Audacity is a free audio editing tool available from

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Audacity is a free audio editing tool available from It is commonly used to create .mp3 sound files for audio podcasts for educational or recreational purposes. This is a quick and easy tutorial in the basics of using Audacity.
Getting Started

  1. Go to, click “Download,” then save and install the Audacity program.

  2. Audacity requires a free encoding program called LAME, available from

  3. Go to this website, and download the last version, which should be at the top.

  4. The LAME program will be in a zipped folder. Extract the file “lame_enc.dlland save it, preferably into your Audacity program file.

  5. Make sure that the input device is plugged in before starting the program. The next step is getting a microphone. A USB headset is often a better option than a standard microphone for this type of recording, but either one will do.


  1. Open the Start menu on the lower right-hand side of the screen if you are using Windows, or the corresponding menu if you are using a Mac.

  2. Select “Audacity” and open the program.

  3. Select “Edit.”

  4. Select “Preferences.”

  5. Select the “Audio I/O” tab.

  6. Choose the “Channels” drop down box.

  7. Select “Mono.”
    (Also, if using a USB recording device such as a USB headset or webcam,
    you may need to change the Recording Device as well).

  1. Now, select “File Format.”

  2. Select the option, “Make a copy of file before editing (safer),” as this will create a copy of whatever sound file you are working on.

  3. Select “Find Library.” Browse to where you saved your “lame_enc.dll” file and select it. Note: if this step was done upon installation of Audacity, it may not need to be done here.

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