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Podcast Basics

This is a brief tutorial on creating an intro to a podcast using Audacity.

Podcast Basics Part 2: The Workspace

Now that I have my audio files, I will add the clips to Audacity by clicking and dragging them into the workspace. The basic features are the tracks, playback controls, and mute/solo.

Tracks

The tracks are listed from top to bottom and may contain stereo (left and right channels) or mono (one channel) channels. Stereo simply means that there are two separate channels for the left and right speakers which are usually slightly different. Mono means that there is one channel that sounds the same in both speakers. Within each channel, I can see the sound waves where the source is louder or quieter, the peaks will be higher or lower. The clap used for syncing will show up as a single vertical line because it is a quick loud sound.

Playback

The playback controls include pause, play, stop, forward, back, and record. You can play/stop by hitting the space bar. You can record directly to Audacity (unless you are using Vlab or Remote Access), which will create a new track for your recording.

When I import my clips into the workspace, they all start at the beginning of the timeline. When I click play, it sounds a bit garbled and overwhelming, making it a bit difficult to make my edits. The first things I am going to do are to set up my workspace so that I can focus on each aspect of my project without being overwhelmed with all of the clips.

Moving the tracks

Audacity allows you to move the order of the tracks as they show up in the workspace. For the most part, the order is a matter of personal preference and you will likely change the order several times throughout the editing process. To change the order, I can simply click on the downward arrow next to the name of each track and select 'move up' or 'move down.'

Muting the tracks

I can hide a track by clicking the mute button. I can hide all other tracks by clicking the solo button. Both of these are located below the track name. You can mute multiple tracks simultaneously and/or solo multiple tracks simultaneously. Depending the number of tracks you want to mute, one of these may be easier than the other -- this is a matter of personal preference.

My initial setup

I will begin my podcast with background music and then fade that back when I begin talking. So I will move those two tracks to the top of the workspace and I will mute the hiking sound and the interviewee tracks while I work on these first two tracks.

Skipping around

You can jump to different time points in the projects by clicking on the timeline at the top of the tracks. The project will play when you click on the timeline. You can select a section of a track by selecting (click and drag) the section and then hitting the space bar.