For this week’s video, I wanted to show Audacity in action, to give people an idea of audio layering and combining tracks. I’ve also wanted to play with David Lee Roth’s isolated vocals from Van Halen’s Running with the Devil for a long time. (Someone has to be able to put that track to better use. Consider that a creative challenge.) For the background sounds, I used “Ambience, Night Wildlife, A.wav” by InspectorJ for the crickets and “running sounds” by zombiechaser3. I recorded my part with my laptop and iPhone headphones/mic. My voice is pretty soft, so I used Audacity’s Compressor effect to even it out and boost it a bit. Then I imported the sound effects I had downloaded from Freesound. I cut and pasted the sounds to where I wanted them, and applied fade in and fade out effects. Then I imported the Dave track and copied and pasted the parts I wanted to use to a new track and aligned the parts to my recorded part. That involved some copy and paste work. I didn’t pause long enough for Dave, so I copied some of the silence in my track and pasted it in the same place a few times, which made the pause longer. I used the volume control to bring Dave’s voice down in the mix a bit. When I felt it sounded good enough, I used the Quicktime Player to make a screen recording of the track playing through. I exported the Audacity file to an mp3. The export process automatically combined all the tracks into one recording. I brought the mp3 and the Quicktime movie into iMovie and more or less lined up the audio and video, and saved it to Youtube.
I mentioned in this week’s post that audio editing is time consuming. This piece is a little more than a minute and a half. It took me about an hour to put it together. Part of that was opening and working with iMovie, but most of it was getting the parts and editing them together in Audacity. And I’m not new to the program. So hopefully this will give you some ideas about what you can do, and some idea of the time it might take.