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Saturday, 14 February 2015

Audacity - The Wonderful Free Cross-platform Recording Software

I'm part of a promotions group called BooksGoSocial - they have very reasonable prices and will tweet about your book and promote it on their mailing list and lots of other wonderful things. However, the best thing I have found about this promotion service is their author group. I am learning so many things thanks to the advice of other authors and the wonderful author who started the whole thing: Laurence O'Bryan.

One of the things BooksGoSocial has to help their members promote their books is a SoundCloud Channel for book excerpts.

That got me thinking because SoundCloud offers recording options, but I always like to get things perfect before going anywhere near online. I know lots of people already know about Audacity, but I thought I'd make a post about it anyway for those who don't.

Audacity is the answer for anyone trying to record sound quickly and easily. There are many wonderful things about it, and here is a list of why I love it.
  • Great user interface - very straightforward
  • Multiple tracks
  • Noise reduction filters
  • Lots of other filters
  • Easy set-up
  • Exports to mp3
  • Is FREE unless you wish to donate
  • They have a wiki with all the tutorials and help you need.
  • They also have a manual with everything
I used to use a headset mic to record, which works perfectly well, but now I use this ProSound USB Podcast and Vocal Microphone, which gives a much clearer sound. Mine came from Maplin, but they are available all over.

With the noise reduction filter, however, standard headset mics work fine.

This is a detailed post by How To Podcast with lots of useful information: Audacity Tutorial for Podcasters. There are also many other useful posts on the web, just ask Google :).

No1 tip (found on a podcasting group):

The first thing to do when making any voice recording with Audacity is to record several seconds of silence. The most useful thing I ever use is the noise reduction filter and you have to set up a noise profile for this to work. The recording of silence is in fact the noise you will later remove, so I always make sure to never skip this step. This part of the wiki tells you what to do after that.

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