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February 19, 2013

Creating Audio for Podcasts Using Audacity (CTLE Workshop)

The following is content from my wiki for a presentation I did in the CTLE on creating audio for a podcast last week. You can visit the original wiki page here:

Creating Audio for Podcasts Using Audacity

Itinerary for Podcasting Series II Learning Lab

  • Overview of recording tools for the Mac, PC and web: (Garageband, Audacity)
  • Developing a plan for the podcast
  • Equipment needed (hardware)
  • Locate and Import Podsafe Audio into Audacity
  • Record voice using Audacity
  • Edit and Save audio using Audacity
  • Export as Mp3 file
  • Import into Canvas

Video of Part of this Workshop: Recording Audio Using Audacity

Overview of Recording Software


The best way to record music on a Mac is now the best way to record podcasts. GarageBand 3 puts you in the control room of your own full-featured radio station. And new iWeb integration gets your voice on the Internet in minutes.


View a Screencast on how to create a podcast with Garageband


Audacity is free, open source software for recording and editing sounds. It is available for Mac OS X, Microsoft Windows, GNU/Linux, and other operating systems.






Developing a Plan

First Things First: The Plan

From Beginner’s Guide to Podcast Creation By Kirk McElhearn

Amazingly enough, this first step is the one many podcasters skip: develop a plan. Before you start recording, think about what you want to say, and organize your show accordingly. Make notes, prepare your interviews (if any), and try to improvise as little as possible. While a completely spontaneous show can sound good if you’ve got the knack, the best podcasters prepare their shows in advance and work hard to provide interesting content. (See Kirk’s Eight Rules of Effective Podcasting) for some tips on creating good podcasts that people will come back to listen to.) There are thousands of podcasts available today, but it’s easy to pass most of them up because they don’t stand out – figure out your angle, and run with it!

  1. Choose theme music
  2. Design a standard introduction (Your name, show name, date, etc.)
  3. Outline your show notes
  4. Design a conclusion
  5. Outro music


Equipment Needed for Recording Audio/Podcasting


Please try to bring your own headset or earphones/mic with your for the workshop. We have only a limited supply.


Cheap Coby headsets at Target for $10. Or go with a USB headset for better quality. I use the Logitech Premium USB 350. It goes for about $50 at BestBuy. We’ll talk more about microphone and headset options in the learning lab.


Inexpensive Podcasting Kits if you want more.


What I use: 


Hands on Section

Record Intro Music


Edit music file

  • cut to 8-15 seconds
  • fade music out

Record voice directly into Audacity

  • Edit audio using tools in Audacity
    • Selection Tool
    • Envelope Tool
    • Time Shift Tool

Export as mp3 file

  • via Audacity
  • via iTunes


Additional Information

KB to MB Converter from

Sample conversion:

30 minute WAV file = 141MB file

30 minute Mp3 file = 26MB file at 128 kbps, 44 KHz (Most common)


30 minute Mp3 file = 3MB file at 16 kbps, 16 KHz

File Formats

File Format Sizes from Cal Berkeley


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