Processing Audio Files Using Audacity: Making Soundscapes

audacityWant to capture the sounds of nature and then make a great-sounding soundscape recording?

Here is how I do it using Audacity:

  1. Capture the sounds of nature, etc. Here is a link to another post that tells you how I do that.
    DR-08_mic_2
  2. Open the captured files in Audacity, a free sound processor. Get it at this link.
    audacity
  3. Fix the clipping.
    1_clip_fix
    3a. Or, normalize it. This sometimes works better, but try clip fix first.
    3a_normalize
  4. Remove the clicks and pops in the recording.
    2_click_removal
  5. Compress the dynamic range with the compressor.
    3_dynamic_range_compressor
  6. Use the leveler on either the whole track or selected portions. Use moderate or sometimes light works better. Experiment.
    4_leveler
  7. Repeat the track some number of times get the overall length up to where you want it.
    5_repeat
  8. Find the seams where the repeated tracks meet up with each other and trim out some of the mismatch where one ends and the other begins using the cut tool and/or the crossfade tool. Do this for each seam.
    6_cut
  9. If needed, use the leveler (or normalize) tool but this time only on the seam portions that don’t quite match each other in level. This will further smooth out the seam transitions. Do this for each seam just as in the step above.
    4_leveler
  10. Select a portion at the beginning and ends of the overall recording and apply fade in or fade out appropriately.
    7_fade_in_out
  11. Export as MP3 with these options (bump up the quality to 320kbps if you are a purist and want the absolute highest quality sound).
    8_mp3_export_options

Then sell or give away a great sounding soundscape!

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