Intro to Audio Editing

richard-m-nixon-sized

The following exercise will familiarize you with the basics of audio editing. Before starting, you will need to download and install Audacity, a free cross-platform audio editing program.

You are going to take Richard Nixon’s famous “I am not a crook” speech and change it, maybe even improve it. Your mission is to open Tricky Dick’s speech in Audacity, find where he says “I am not a crook,”  remove the “not,” and add a soundtrack.

  1. Download and install Audacity if you haven’t already.
  2. Download and open the Richard Nixon Speech mp3.
  3. Listen to the speech and locate where he says “I am not a crook.” Highlight the portion of the waveform that you think represents this portion (hit “play” while it is highlighted to hear that portion) then Zoom In on it. After magnifying that section of the waveform, highlight and remove only “not,” so that Richard says “I am a crook.”
  4. Locate an mp3 of music. If you have to, find a song on YouTube and download it using YouTubeMp3. To add this mp3 to your recording on a separate track, click on File>Import>Audio and open your mp3.
  5. Trim the mp3 to fit Richard’s speech.
  6. Using the Amplify tool, you are going to lower the volume of your music so that we can hear Mr. Nixon. Highlight all of the music track by double-clicking on the waveform and select Effect>Amplify. Slide the amplification bar to the left and see if that lowered the volume enough. If you lower the volume too much, press ctrl+z to undo that action.
  7. You may want to Fade Out your song so that it doesn’t end abruptly. Highlight a portion of the end of the song track and select Effect>Fade Out.
  8. Once you are finished, Export your Audacity project to a usable format of your choice. Standard choices are mp3 and wav. If you export to mp3, click “options” when naming your mp3 and select a higher bitrate for a better quality file.
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