Showing posts with label audacity. Show all posts
Showing posts with label audacity. Show all posts

Monday, November 4, 2019

Three Tools for Recording The Great Thanksgiving Listen

Last week I shared the news that StoryCorps is once again hosting The Great Thanksgiving Listen. This is an annual event intended to encourage people to record family stories during the month of November. StoryCorps offers a free mobile app that you can use to record interviews with family members. That's not the only tool that students can use to record stories during The Great Thanksgiving Listen. Here are some other good options for recording interviews.
Anchor offers recording and editing tools that you can use in your web browser for free. One of the convenient aspects of Anchor's browser-based tool is that you can combine multiple clips into one final product. That means that you can take breaks during the recording and come back to finish later if you want to. You can also use that feature to combine multiple interviews into one final audio recording. Here's a tutorial to help you get started using

Audacity and GarageBand
If you're looking to use a tool that doesn't require constant internet access then you'll want to try Audacity (Windows) or GarageBand (Mac). Both of these tools offer everything you could ever need for a classroom audio production project. Tutorials to help you get started with both tools are embedded below.

Microphones for Audio Recording
You could use the internal microphone on your computer, tablet, or phone. You'll get a better sound quality if you record with an external microphone. There are two microphones that I use and recommend. The first is the Snowball ICE Microphone from Blue Designs. For a much cheaper option I use and recommend this three pack of lapel microphones for $7.

Tuesday, August 6, 2019

How to Clear the Ambient Noise from a Podcast Recording

One of the things that can ruin an otherwise good podcast is an annoying hiss or similar ambient noise in the background. Fortunately, there are ways to remove or replace that noise in post-production. I was recently looking for a way to do this when I came across a video from Make Use Of on how to remove ambient noise by using Audacity.

Applications for Education
Recording podcasts can be a good way for students to record and share their thoughts about any topic they pic or are assigned. Students can record alone or record a conversation with friends, classmates, or family. Don't let an annoying hiss in the background ruin an otherwise great conversation recorded by students, try using this method in Audacity to remove that ambient noise.

For a complete Audacity tutorial and other methods of recording podcasts, check out this article that I published last fall.

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

A Couple of Free Online Alternatives to Audacity

On Monday someone Tweeted at me a request for an alternative to Audacity that his students could use online to record and edit audio tracks. My first thought was to try SoundTrap, but they no longer offer a free version of their product. So my next suggestion was to try Twisted Wave. This morning I started searching my archives and recalled another online alternative to Audacity. That tool is Beautiful Audio Editor.

Twisted Wave is a browser-based audio recording and editing tool that functions in a manner similar to GarageBand. Through TwistedWave you can create and edit spoken audio recordings from scratch. Your completed tracks can be exported to Google Drive and SoundCloud.If you have existing audio tracks in your SoundCloud or Google Drive account you can also import it into TwistedWave to edit those audio tracks. TwistedWave's audio editing tools include options for fade-in, fade-out, looping, sound normalization, and pitch adjustments. The editor also includes the typical track clipping tools that you would expect to see in an audio editing tool.

Beautiful Audio Editor is a free audio editor that you can use in the Chrome and Firefox web browsers. Beautiful Audio Editor lets you record spoken audio directly and or import audio that you have previously recorded in MP3 and WAV formats. You can edit and blend multiple tracks in the Beautiful Audio Editor. When your audio editing project is complete you can download it as an MP3 file, download it as a WAV file, or you can save it in Google Drive.

Friday, December 7, 2018

Four Podcasting Tutorials - From Basic to Robust

Earlier this morning I shared news about NPR's Student Podcast Challenge that starts in January. While NPR does provide some good guides for students and teachers to use to plan podcasts, those guides don't include tutorials on specific podcast recording and editing tools. If you're thinking about having students create podcasts either for NPR's contest or for any other purpose, take a look at the podcasting tools tutorial videos that I have embedded below.

Two Simple Podcasting Tools
If you're new to podcasting and want to get started as quickly as possible, I recommend trying either or GoSynth. Both are very easy to use and you could be recording in less than five minutes from the time that you register on their respective sites.

GoSynth Tutorial Tutorial

Two Robust Podcasting Tools
If you use Anchor or GoSynth for a while, you'll eventually want more editing features to make your podcasts sound a bit more polished. Or perhaps you're not afraid a little steeper learning curve at the start. In either case you can't go wrong with GarageBand or Audacity.

Audacity Tutorial

GarageBand Tips

Microphones for Podcasting
You could use the internal microphone on your computer, tablet, or phone. You'll get a better sound quality if you record with an external microphone. There are two microphones that I use and recommend. The first is the Snowball ICE Microphone from Blue Designs. For a much cheaper option I use and recommend this three pack of lapel microphones for $7.

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

17 Audacity Tutorials for Beginners

Audacity is a free, open-source program for recording and editing audio. It's available for Windows, Mac, and Linux computers. For classroom podcasting projects or other classroom audio recording projects, it is hard to beat Audacity. The only trouble is that it can feel a bit overwhelming the first time that you open it up on your desktop. Fortunately, there is no shortage of YouTube videos that will show you everything you need to know and then some.

One of the better sources of Audacity tutorials for beginners is Mike Russell's YouTube channel. Mike is a professional voice-over artist who uses his YouTube channel to teach others how to make their spoken audio sound better. On his channel you can find this playlist of seventeen Audacity tutorials for beginners. The playlist covers everything from downloading and installing Audacity to isolating vocals to removing background noise from your tracks. I've embedded his How to Record In Audacity tutorial below.

Monday, April 16, 2018

Podcast Recording and Editing Tips

Podcasting has made a resurgence in recent years. Many teachers are now including podcasting projects in their classrooms. Edublogs recently published a great guide to help you get your classroom podcast started. Editing a podcast before publication can often be the most tedious part of the podcasting process. Dennis Grice has a tip that can make editing a little bit a easier. In his video published on Next Vista for Learning Dennis shares two easy-to-follow tips to make your recording sound better and make your editing a little easier.

In his video Dennis mentions using Audacity to edit the podcast. If you have never tried Audacity, Mike Russell has a great set of tutorial videos right here.

Friday, March 2, 2018

5 Audio Recording & Editing Tools - Feature Comparison Chart

A few years ago I put together a series of charts that provided quick overviews of the features of popular ed tech tools. Since then some favorite tools have changed features, changed business models, or went out of business. So I've decided to update all of those charts. Here's my updated comparison chart of the features of five free audio recording and editing tools. The updated version includes links to video tutorials on each of the five tools included in the chart. The chart is embedded below.

Click here if you cannot see the embedded chart.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

This Online Audio Editor Is Beautiful

Beautiful Audio Editor is a free audio editor that you can use in the Chrome and Firefox web browsers. Beautiful Audio Editor lets you record spoken audio directly and or import audio that you have previously recorded in MP3 and WAV formats. You can edit and blend multiple tracks in the Beautiful Audio Editor. When your audio editing project is complete you can download it as an MP3 file, download it as a WAV file, or you can save it in Google Drive.

For the last few years I've recommended using Twisted Wave to record and edit audio on Chromebooks. Beautiful Audio Editor offers more options and is what I'll be using on Chromebooks from here on.

Applications for Education
Beautiful Audio Editor could be a great tool for your students to use to create podcasts on their Chromebooks. The use of multiple track editing will let your students fade-in music or other canned introductions. Likewise, they'll be able to splice in audio samples in the middle of spoken tracks and or under spoken tracks as background music.

Learn more about using Chromebooks in your classroom when you attend the Practical Ed Tech Chromebook Camp.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Some Relatively Easy Ways for Students to Create Podcasts

Last night I received the following questions in an email from a reader named Pat. I'm sure that Pat is not the only teacher to wonder about these questions so I've turned my answers into a blog post.

I would like to make a podcast where two students are debating a topic. Is this outdated? Is there another platform where we can put audio, possibly some pictures to go with a presentation? A place where students can access it without a log in or having to have an itunes account. Of course, no money and lots of things are blocked by big brother (district). I have some old PCs, one ipad, an iphone 5 and a MacBook Pro.

Podcasting is not outdated at all. In fact, it seems to be making a resurgence after a lull a couple of years ago. If you want to publish your podcasts on iTunes you will have to follow all of the steps that Apple has outlined here. If you simply want to create audio recordings and post them online (on your blog, website, or a service outside of iTunes) then the process is rather straight-forward.

Podcast creation with a MacBook Pro:
The obvious choice here is to use GarageBand if you have it installed. GarageBand costs $4.99 in the Mac Apps Store. Obviously, it's not free but I'm mentioning it because I know of a lot of schools that install GarageBand as part of an image they install before distributing MacBooks to teachers and students.

Podcast creation on MacBook or Windows PC:
If GarageBand is not available to you, try Ocenaudio. Ocenaudio is a free audio editing tool available to use on Windows, Mac, and Linux computers. The free software enables you to create audio recordings from scratch and or edit existing audio files. Once the Ocenaudio software is installed on your computer (no registration is needed to download or install the software) you can start recording spoken tracks by pressing the red record button. After making your recording you can click and highlight any section of it to delete it or adjust its sound qualities. If you're looking to adjust the sound qualities and effects of an audio file, you will like the option to preview adjustments before applying them to a file. All files created and edited in Ocenaudio are saved to your computer.

Audacity is probably the best-known open-source audio editing tool available today. There is very little that Audacity cannot do in audio editing. The learning curve is a bit steeper than that of some other tools in this post, but with that steeper learning curve comes development of editing skills that you won't get from simpler tools. A complete set of Audacity tutorials can be found here.

Podcast creation with browser-based tools and mobile apps:
AudioBoom offers an easy way for teachers and students to create short audio recordings that are matched to images. In the video below I demonstrate how to use the web version of AudioBoom to create a short audio recording. AudioBoom also offers free iPad, iPhone, and Android apps.

AudioBoom's education section is full of great examples of using the service in classrooms. is one of easiest-to-use audio recording tools that I've tried. To record on you simply go to the website and click the big record button (you may have to allow pop-ups in your browser in order for to access your microphone). When you're done recording click the share button and you'll be taken to a page on which you can download your recording or grab an embed code to post the recording on a blog. In the video embedded below I provide a demonstration of how to use in your web browser. is also available to use as a free iOS app or as a free Android app.

Friday, May 3, 2013

Video - How to Use Audacity and Other Tools to Create Podcasts

Have you been thinking about creating your own podcasts? Would you like your students to create and publish their own podcasts? Not sure how to get started? The following video from Dr. Wesley Fryer walks you through how to create multiple track podcasts using free tools including Audacity and AudioBoo.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Guest Blogger: Mrs. L's Rocketlaunchers - A Learning Portal

Hello! Hailing from cold but beautiful Northeast Ohio, my name is Hedy Laverdiere and I am the Lower School Technology Coordinator for Lawrence School, a private school in Broadview Heights, Ohio, serving children in grades one through twelve with learning differences. Teaching is my third career, following a home/web-based business as well as a former career as a software trainer. As I’ve put the cart before the horse my entire life, I’m currently pursuing my Masters in Ed Tech through Ursuline College. My position as a technology coordinator entails providing technology resources for our teachers and students, working with them integrating tech into the curriculum, as well as professional development. I have tons of free resources and tech integration ideas for you to use with your students and fellow teachers.

My website, which our students, as well as others, use as a tech integration portal from its Launchpad, is Mrs. L’s Rocketlaunchers, which, in brief, provides links to educational websites, games, multimedia, resources, student projects, blogs, and podcasts. I hope you’ll bookmark it in your classrooms, computer labs, and recommend for home use for your students. We also welcome classroom collaborations for blogging and webcams!

Mrs. L’s Rocketlaunchers
Mrs. L’s Rocketlaunchers contains several sections including Mission, with links to blogs, the LAUNCHPAD, our educational portal, the Toolkit on how to blog, podcast, and vodcast, Techno with links to teacher website templates, and BEYOND, with resources and links for teachers. The LAUNCHPAD is primarily used by students ( and is set as the default webpage in our computer labs and teacher pc’s, which have projection in the classrooms. A link to Google provides access to quick searches.

The LAUNCHPAD is organized by content areas of Language Arts, Math, Science, and Social Studies, as well as Art, Health, and Music. Links to Celebrations, Holidays & Seasons, Documents, ePals login page, Lessons, Lions Lair, Multimedia, Research, Typing Skills, and Webquests, among a few others, are accessible. Clipart is purposely used with a text descriptor to assist younger students in locating sites as directed by their teacher. For example, first graders can be directed to “click on the blooming tree for Holidays & Seasons.” Each link subdivides into other categories. For example, the link for Language Arts has branches for Reading, Writing, Phonics, Spelling/Grammar & Punctuation, and Working with Words.

Through Rocketlaunchers, students can access their Kerpoof student accounts under Multimedia, Kerpoof. Kerpoof is an engaging site with tools to create storybooks, cards, pictures drawings, and multimedia movies. Teachers can create a regular account at Kerpoof. After login, teachers can return to the Home page, click on For Teachers, then Teacher Tools to request a Teacher Account. Upon approval, teachers can setup student accounts in moments, providing amenities usually reserved for fee-based accounts.

Student Work in the Lions Lair – Podcasts, Languages Online Flash Gamemakers, and Classblogmeister Blogs
The Lions Lair link is Lawrence School’s student project area, with links to our students’ podcasts, the ROAR Radio show, classroom blogs, Study Fun (teachers assign Flash games, created by gamemakers from Languages Online, as homework or classwork), and a few other projects. ROAR Radio is created using open source Audacity and podsafe music with how-to links located under the ToolKit. A $20 headset with mic or microphone was our sole expense, though I am fortunate to have my site hosted for free.

Assistive tech is at play here as well, as Languages Online allows for audio within its Flash games, very helpful for students with dyslexia or other reading differences. Languages Online provides five gamemakers (samples I’ve created are linked): a Sentence gamemaker, Memory games, Matching games, Tetris, and Comprehension gamemaker.

I am currently exploring an interesting website called YackPack. YackPack is an online communication interface that allows a teacher and students to interact via audio messaging. I foresee a variety of applications for it, such as an online class, connecting with an absent student, as well as assistive tech uses. For example, a student exhibiting difficulties with reading and/or writing could respond orally to a teacher’s homework posting.

Our students (visit one of our class blogs) have just begun blogging using Classblogmeister, a phenomenal classroom-oriented site run by David Warlick. If you are moving towards blogging with your students, I highly recommend it, especially due to its highly-responsive and active Classblogmeister tech support forum on Yahoo groups. A members only Ning group is also available for teaching and learning.

I appreciate this opportunity through Richard and his wonderful blog, Free Tech 4 Teachers, to share with you, and as always, look forward to his future writings. Thanks, Richard! Feel free to email me with comments or questions.