Audacity: Producing & Recording with Powerful Free Software
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Audacity: Producing & Recording with Powerful Free Software

Learn how to produce, record, edit, arrange, and master professional quality audio using the free program Audacity.
4.4 (87 ratings)
Instead of using a simple lifetime average, Udemy calculates a course's star rating by considering a number of different factors such as the number of ratings, the age of ratings, and the likelihood of fraudulent ratings.
2,737 students enrolled
Created by Jason Allen
Last updated 1/2017
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Current price: $10 Original price: $25 Discount: 60% off
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  • 2 hours on-demand video
  • 2 Articles
  • 1 Supplemental Resource
  • Full lifetime access
  • Access on mobile and TV
  • Certificate of Completion
What Will I Learn?
  • Use Audacity for Production, Recording, and Editing
  • Generate sounds for synthesis and Sound Design
  • Record live sound on a laptop
View Curriculum
  • The Audacity software is required to take this course. Audacity is free, and available for Mac, PC, or Linux. To download, follow this link:

In this comprehensive class we will learn the ins and outs of the powerful, open-source, and FREE software Audacity. Audacity allows for recording, editing, mastering, and mixing, and is a versatile tool for any aspiring or professional producer looking for an inexpensive way to produce high-quality tracks.

  • We will focus on the strengths of the program and look at its editing features, tools, and sample-level manipulation options. (Powerful!)
  • Use built-in techniques to generate new sounds through manipulation and synthesis
  • Explore Audacity's built in analysis tools for an overview of Mastering techniques.

Also included in this class is 50% discounts to all my other audio classes, including Sound Design: Synthesis, Sound Design: Sampling, Intro to Electronic Music, and Music Theory for Electronic Musicians!

J. Anthony Allen is an Ableton Certified Trainer, and a PhD in Music Composition and master of Electronic Sounds. His music has been heard internationally in film, radio, video games, and industrial sound, as well as the concert hall and theater.

He currently as an adjunct professor of composition at the University of St. Thomas, Macphail Academy of Music, and the CEO of Slam Academy in Minneapolis.

Praise for other classes by J. Anthony Allen:

  • "Dr Allen does it again with his music theory for electronic musicians series. This course really opened up everything I learned from the 1st section and now I understand more about the composition side of things for music. I highly highly recommend this course to anyone!!! Really opened my eyes to many things I wasn't aware of."
  • "The Best Teacher ever, who makes you understand the ins & outs of Music Theory by all mean without giving what you don't want to know."
  • "I have never had any formal training in music at all. Trying to learn all the notes and how everything translated was a serious challenge. After going thru this class, Dr. J has totally brought down the barriers. The content was very useful and was easy to grasp for me."
Who is the target audience?
  • This course is designed for people looking for a complete knowledge of the Audacity software.
  • No audio experience is required
  • Students looking for to use Audacity as their main workstation for production should take this course.
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Curriculum For This Course
35 Lectures
What is Audacity?
6 Lectures 17:34

Welcome to the class! In this video I'll talk about what we will be covering in this class.

Preview 02:22

Audacity is Free, but it is also open-source. That means that a lot of people contribute to creating it.

Preview 03:24

In this video I'll talk about the strengths and weaknesses of Audacity. It is quite good at some things, and not my favorite program in other things. You be the judge.

Preview 03:34

A quick note on versions: Just to be sure you are looking at the same version I'm using, or a newer one. (It's free, so you have no excuse for not being on the latest version!)

Preview 01:57

Some basic configurations: Audio in/out, and some settings.

Preview 04:37

This class won't cover all the foundational elements of digital audio, but I know a place you can find them!

Some Audio Stuff to Know
Working with Audacity: Getting Started
5 Lectures 17:34

One of Audacity's most powerful ways to use it is as an audio editor. To get started with that, we need to bring in some already-recorded audio.

Preview 02:04

Audacity has some great sound generators built in. In this video we will show how to use them (and why you would want to)

Preview 06:09

Recording into Audacity is actually really simple. As long as our setup is correct, just a few clicks will get us recording.

Recording Audio

Starting with the basics of working with our track in Audacity: Mute, Solo, Panning, Volume... All the basics.

Preview 02:36

We have an extra set of more advanced options for each track in Audacity. In this video we will look at these options and how to use them.

Audio Track Options
Editing Audio in Audacity
5 Lectures 24:31

Basic editing functions work the same as any text editor, except with Audio.

Cut/Copy/Paste - Just Like Text!

Here we will walk through adding a second (and third and fourth) track, and putting some audio into it.

Preview 03:41

Now that we have a bunch of audio, and a few tracks, the Time Shift tool gives us more editing control in moving things around to assemble our track.

The Time Shift Tool

The Envelope Tool lets us draw volume curves on each individual piece of audio. Very powerful tool.

Automation: The Envelope Tool

With the Draw Tool, we can draw a waveform, down at the sample level.

The Draw Tool: Sample-level Editing!
6 Lectures 23:36

There are two main sections to the Effects Menu, housing two different kinds of effects.

Preview 02:10

A relatively simple effect, but we will use it demonstrate how effects work in Audacity. (Hint: Its a little different than other programs)


A powerful effect, Changing the Pitch lets us control the pitch separately of the speed.

Changing the Pitch

Changing the speed is just like treating the audio like a vinyl record: slow it down, and the pitch goes down.

Changing the Speed

The opposite of changing the pitch, Changing the Tempo allows us to change the speed without changing the pitch.

Changing the Tempo

A simple but incredibly useful tool: Quickly add fades to any segment of audio.

Fade In & Fade Out
Analysis Tools
4 Lectures 08:05

Looking at the Spectrum has a lot of uses, including mastering, mixing, and tightening your mix.

Plot Spectrum

Clipping (distortion) can ruin a track if not dealt with. Use this tool to find any spots that need your attention.

Find Clipping

Silence Finder

This is a new tool, and has an interesting a bright future.

Beat Finder
Bounce/Export Settings & Options
3 Lectures 10:39

Watch out for AUP files! Be sure when you save your file, you know how you are saving it.

AUP Files

In this video we look at our main audio export functions for full quality, uncompressed audio files.

AIFF/WAV Settings

There is one (big) extra step you need to do to be able to export as an Mp3 file. File the walkthrough in this video to get everything setup correctly.

Mp3 Files: The Weird Thing About Making Mp3s
Final Thoughts
2 Lectures 05:48

Looking to go deeper? How to learn more, and a huge top secret tip on another piece of free software that will change your life.

For Your Further Consideration...

Thats it! Hope you had fun and got a lot out of the class. Please leave questions in the discussion column and I'll get to each one ASAP.

Thanks & Bye!
Bonus Content
4 Lectures 17:36

In this video, I'll walk through the various techniques for removing noise in Audacity. I can't say that Audacity is the most powerful tool available for noise removal, but it has a handful of good options for cleaning up your recording.

Bonus: Noise Removal Techniques in Audacity

When it comes to microphones, you need the right tool for the job. In this video I'll show you a case for when a nicer dynamic mic is not the right choice.

Bonus: A Comparison of Two Microphones

I've received a lot of questions about avoiding Feedback. Feedback is painful to your ears, and dangerous to your speakers. In this section I'll explain what it is and how to avoid it.

Bonus: Avoiding Feedback!

There is so much more to learn!

Bonus Lecture: Discount Offers & Mailing List
About the Instructor
Jason Allen
4.6 Average rating
6,221 Reviews
36,134 Students
62 Courses
Ph.D / Ableton Certified Trainer

J. Anthony Allen has worn the hats of composer, producer, songwriter, engineer, sound designer, DJ, remix artist, multi-media artist, performer, inventor, and entrepreneur. Allen is a versatile creator whose diverse project experience ranges from works written for the Minnesota Orchestra to pieces developed for film, TV, and radio. An innovator in the field of electronic performance, Allen performs on a set of “glove” controllers, which he has designed, built, and programmed by himself. When he’s not working as a solo artist, Allen is a serial collaborator. His primary collaborative vehicle is the group Ballet Mech, for which Allen is one of three producers.

J. Anthony Allen teaches at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, MN., and is an Ableton Live Certified Trainer. He is a co-founder and owner of Slam Academy, a multimedia educational space in downtown Minneapolis. Recently, Allen founded Hackademica – an innovative net-label for new music.

J. has a PhD in music composition, 2 Master’s degrees in music composition and electronic music, and a bachelors degree in guitar performance. Through his academic travels, Dr. Allen has received numerous awards along the way.

If you run into him on the street, he prefers to be addressed as J. (as in, Jay.)