Audacity Class First Week DocInformation:Created Date (fixed)
Welcome everyone to the Audacity class. This weeks topic is going to be an intro to Audacity as a whole for those who aren't too familiar with it. We'll be covering such topics as:
Intro to Audacity Where to find Audacity Orca navigation with in Audacity Menu structure of Audacity Peeking in the menus and getting a grasp of what options do Looking at the help system Other help Options Questions Preview for next Class
Intro to Audacity
In today's fast paced world there are many programs on or off Linux that can be used for recording. There is for example Pro Tools for the Mac and Windows which professional singers use. There is sound Forge and Goldwave for Windows. There is Ardour for Linux which uses Jack and Alsa. In some ways these all record. But Audacity seems to be one of the better known recording applications on Linux as a whole. First, we'll take a look at a description of Audacity right from their web site and learn what they proclaim to be good about Audacity.
Audacity is a free, easy-to-use and multi-lingual audio editor and recorder for Windows, Mac OS X, GNU/Linux and other operating systems. You can use Audacity to: Record live audio. Convert tapes and records into digital recordings or CDs. Edit Ogg Vorbis, MP3, WAV or AIFF sound files. Cut, copy, splice or mix sounds together. Change the speed or pitch of a recording. And more! See the complete list of features.
So from Audacity's prospective we see that it does a lot of things. This week's class is just to get everyone familiar with how to use the application. So with our introduction let's begin exploring.
Where to find Audacity To find Audacity we need to visit: http://audacity.sourceforge.net.
Orca navigation with in Audacity
We start by looking at Audacity. So everyone please bring up auddacity. There are two ways to do this:
1. go to the Menu Sound And Video Menu/Audacity. 2. Hit Alt+F2 and type audacity in the run edit box.
We should have Audacity up. Does everyone have it up? Now in some cases some people may have a welcome message. Let's get rid of that. We'll do the following:
1. Use Orca's review commands. These are the commands you would use too look around the screen. 2. Now if you move to the right you'll find a checkmark or a tick mark depending on which version of Orca your using. 3. Please uncheck or untick that. 4. Now you move the cursor over to the right some more and you'll find an okay button. 5. Please use the star button on the numeric keyboard or Orca modifier 7 on a laptop to activate the left click of the mouse.
Now we have gotten rid of the welcome screen that comes up for Audacity. Now remember to do this for any messages or dialog boxes that have checkmarks or tick marks as they don't read automatically within Audacity. We'll now take a look at the menus.
Menu structure of Audacity
Now I'll explain the menus. As I see it here it looks like the menus are straight acrossed on the screen and we have shortcut keys for these menus. Here is the list of menu items and their associated shortcuts:
Alt plus F File alt plus E Edit Alt plus V view Alt Plus R Transport Alt plus T Tracks Alt plus G Generate Alt plus C Effects Alt plus A Analyze Alt plus H Help
Peeking in the menus and getting a grasp of what options do
I am sure that this is part of the time everyone has waited for. Here is an explanation of some of the more obscure menu items so we'll dig in.
File Menu We all know what new Open and Recent Files do I am assuming. If not let me know.
Alt plus W Close closes the window your currently in
Save Project as Saves the file as a .aup or Audacity Project which only Audacity opens.
Save Compressed Copy of Project allows /Audacity to save the .aup Audacity project to be compressed when save to ensure a little smaller size of the project file which is still only to be opened by audacity.
Check Dependencies allows one to check and ensure you have the right dependencies for the file you are saving. So for example, if I want to save a .mp3 file then I may need a gstreamer0.10 plugin this would tell you exactly what plugin you need.
Open Metadata Editor this is the editor where you can put in your tags for your mp3 or ogg vorbis files. We'll cover this one more in a later class.
Import Allows many things to happen just know for now that it allows you to import Audio. We'll cover this in a later class too.
Applying and Editing Chains are for effects. We'll cover this when we cover effects.
All of the Edit Menu will be covered in the next class.
View menu The View menu is going to be where we look at some very important items.
Show Clipping Check Mark and Tick Mark the show clipping item isn't going to be great for us who are totals but those with low vision you'll see a spike I believe in this and where you see that spike is clipping. For those who are curious clipping is the act of having noise so loud that the mike or musical instrument pops. A good example of this is if you get too close to your mike and you hear a pop when you say certain letters.
Then we have all the tool bars if you have specific questions about these we'll take those at the end.
History would show you the undos and redos you have done in the file. It will fail though if you have nothing to show.
The rest of the menu items will have their own class as they need some explanation.
Looking at the help system
This is one of those things I don't like to say much about, but the Help system in Audacity is not very good at all in Orca's eyes. So basically what you'll want to do is to go to:
and look for your documentation for the version of Audacity your using.
Other help Options
Now for other help options again you want to use the site:
There are many options such as support, a wiki, mailing lists which can help you if you get stuck.
Everyone please limit yourself to one question at a time. I would like everyone to have achance to ask and then we'll go back around again. Also please indicate who you are so there is no confusion who I am speaking too.
Preview for next Class
In the next class we are going to go around and visit a few of the Menus which I need more time to talk about and where going to begin brain storming a class project. So please come with the thinking caps on.