Can anyone provide tips and tricks on using Audacity?

I do not use Audacity for recording, since I use Wire Tap Studios with my Mac. However, I know that many people do use Audacity.

On Saturday I will be participating in program put on by the very progressive University of Minho language department, who are actively encouraging local language teachers, to explore how to best to use the web for language instruction.

We will be looking at Audacity amongst other things on Saturday. Do any of you have tricks and tips re the use of Audacity, how to get started, best practices, how to use it for oneself, how to use if in a classroom, or whatever.? Please let me know. If there are good instructional videos on Youtube, I would appreciate hearing about them.

Many thanks in advance.


many tutorials are available here:
The program has many, many features, and it needs some time to find your way.

I use Audacity sometimes to reduce the speaking velocity, explained here in German:

Or I reduce podcasts just to the dialog or I add pauses, also explained here in German:

Audacity is a great program, it’s free, and it’s available for many platforms.

You can find many tutorial videos about Audacity on Youtube.
Here is the one of them.

This is one of some parts. (part one - part five) The provider of this video provide other parts as well on her channel.

Hope this helps.

I have use Audacity to cut the audiofiles of “Cuore” and other audiobooks into smaller files, but it seems there’s something wrong that no one can find out (see my “Cuore”-related thread).
I have also used it to record some lessons, but I still don’t know how to remove noise for example. I should read some tutorials, indeed.

Thanks for the comments. Michele, please check my blog. One commentator posted about his own podcast on using Audacity and there is one item there about removing the noise using Audacity. Have a look.

Thanks Steve. I’ll have a look at it, even if the noise is not my major concern with Audacity, as you can imagine.

Here is one tip for Audacity.
One of my favorite function of Audacity is boundless repetition of your selected audio part. First, select a short part of the audio with mouse, then press shift key and click a play button. It plays the part again and again. I think this is good function for language learners and teachers.

Steve, I have looked at your blog, but I haven’t found the comment on Audacity. :frowning:

3 tips, one of them for removing the background noise, this is how I learned it. But be very careful with it, apply it in small steps because you get robotic voices very easily

And this video on how to merge audio files, the easy way

Thanks for all the good advice. We had a good session with the Portuguese language teachers in Braga. This was all useful information to me. ( It made me look as if I know something!)

This got me to thinking.A few of our learners are using Audacity to help themselves with pronunciation. I wonder, however, if some of our providers can use Audacity to help other learners with pronunciation. Maybe they could load up content, or take paragraphs of content they already have created, and then divide it up into short sections, add pauses, slow down the segments, repeat phrases a few times etc… In other words do the Audacity work for the learners.

What is more, if learners send recordings of themselves to tutors, the tutors can identify the sounds that cause trouble and create content consisting of short phrases that focus on these difficult sounds and upload them as content, with spacing.

This would be content purely for pronunciation and would allow learners to hear difficult sounds over and over and to practice imitating. Ambitious learners could even try recording themselves to compare.

I have no idea if such content would be useful or popular, so I just offer this out as an idea. I guess the question is how can members best help each other with pronunciation?

Steve’s idea about the way to use Audacity to helping learners with their pronunciation is really interesting. English pronunciation is my pet peeve and I’d like to have as many corrections as possible for my bad pronunciation. If I can help people improve with their french pronunciation, I’d be really happy to do it. Feel free to send me your own recordings.

I can see a lot of work coming your way!

Why only offer tutoring in the form “Writing” & “Speaking (via Skype)”?
Why not a third way in the form of “Speaking or Reading (via recording)”, evaluated and corrected by a tutor and paid by a certain amount of points per minute of recording? Some learners may be anxious to book a 1-to-1 talk via Skype but may like to record his/her own voice…

I love that idea hape!

Hans’ suggestion is something we have had on our todo list for a long time as part of a full pronunciation section, but there have always been other things that had higher priority.

For what it is worth, here are my views on

A) the relative importance of different pronunciation practice activities, in order of importance, and

B)what we could do at LingQ, now without bothering our programmers.


  1. Listen:

Listen to regular content, at normal speed and at slow speed. It is helpful for pronunciation to listen repeatedly to the same content, if you do not find it too boring. Focus as much on intonation as on the sounds themselves.

(The work that Alsuvi is doing in Spanish, creating normal speed and slow speed versions of the same content, is a great example of content that helps with pronunciation, in my view.)

Listen to paragraphs as well as shorter phrases, both at slow speed, and at normal speed.

  1. Listen and imitate:

With the various types of content described above, take the opportunity to imitate, under your breath or out loud. Phrases with pauses are especially useful when imitating.

If we spend most of our time listening, we can devote some time to imitating, every now and again, or during focused periods of pronunciation practice.

  1. Listen and record yourself:

This need only be done occasionally, to record your progress, in my view. It is better to spend more time listening to the native speaker with the accent of your choice.

  1. Submit a recording for evaluation:

I believe this is not so important. If you cannot hear or notice the difference between your own pronunciation and that of the native, it is unlikely that you will be able to pronounce like the native. It is important to train the ability to notice.

However, an occasional analysis may be helpful.

B) What we can do now at LingQ.

  1. Members can request native speakers to record content, at normal speed and at slow speed, both with pauses. These should be in a collection called “Pronunciation Practice”

We have no way for members to pay for this so they either ask the native speaker to do this in lieu of a discussion, or let the native speaker own the content in the library, or make other arrangements privately.

  1. Members could also submit recordings of their own pronunciation, with the corresponding text, to the library, under a heading like “Member’s Pronunciation Samples”.

These members could then request other members to comment on their submission, via the Notes section, which shows up on the Forum. Other members, especially native speakers, could then make comments in the notes section, pointing out specific problems of intonation and pronunciation.

Members may even make videos to help with pronunciation and attach them to the lessons.

It might be interesting to see if there are common pronunciation problems, in different languages, and for different native speakers. This might guide tutors in creating pronunciation content aimed at particular groups of native speakers.

This all sounds pretty complicated, but I spent the day wandering around Segovia and had a lot of time to think of things.

Steve, thank you for your answer and ideas.

I think LingQ should expand in some way to have recorded audios from learners evaluated or commented by native speakers. I think it’s different if you talk 1-to-1 to a native (many mistakes my be overheard or forgotten) or if you just present a recording of your speaking (freely spoken or read) … More mistakes may be found.

Maybe in the beginning it’s enough to create a new LingQ forum “Evaluate my audio”, where learners may link to their recordings. If everybody would get a free Dropbox account, then it’s easy to share audio (and other) files in the public Dropbox directory on your computer - it will be automatically uploaded by Dropbox. The URL of the file can then easily be published in a forum post, and native speakers can listen and comment.

Hans, that is a good idea. At present we have a lot of Forums, but let’s see what Mark has to say.

Otherwise we may want to wait until we can build something in , that will make it easier for people to do.

@hape - Yes, you can certainly start a thread about submitting pronunciation in this way. I would suggest the Ask a tutor forum for this. We are not going to start any new forums since we do feel like we have too many forums already.