A Novice’s Guide to Making Music With Audacity in your home

A Novice’s Guide to Making Music With Audacity in your home

For numerous musicians, the expense of paying an expert noise engineer to produce a demo recording is expensive. For that reason, lots of musicians are trying to find alternatives.



Prepare Your Recording Devices

If you’re a total novice to making music, there’s a likelihood you don’t have any recording devices besides your computer and Audacity. That’s fine in the meantime, but to make much better recordings in the future you may wish to research the best USB audio user interfaces

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and microphones.

If you already have that equipment, make sure it’s working with your computer prior to you begin trying to tape any music in Audacity. You ought to likewise look into the best approaches for tape-recording your specific instruments, consisting of microphone option and positioning.

How to Record Music in Audacity

In Audacity, recording someone’s voice or an instrument is as basic as selecting the right microphone as an input, then clicking the Record button in the top-left corner.

Select the microphone you want to use (which might be your computer’s Integrated Microphone) from the dropdown menu next to the microphone icon. Select Mono or Stereo from the menu next to it as well– most microphones record in mono.

Audacity window highlighting input dropdown menu

Before you start taping music in Audacity, it’s a great idea to keep an eye on the level of your microphone. That way you can turn it down to prevent distortion if the instrument you’re recording is too loud. Click the upper- or left-most noise meter in your Audacity window to start monitoring your input.

Now adjust the Recording Volume slider to ensure the instrument you’re taping does not go into the red.

Audacity window with input monitoring highlighting input volume slider

When you’re ready, click the Record button to automatically produce a brand-new track and begin tape-recording audio. Click Stop or press Area when you want to stop tape-recording.

Audacity window recording audio highlighting transport controls

Multi-Track Recording in Audacity

It’s possible to tape numerous tracks simultaneously in Audacity if you have an audio interface with numerous inputs. For most newbies, this isn’t the case, however you can still use Audacity to make music with several tracks by recording each track one by one.

If you’re tape-recording a band, it’s an excellent concept to record all of them together to produce a “scratch track.” Each musician can then play together with the scratch track as you tape them individually. Ensure the person playing is utilizing headphones so they can still hear the scratch track without the microphones picking it up.

To produce brand-new tracks, go to Tracks> Include New from the menu bar. Then use the Select button on each track to choose where you want your new recordings to go. You also require to switch on Transport> Transportation Alternatives> Overdub to ensure the scratch track keeps playing in the background while you record.

Audacity menu bar showing Overdub option

If an area of the recording is not rather right, click and drag to choose it, then go to Modify> Get Rid Of Special> Split Delete to erase that section. Create another brand-new track to tape-record that part again.

Multi-track recording in Audacity

Make Music in Audacity Without Recording

A great deal of individuals utilize Audacity to make music without actually taping anything. You can do this by importing other recordings, then modifying and blending them to create your own tune. To do this, merely drag and drop an audio file into the Audacity window to import it.

Or you can utilize virtual instruments to develop new music digitally. You get a couple of built-in instruments with Audacity you can use to do this immediately. Go to Generate> Pluck or Produce> Risset Drum from the menu bar to start using them.

Risset Drum virtual instrument in Audacity

How to Edit and Mix Your Tune

After making music in Audacity, you generally need to edit and blend the tracks before they sound excellent together. You might need to get rid of the ambient sound

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or tighten up some timings. You probably likewise require to balance the volume of each track so you can hear every track clearly.

Edit Your Audio Recordings

The majority of the modifying you normally require to do includes deleting or silencing areas you don’t require. We covered how to do this in the multi-track section above.

In some cases you likewise need to adjust the timing of a recording. The easiest method to do this is to divide the audio track into various sections and move them into place.

Select a piece of audio, then go to Edit> Clip Limits> Split New to move that area of audio to its own track. Now choose the Time Shift Tool(which looks like 2 arrows) from the top of Audacity and drag the clip to the right location in the timeline.

Editing music in Audacity showing Split New selection

Mix Your Tracks Together

On the left side of each track in Audacity, you need to see 2 sliders. The top slider adjusts the volume of that track and the bottom slider adjusts the pan, which moves it from the left speaker to the best speaker.

Volume and Pan sliders on an Audacity track

Experiment with the sliders on each of your tracks to create a balanced mix for your tune. Knowing how to blend music expertly is a completely separate skill. In the meantime, just focus on making whatever simple to hear.

Add Music Production Impacts in Audacity

To utilize impacts in Audacity, highlight the area you wish to include effects to, then click Result from the menu bar and pick an impact. When you do so, a separate window opens with all the controls and criteria for that impact.

After you click OK, Audacity reprocesses the picked audio so that it completely has the effect used to it. For safety, you may want to produce a backup of your tracks by going to Edit> Duplicate first, then Mute the duplicate track.

Duplicate tracks with one muted in Audacity

When you’re first discovering how to make a tune in Audacity, it’s appealing to use too many effects. Particularly when there are numerous readily available to you. However you’re much better off adhering to the following options up until you’re more comfy using them well:

  • Amplify: Make areas of the recording louder or quieter as required
  • Compressor: Apply compression to create an even volume throughout the track
  • Fade In/ Fade Out: Smoothly transition from silence to music to prevent additional noise
  • Graphic EQ: Modification the tone of each track so they create a full noise together
  • Noise Reduction: Eliminate background noise from your recording environment
  • Reverb: Produce a virtual space for the instruments to make them sound more natural

Saving Your Music

Conserving Audacity creates a job file with the individual audio tracks inside it. You can open this file once again to keep dealing with your song, but it just opens in Audacity so you can’t add it to your music player yet.

To do that, you need to go to Submit> Export and select the audio format you wish to export your music in, such as MP3 or WAV. This produces a basic audio file that you can’t alter anymore however you can add to your music library.

Export options from Audacity menu bar

Try Out Other Free Music Production Software

By now, you need to have a pretty clear idea of how to use Audacity to make music. However Audacity isn’t the only choice available to you. In truth, there is great deals of other free music production software application you can use rather.

You may even discover a few of them much easier to utilize than Audacity.

If you aren’t sure where to start, have a look at our rundown of the best complimentary music production software application

The Very Best Totally Free Music Production Software for Beginners

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All of the alternatives on that list have countless tutorials online revealing you how to begin making music with them. So there’s no excuse not to give it a go.

Image Credit: Davizro Photography/Shutterstock

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