Audio Recording


photo by wongpear at Pixabay

“Microphone”, by wongpear, Pixabay, Public Domain

  • Audacity is a free, downloadable online software and is one of the best for recording and editing sound
  • The microphone on a computer can be used; however, better sound quality will result from use of an external microphone. The Learning Centre rents these microphones out for student projects.
  • Record several good takes of each piece of audio, so that there is more to work with during the editing phase
  • Break-up the recording into portions so it is easy to edit (and you don’t have to re-record when mistakes are made)
  • Avoid fluctuations in sound between clips by recording all the audio in one sitting (same day, location, distance from microphone, etc.)


1) To begin, click on file and select the recording button

2) Highlight section desired from the original recording, go to “Edit” and select “Copy”

3) Open new project and paste the copied portion in

  • Saving a project will save it as an Audacity file by default
  • To save as an mp3 file click “Export”, found in the File menu

iMovie Audio Recordings

  • Audio can be recorded directly in iMovie – it is best to use an external microphone rather than the computer’s microphone. Follow the tips above for good quality recordings.
  • iMovie’s recording and editing capabilities are more basic
  • After audio is recorded and/or imported, add fade-ins/fade-outs to the beginning and end of each clip for smooth transitions


What is a podcast?

  • A podcast is an audio piece which uses an RSS feed
  • Podcasts can be downloaded or streamed online. They are like topical radio shows. Podcasts are a great tool for on-the-go learning
iPod in denim pocket

“podcast iPod”, by Bent Kure, Flickr, CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

What to consider when making a podcast

  • Podcasts are easy to create and embed on wiki pages using  Audacity and SoundCloud 
    • If using SoundCloud for dissemination, you must apply to SoundCloud’s podcasting program to approve your RSS feed
    • Once your RSS feed is approved, you can find your RSS URL under “Settings” and use this URL to embed
  • Many of the same audio principles apply to podcasts as making a video or screen cast
    • Speak clearly and slowly
    • Use descriptive words and analogies to compensate for lack of visual components
    • Record in a quiet room
    • Use an external microphone
  • If the objective of the podcast is to be listened to while commuting or doing house-hold tasks, the length of the podcast can be in the 10-20 minute range. Be careful not to make the dialogue so long that listeners lose focus. Keeping the piece short and to the point, while covering all topic points, will keep the listener engaged.

For examples of audio recordings, check out: