Podcasts with Audacity

Optimizing the Recording

When you create podcasts in Audacity, you often need to reposition a recording in order to organize multiple recordings from different audio tracks. To reposition a recording, press F5 to select the Move tool (alternatively, the switch with the horizontal double arrow in the toolbar). Then click on the area you wish to move and drag it to the left or right to its new position. Finally, press F1 to return to normal selection mode.

When combining recordings from different locations or rooms, you will quickly notice that the volume of the tracks is different. Audacity offers you the possibility to normalize the volume of an audio track. Select the desired area of a soundtrack and click Effect | Normalize. Just confirm the preferences to normalize.

To create a transition between two audio tracks, place the tracks one after the other so that they overlap slightly. Now select one or two seconds at the end of the soundtrack you want to fade out slowly and click on Effect | Hide. To increase the volume of the track you want to fade in, select the first one or two seconds and use the Effect | Fade-in option.

Intro and Outro

Experience shows that the desire for perfection grows with an increasing number of podcasts created by the producer. A common way to add a professional touch to podcasts is to add music at the beginning and end of the recordings – an intro and an outro.

No need to infringe on copyrights: A wealth of free music is available on the net, which you can use without licensing costs and which covers almost all your wishes. Just click through the Free Music Archive [4] or listen to Bensound [5] and see if some of the tracks meet your expectations.

To include the songs in the podcast, import the music files into Audacity first. To import music, download the file from the web and store the track(s) locally on your hard drive. In Audacity, click File | Import | Audio, navigate to the downloaded track, and confirm your selection. Shortly afterwards, the track will be available as a separate audio track in your Audacity project.

If you only want to use a small part of the work as intro or outro, edit the soundtrack exactly as you did it with your own recording. In the case of the intro, move the entire audio track to the beginning of the Audacity project. After exporting the Audacity project to a common format, the intro and outro form an integral part of your podcast (Figure 2).

Figure 2: The same content as in Figure 1 – but with a musical intro and transitions.

Exporting Your Work

Under the hood, Audacity does not work with audio data in a common format; it uses its own raw format for saving. If you want to make your podcast available to the world, you need to export it as an MP3 or Ogg Vorbis file.

Before you export, be sure your podcast is finished: Add any intro and outro effects, remove background noises, adjust the volume throughout the podcast, and make sure no audio tracks overlap.

To convert the result to a popular audio format, click File | Export | Export as MP3, enter a meaningful name in the file selection window, and click Save or Save as (Figure 3). Then upload the file to the Internet, where your listeners can now enjoy it.

Figure 3: In order to create a working podcast, you need to export to MP3 format – no problem for Audacity.

Buy this article as PDF

Express-Checkout as PDF
Price $2.95
(incl. VAT)

Buy Linux Magazine

Get it on Google Play

US / Canada

Get it on Google Play

UK / Australia

Related content

  • Audacity

    Audacity is a free, open source, easy-to-use, multitrack audio recording and editing tool perfect for podcasts.

  • Podcasting with Audacity

    Create your own podcasts with the free and easy Audacity sound editor.

  • An Open Source Audio Editor and Recorder

    If you are looking for an audio editing and creation tool, Audacity lets you create and edit professional audio files at no cost, all while using your existing hardware.

  • Audacity 2.1

    The Audacity free audio editor is evolving from a hobby app into a professional sound tool.

  • Podcasts

    If you use Linux, you already have most of the tools you need to get in the podcast game. Just plan carefully and take it a step at a time.

comments powered by Disqus
Subscribe to our Linux Newsletters
Find Linux and Open Source Jobs
Subscribe to our ADMIN Newsletters

Support Our Work

Linux Magazine content is made possible with support from readers like you. Please consider contributing when you’ve found an article to be beneficial.

Learn More