Audio Editing Introduction

Starting today, we’ll discover the wonderful world of audio editing!

You’ll need to download this file: CLICK HERE

And then open it with 

When you’re done, your file should sound something like this, but NOT EXACTLY

Once you’ve downloaded the file (you have done that, right?), you’ll have to open Audacity

Then you’ll have to press Ctrl + O or go to the File menu and press Open


Please note: SAVING IN AUDACITY IS DIFFERENT than you’re used to!

When it comes time to save your work at the end of the class, you need to EXPORT your file to WAV

Once you’ve exported the WAV, you DO NOT have to save the project! If you try to save the project in your Documents folder it WILL NOT WORK.

Part 1: Reorganizing Audio

The first section of the file is in the wrong order. It should say:

Welcome students, to the wonderful world of audio editing. Once you learn how to edit audio, anything seems possible.

So you’ll have to rearrange the lines. To do this:

Click the magnifying glass with the + sign inside of it. I would click it TWICE if I were you.

Once you do this, the timeline at the top should look like this:

Each number represents a second of audio. You are editing the first 11 seconds only right now.

The section from 10 seconds to 11 seconds is actually the piece that should go at the beginning. Click on screen where those waveforms are and drag across to highlight like this:

Once you’ve got it selected, you just need to CUT by pressing Ctrl + X or the scissors on the top tool bar

Press the Home button on your keyboard to jump back to the beginning of your file.

Then press Ctrl + V or the clipboard on the tool bar at the top to paste

The second block, from around 2 seconds to around 4 seconds, actually goes at the end. Click and drag across to highlight

Go to the space between 8 and 9 seconds and paste


Only one more piece to move! Take the section from about 4 seconds to about 5.5 seconds and highlight that

Cut and Paste that section at about the 2 second mark

Now listen to your newly reorganized section to make sure that it sounds OK. If there are any extended gaps that don’t sound good, just delete some of the silence.

Something else that we should check regularly is the volume of a section. You’ll notice in the file that some parts are louder than others (the waveform bubbles appear larger.)

If you find a quieter section, or just want to check and make sure that the volume is right, just highlight the section (like this newly edited 12 seconds or so)

Then look under Effects and choose Normalize

Don’t worry about what the box says for now, just click OK

This particular section won’t change a lot, but it will get a bit louder and it’ll be at the ideal volume.



Section 2: Fixing Mistakes

Sometimes when you’re trying to record audio you stutter or stumble and make mistakes. No problem, it’s very easy to fix!

Look at the section from about 12 seconds to about 26 seconds. I stutter a lot, so we need to get rid of the bad bits.

The section at about 16 seconds is pretty good. It says, “You can fix.”

Highlight the section before that (about 12 to 16 seconds) and delete (Backspace) or cut (Ctrl + X) that

There’s another pretty messed up section from around 13 to 21 seconds

Get rid of that as well and you’re left with this

Again, listen to it to see if there’s too much space between the words or anything. On my example below, there’s too much space so it doesn’t sound natural

Highlight the extra silence and press Backspace or Ctrl + X to bring the words closer together


Section 3: Audio Effects


Now for the fun stuff! The section from around 15.5 to 21 seconds needs to be higher. Select that part.

I notice that it looks a little quiet, so I’ll Normalize first


Then go into Effects then choose Change Pitch

There’s a little slider down near the bottom that controls the change in pitch. You can also click in the Percent Change box and type in a number. I like to raise mine about 50 percent, but feel free to play around and find a number that sounds good to you.

You’ll need to click Preview to see how it sounds before you accept a change

If it sounds good to you, click OK and move on to the next section from about 22 to about 25 seconds

Again, it’s quiet, so I’ll Normalize

This time, you want to move the percentage down (negative). I used -50 percent (but again, play around a bit. Just don’t get too carried away. We still want to be able to understand what’s said

The next section is from about 27 to about 29 seconds. Highlight that.

We need to speed that up, so go into the Effects menu and choose Change Speed…

Again, you can use the slider or type in a percentage number to change. I like about 50 percent. Make sure you Preview to see how it sounds before clicking OK

The next section is right around 30 seconds

To slow it down, move the slider to the left or type in a negative number (I liked -50). Again, preview before clicking OK.

After that, there’s a long section from about 35 to 42 seconds that needs to be turned backwards.

Under Effects, choose Reverse

The next section is from about 45 seconds to 47 or so

You have two options here.

  1. Choose Echo…


2) Reverb

I notice that mine now looks really qiet, so we should definitely Normalize

The next section is from about 48 seconds to about 51

This time, we want to go into Effects and choose Distortion

To preview this, choose Start Playback

And then instead of OK, you’ll click Apply

That one looks a little quiet again, so Normalize it


Section 4: Inserting Sound Effects and other Audio Clips


You’ll need at least 3 sound effects. There are lots of places to get sound effects, but we want ones that are free and legal.

A great one is the BBC Sound Effects Library

I also like THIS SITE. The problem with that one is that you can’t really preview most of the files, which is a bit of a pain. Some pages will let you (like these space sounds) but not all.

THIS ONE is also pretty good. Pick a category and browse (the search function doesn’t really help)

You can sample the tracks by pressing play

Then you have to click on the name of the sound to download and save

Once you have 3 (or more) sound effects downloaded, you need to Open them in Audacity

You can actually open all 3 at the same time by selecting more than one (click on one and then hold down Shift to select a range OR click Ctrl to select files one by one)

Then, one by one, go into each file, highlight the part you want to use (or the whole thing if it isn’t too long)

Then Copy (Ctrl + C or the two sheets of paper between the scissors and the clipboard)

Find the spot in your editing exercise file and paste in the sound effect


Trim the sound effect if it’s really long (a few seconds should do it)

or just select a piece of the file you downloaded and copy that

The last part is to find a sound clip that you can insert at the end. A movie clip can be found here

LOTS of them don’t work, unfortunately, so you might want to download a few just in case

Paste your clip at the end

And you’re done!

Remember to EXPORT as WAV! You DO NOT need to save your project IF you’ve exported the WAV

Save your WAV in your ONEDRIVE or DOCUMENTS folder

Keep the file name the same

Then go to Teams and drop off your 01_AudioEdit_intro.wav attached to the Audio Editing assignment.


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