This is a blank project that appears when you open the application.
At the menu bar you can show or hide toolbars.
You may want to take a second to get familiar with what each one is called and does. You can also rearrange their order by grabbing at the leftmost corner with all the lines.
This is where all of your important toolbars are located. Consult the sections below for descriptions of each toolbar.
The Transport Toolbar is where you will find the pause, play, stop, skip to start, skip to end, and record buttons.
These tools function by clicking the mousepad or clicking, holding, and dragging.
These different tool bars allow you to monitor and control your levels. They may or may not appear in this order.
The top toolbar is the recording meter which will show you if the levels are too low or high. The color will usually appear as green, although, if it is red and a little red bar shows up in the farthest right corner, that means the level is too high and the audio "clipped."
"Clipping" means that the levels were too high for the capacity of a microphone or speaker, the waveform then gets recorded cut off and distorts the sound instead. Once the audio is recorded this way, it is not fixable, so make sure you are always setting your levels right!
The middle toolbar is your playback meter which shows you the levels of an audio clip while it is playing. Here you can also see if audio you recorded has clipped.
The bottom toolbar is your mixer, the microphone icon is your recording mixer where you can adjust the gain or input level. The speaker icon is the playback mixer where you can adjust volume or output level.
This toolbar is arguably less important because there are keyboard shortcuts for all of these. You can find them in the menu bar under Edit > or View > Zoom >. You can also hover the cursor over each one and it will show you the shortcut.
This toolbar allows you to cut, copy, paste, trim, silence, undo, redo, zoom in, zoom out, zoom back to normal, and zoom all the way in.
This toolbar allows you to speed up or slow down audio, affecting pitch.
Here are some tools not located on any tool bars.
This is the preferences window that will appear if you go to the menu bar and go to Audacity > Preferences. Here you can change the recording and playback devices as well as the recording channels.
The media labs have M-Audio Fast Track and FocusRite Scarlett, and Behringer U-Phoria interfaces.
This toolbar lets you select your devices for recording and playback. Here it shows the audio host, the recording device, the recording channels, and the playback device. You can change these accordingly if you are using an audio interface for recording.
Here you can select a MIDI device if you would like to use one.
MIDI - A Musical Instrument Digital Interface is a way for synthesizers, samplers, or computers to record information and communicate with each other. For example, with a MIDI keyboard you may record a track, a computer will record the information as tones, and from that point on, you can replace the MIDI keyboard with a different instrument or patch that will playback the exact same information but with that instrument’s sound instead.
The Media Labs have Alesis Q25, and M-Audio MIDI Keyboards. The Behringer U-Phoria interfaces have MIDI ports in them as well for recording your own MIDI device in the Sound Booth.