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The Book of Audacity

Book Description

The Book of Audacity shows you how to complete fun and useful projects with Audacity, the cross-platform, open source audio editor and recorder. You'll learn how to digitize your vinyl record collections, create podcasts, record live performances, create super-high fidelity recordings, mix and master multi-track recordings, and create ringtones, special effects, and more. You'll also learn how to package your work for online distribution, whether that means distributing a podcast on iTunes or selling an album on CD Baby.

Table of Contents

  1. The Book of Audacity
    1. Acknowledgments
    2. Introduction
      1. What Can Audacity Do?
      2. What This Book Covers
      3. Audacity vs. Ardour
    3. 1. Audacity from Start to Finish
      1. Audacity Quick-Start
      2. Audacity in Detail
      3. Managing Audacity Projects
        1. Adding Audio Files: Import vs. Open
        2. Saving Your Work
      4. Selecting Tracks and Segments of Tracks
      5. Track Panel
      6. Cutting Out Unwanted Chunks
      7. Fade In and Out
      8. Making Quiet Recordings Louder
      9. Timer Record and Sound Activated Recording
      10. Mixer Board
      11. Track Metadata
      12. Final Mixdown
      13. Audio File Formats and Quality Settings
        1. Understanding File Formats
        2. Understanding Bit Depth and Sampling Rate
        3. 16/44.1, 24/96, 32-Bit Float
        4. Bitrate, Bit Depth, and File Size
      14. Now What?
    4. 2. Building a Good Digital Sound Studio on the Cheap
      1. Getting Sound In and Out of the Computer
        1. An Example Studio
        2. Sorting Out Connectors
      2. Multichannel Recording, PCI, USB, FireWire
      3. USB or FireWire?
      4. Microphones
        1. Polar Patterns
        2. Which Microphones for Which Occasions?
        3. Microphone Cables
        4. Smart Miking
      5. Microphone Preamp
      6. Speakers and Headphones
      7. Your Computer Must Have Muscle and Vast Drawers
      8. Operating Systems
      9. Portable Recording
      10. The Secret of Recording Your Own Great Audio
      11. Visit Appendix A
    5. 3. Transferring Vinyl LPs (and Other Legacy Media) to CD
      1. Preparing Vinyl LPs for Copying
      2. Eight Steps to Converting Records to CDs
      3. Audacity Settings
      4. Recording
      5. Fixing Defects
        1. Fade In, Fade Out
        2. Fixing Warps
        3. Fixing Skips and Pops
        4. Finding and Repairing Clipping
        5. Noise Removal
      6. Customizing Dynamic Range Compression
      7. Normalization
      8. Dividing a Long Track into Individual Songs
      9. Exporting to CD-Ready Files, One Long Audacity Track
      10. Exporting to CD-Ready Files, Multiple Audacity Tracks
      11. Writing Songs to a CD
      12. Copying Vintage 78s
      13. Connecting Legacy Devices to Your Computer
        1. Connecting a Turntable to Your Computer
        2. Connecting a Tape Deck
      14. Which Is Better: Vinyl, Tape, or CDs?
        1. The Digital Advantage
        2. Longevity
    6. 4. Creating and Editing Live Tracks for CD
      1. Making Good Live Recordings
        1. Portable Digital Recorder
        2. Laptop with Audacity
        3. Multitrack Recording of a Live Performance
        4. Be Nice to the Sound Crews
      2. Audacity Settings for Recording
        1. Setting Recording Volume Levels
        2. Starting, Stopping, and Pausing Recording
        3. Monitoring Your Live Recording
      3. Editing Live Recordings
        1. Editing and Downmixing Multitrack Recordings
        2. Special CD Settings in Audacity
        3. Trimming
        4. Splitting Stereo Tracks for Surgical Repairs
        5. Fixing Clipping and Too-Loud Passages
        6. Noise Removal
        7. Compressing Dynamic Range
        8. Cutting a Single Long Track into Individual Song Tracks
        9. Creating Graceful Breaks Between Songs
        10. Normalization
      4. Optional Track Metadata
      5. Final Export
      6. Writing Your Songs to CD
        1. Labeling Your CD
        2. Mass CD Duplication
      7. Combining Songs from Different Recording Sessions, Fix-its, and Special Effects
    7. 5. Authoring a Compilation CD
      1. Audio CDs
        1. There Is Not a Special Audio CD
        2. Convert MP3s to Red Book CD
      2. CD Writers and Software
      3. Three Ways to Author a CD Compilation in Audacity
        1. One Track per Song Project
        2. Single Audacity Track Compilation Project
        3. Single Audacity Track + CD-Mastering Program
        4. CD Cue Sheets and BIN Files
      4. Fixes and Cleanups
        1. Splitting Stereo Tracks for Surgical Repairs
        2. Normalization
        3. Making Graceful Fades and Song Breaks
      5. Configuring Audacity for Orange Book CDs
        1. Putting an Orange Book CD Collection Together
        2. File Formats and Quality Settings
      6. Computer Media Players
      7. Ripping CDs
      8. Ripping DVDs
    8. 6. Authoring Super High-Fidelity Audio DVDs
      1. What Are WAV, AIFF, and FLAC?
      2. DVD-Audio Overview
      3. Creating High-Quality Recordings in Audacity
        1. More Power
        2. What Bit Depth Is Best?
        3. What Sampling Rate Is Best?
        4. Saving Your Masters
        5. Creating 5.1 Surround
        6. Exporting to 16-Bit
        7. DVD-Audio Authoring Software
      4. Transferring Legacy Media
      5. Learn More
    9. 7. Creating Podcasts
      1. The Short Story
      2. Making a Simple Voicecast
        1. Audacity Settings
        2. Cleaning Up Your Recording
        3. Reducing Too-Tall Peaks
        4. Fades
        5. Normalization
      3. Export to MP3 or Ogg?
        1. Ogg Vorbis Quality Settings
        2. MP3 Quality Settings
        3. Other Lossy Formats
        4. Exporting Your Podcast
      4. Two-Person Podcasts
        1. Editing a Two-Track Recording as a Single Stereo Track
        2. Editing a Two-Track Recording as Two Mono Tracks
      5. Adding a Background Music Track
    10. 8. Becoming an Online Star
      1. File Formats and Audio Quality
      2. The Business of a Recording Artist
      3. Establishing an Online Presence
      4. Online Music Distributors
      5. Self-Hosting
        1. Selling Stuff Online
      6. To DRM or Not to DRM?
      7. Copyrights and Legal Issues
      8. Learn More
    11. 9. Multitrack Recording
      1. Tracks, Channels, and Clips
      2. How to Make Multitrack Recordings
      3. Playback Tips and Tricks
      4. Label Tracks
        1. Creating and Managing Labels
        2. Using Labels to Edit Multiple Tracks
      5. Aligning and Moving Tracks
        1. Link Tracks and Track Groups
        2. Time-Shifting Multiple Tracks at the Same Time
        3. Splitting Tracks
        4. Working with Clips
        5. Time-Shifting Inside Tracks
      6. Metronome Track
      7. Overdubbing
        1. Measuring and Fixing Latency
        2. Changing Tempo
      8. NTSC, PAL, and CDDA Frames
      9. Creating Loops
      10. Mixdown to Stereo
        1. Customizing the Mixer Board
        2. Too Loud! Clipping!
      11. Control Your Channel Mapping
        1. Multichannel Surround
    12. 10. Making Your Own Ringtones
      1. Customizing Audio for a Mobile Phone
      2. Applying Dynamic Range Compression
      3. Phone Audio File Formats
        1. RTTTL
      4. Proprietary Audio File Formats
      5. How to Transfer Files to Your Phone
    13. 11. Audacity Plug-ins for Special Effects
      1. Cross-Fades
      2. Generate Menu
        1. Sine Wave Example
        2. Frequency Range of Generated Tones
        3. DTMF Tones
        4. Chirps
        5. Generating Noise
        6. Test Tones
        7. Click Track
        8. Pluck
        9. Risset Drum
      3. Effect Menu
        1. Reverberation
        2. Amplify
        3. Auto Duck
        4. Change Pitch
        5. Phaser
        6. Reverse
        7. Sliding Time Scale/Pitch Shift
        8. WahWah
      4. Linux Plug-ins
        1. Linux LADSPA Plug-ins
        2. Linux Nyquist Plug-ins
      5. Windows Plug-ins
      6. Audio Effects Glossary
    14. 12. Fix-its and Cleanups
      1. Split Stereo Tracks
      2. Repeat Last Effect
      3. Noise Removal
      4. Normalization
      5. Remove Clicks and Scratches
        1. Click Removal
        2. Repair
        3. Draw Tool
      6. Truncate Silence
      7. Change Tempo
      8. Change Pitch
      9. Change Speed
      10. Compress Dynamic Range
        1. How Much Dynamic Range?
        2. Compressor Settings
        3. Chris's Dynamic Compressor
        4. Leveller
      11. Equalization
      12. Fix Timing and Latency Errors
      13. Analyze Menu
    15. 13. Configuring Linux for Best Audio Quality
      1. Using Distributions with Real-Time Kernels
        1. Specialized Multimedia Linux Distributions
          1. 64 Studio
          2. Ubuntu Studio
          3. dyne:bolic
          4. pure:dyne
          5. Musix
      2. Building a Real-Time Kernel
      3. Latency Is Not That Scary
      4. Sorting Out Linux Audio
      5. Using ALSA
        1. Setting Recording and Playback Levels in alsamixer
        2. Master vs. PCM
        3. Multiple Sound Cards
        4. Adjusting Volume Levels
      6. Hardware Testing with alsa-utils
        1. Testing Speakers
        2. Testing Recording
        3. ALSA Applications
      7. Querying Your Sound Card
      8. Using JACK with Audacity
        1. Connecting a FireWire Recording Interface
        2. Creating Persistent Configurations
        3. JACK Settings
      9. Turning PulseAudio and Phonon Off
      10. Linux System Tweaks
      11. The Tangled History of Linux Audio
      12. Sound Cards
    16. 14. Configuring Windows for Best Audio Quality
      1. Enabling MP3 Support
      2. Enabling WMA, M4A/M4P Support
      3. Low-Latency Recording and Audio Driver Fun
      4. Tuning Windows for Best Performance
        1. Tuning Windows XP
        2. Tuning Windows Vista and 7
      5. Configuring Windows Audio Devices
    17. 15. Customizing Audacity
      1. Customizing Audacity's Default Options
      2. Devices
      3. Playback
      4. Recording
      5. Quality
      6. Interface
      7. Tracks
      8. Import/Export
      9. Projects
      10. Libraries
      11. Spectrograms
      12. Directories
      13. Warnings
      14. Effects
      15. Keyboard and Mouse
    18. A. Audio Hardware
      1. PCI, PCI-e, PCMCIA Sound Cards
        1. PCI
        2. PCI-e
        3. PCMCIA
      2. USB Recording Interfaces
      3. FireWire Recording Interfaces
      4. Stand Alone ADC/DACs
    19. B. Glossary
      1. A–E
      2. F–J
      3. K–O
      4. P–T
      5. U–Z
    20. C. Seven Myths of Digital Audio
      1. The Myth of the Golden Ear
      2. The Myth of Burn-In
      3. The Myth of Tube Superiority
      4. The Myth of Uber Cables
      5. The Myth of Analog Superiority
      6. The Myth That You Don’t Need Tone Controls
      7. The Myth That Someone Else Knows Better Than You
    21. D. References and Resources
      1. Books
      2. Online Resources
      3. Image Credits
      4. GNU Free Documentation License
        1. 0. PREAMBLE
        2. 1. APPLICABILITY AND DEFINITIONS
        3. 2. VERBATIM COPYING
        4. 3. COPYING IN QUANTITY
        5. 4. MODIFICATIONS
        6. 5. COMBINING DOCUMENTS
        7. 6. COLLECTIONS OF DOCUMENTS
        8. 7. AGGREGATION WITH INDEPENDENT WORKS
        9. 8. TRANSLATION
        10. 9. TERMINATION
        11. 10. FUTURE REVISIONS OF THIS LICENSE
        12. 11. RELICENSING
    22. E. Updates
    23. Index
    24. About the Author
    25. Colophon