignments Tagged with: , ,