Sound editing with Audacity

In past entries, I've written about extracting audio from video files. Now, I've taken the task one step further and edited the voice file to come up with a passable radio ad.

For open source sound editing, nothing really beats Audacity. Audacity is fairly intuitive so that even I, who had never done work like this before, found it quite easy to use.

The key to Audacity is the multiple tracks that it allows you to load edit. Audacity can read WAV files, MP3 files, MIDI files, and many more. Once loaded, you can mix the audio files. You can shift them in time, you can adjust the volume, and you can apply dozens of filters to remove noise, change pitch, alter tempo, level out sound. There are just so many ways to process audio files.

In my case, I had a voiceover narration ripped from a Nokia N70 video (a clunky phone, if there ever was one, but the sound quality is excellent). I loaded that into Audacity, and mixed it with a Jazz track in the background. Since the radio ad was supposed to be under a minute, I chose the most suitable clip and plunked the voiceover smack in the middle. For good measure, I applied fade-out effect at the end of the audio.

Audacity is great for musicians. They can record individual tracks and then mix them all up later. Audacity would also be great for podcasters.

I won't go into the nitty gritty details of the workings of Audacity, but you can read the manual online. The manual has a set of tutorials that can help you get started quickly.