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Creating Audio Projects

The guide to recording and editing an audio project.


You have a variety of options for editing audio. This is not an exhaustive list and you are welcome to use any program that you prefer, but the following are all programs that are free for you to use for your next project.


  • Audacity is available on all campus computers and is completely free for you to download. Great for podcasts and editing audio recordings.
  • BandLab is a free online audio editor that works on any device and syncs to cloud for collaboration and allows you to start a project in the computer lab, continue it on your phone on your bus ride home and then finish it up on your laptop at home. Great for composing music, with MIDI capability, but also works quite well for podcasts and other audio.

On Chromebooks

  • BandLab works in Chrome browsers.

On Phones and Tablets

  • BandLab has a free phone and tablet apps.
  • GarageBand has a free iOS app.
  • Podcasting
    • Spreaker is free (for one podcast) and helps you get your podcast up on the platforms.
    • Spotify for Podcasters (formerly Anchor) is also free and also helps you get your podcast up. After being purchased by Spotify, we will have to see what changes are in store.

Off-campus Software Access

You can access most of the software available on campus computers from off-campus using the Virtual Lab (VLab). This includes MS Office, Adobe Creative Cloud, Camtasia, and many more programs that would otherwise be expensive to purchase. If you are having issues accessing these services, visit the ITS System Status page to make sure they are working properly.

VLab (all computers with internet access) allows you to login to a virtual desktop that includes software typically available in Cal Poly Humboldt computer labs (current list of VLab software). Does not require any connection software.


Audacity is a free and open source program that has many helpful features. This is the best open source audio editor and there is no shortage of tutorials on YouTube.

Available in the Makerspace Lab (Library 122) on all computers.


BandLab is an online music recording and composing editor. It's also great for podcasts because it's free, available on any computer, and iPhones, iPads, and Android devices. You can record directly to BandLab or import your files and edit them. You can also work on projects collaboratively! You can get started with BandLab now using your Humboldt Google account.

BandLab for Podcasts

BandLab is a great tool for recording and editing podcasts. These two videos show how to record, import audio clips, and edit it all together.

How To Use BandLab Studio

Adobe Audition

Adobe Audition is a useful audio editor and recorder that is free to all HSU students, staff and faculty. As part of the Adobe Creative Cloud, Audition is installed on most campus computers, including all Library Windows and Macs (including our Windows laptops). You can also access Audition using the VLab.

Available in the Makerspace Lab (Library 122) on all computers.

Spotify for Podcaters (formerly Anchor)

Anchor is a free mobile app (iOS and Android) that makes it easy to create your podcast project. You can also use Anchor to host and sell your podcast, if you want to take it to the next level.


Spreaker is a platform for recording, editing and distributing podcasts. The free plans offer all of these services and if you plan to monetize your podcast, you will need to move to a paid plan (starting at $7.00/mo). Available as a desktop app (Windows and Mac) and mobile app (iOS and Android). Many of the tutorials are also offered in Portuguese.

Desktop App

Phone Apps

Voice Memos (iOS)

Voice Memos comes free with iPhones and is a quick and easy way to record and make minor edits to your audio project. Voice Memos is also a great way to create an easy audio backup when you're using other microphones.

GarageBand for iOS

Though it is only available on iPhones (iOS), GarageBand is a fairly robust app that will allow you to do almost anything you need to create an audio project, from simple voice recordings for podcasts, to multi-track music recordings.

The desktop version of GarageBand is available in the Makerspace Lab (Library 122) on Mac computers (and most Macs on campus).


Online SkillShops

If you are looking for more in-depth tutorials on creating projects, we have some Online SkillShops that cover the complete process. You will also earn a badge for each SkillShop you complete!

Open Licensed Audio

You will also find that using openly licensed audio clips can be a big help with your project. Whether you're looking for music, sound effects or background sounds, you can find most of what you need. This can save you a lot of time trying to record your own sounds and may also provide you with some inspiration for your project.

Contact Us

Tell us your ideas! We'd love to learn how we can help you with your next project. If you have purchase suggestions, tutorial or workshop requests, need a space or want to meet up with others to share ideas: let us know!