Digital Journalism

COM466 – University of Washington

Creating Your First Audio Story With Audacity

This is an in-class/lab assignment for Week 4.

Before Launching Audacity

  • Using your transcript, identify at least two good clips.
  • Write an intro and conclusion and any needed transition. Record it (we’ll spread out and around).

Start A New Audacity Project


1 . Isolate Your Clips On Your Original Interview

  • Click and drag (using the Selection Tool) to select the soundbite.


  • Press and hold Ctrl (Win) or Cmd (Mac) and press D. This will create a duplicate of the soundbite on a new track. Change the name of this track (click it and you’ll be able to edit it) so that you know what’s on each track!
  • Use the Time Shift Tool  to drag the clip (or bite) approximately into position in its track.


  • Each track has its own“Mute” button. Click it to mute the track, then again to un-mute that track, when you are testing playback.
  • Each track has its own“Mute” button. Click it to mute the track, then again to un-mute that track, when you are testing playback.


  • Delete the original interview track. To delete a track, click the X at top left corner.

2. Add Your Voice Over Audio To This Project

Open the File menu. Import opens a sub-menu where you can select Audio.

  • NOTE: If your tracks are all mono and the new one is stereo, you need to convert it to mono. We will convert stereo to mono before exporting because it reduces file size (and we aren’t musicians!).
  • Note that the sampling rate of the tracks need not match. Audacity manual: ” Audacity will resample and convert it to the project rate
    and bit depth on the fly, as well as upon Export.”

You’ll now repeat the Isolation Exercise and use the Time Shift tool to align your clips.

3. Convert Stereo Tracks To Mono

  • Click the track name
  • Select “Split Stereo Track”
  • After splitting, change EACH track to “Mono”
  • Select all tracks by shift-clicking each track until all are highlighted.
  • From Project menu select Quick Mix

4. Export the Finished File

  • File menu > Export … (opens a dialog box named “Edit Metadata”)
  • Click OK.
  • Choose where to save the file and what to name it. Make sure that “Save as type” is MP3 Files.

Adjust Sound On A Track (Envelope Tool)

Upload to your audio file to your Dropbox public folder and email me the link.

  • Name the file like this: “yourfirstnameLastinitial-first-audio.mp3” (Last name initial needed only if there are two or more people with the same first name)
  • No spaces in the file name!
  • All lower case letters (with exception of Last-initial)
  • Put “COM466 First Audio Story” in the email subject line (for filtering)

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