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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. If you already use an audio editor, feel free to use that. If you would like to learn a new tool or haven't edited audio before, the options below are some of the more highly recommended free options available. 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.

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.

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.

Anchor (iOS and Android)

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.


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!