Creative

12 Creative Uses for Audacity: Podcasts, Voiceovers, Ringtones, and More

Dan Helyer Updated 22-04-2020

Audacity is a free application you can use for recording, editing, and mixing audio. It also happens to be incredibly versatile.

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People use Audacity for a wide range of different projects, including creating music, recording ringtones, and capturing conversations.

If you aren’t sure what you can do with Audacity, this is the article for you. We list some creative ways to use Audacity, along with a few pointers on how to get started.

Download Audacity If You Haven’t Already

Audacity website banner

First things first, you need to download and install Audacity. It’s totally free to use on Windows, macOS, or Linux machines. All you need to do is download the latest version from the Audacity website.

If you ever need help finding out how to use Audacity, take a look at the comprehensive Audacity wiki. This wiki covers all of the basics, including beginner tutorials, FAQs, and troubleshooting suggestions.

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Download: Audacity for Windows | macOS | Linux (Free)

1. Record Multitrack Music

Whether you’re part of a band or a singer in need of backing tracks, one of the most obvious uses of Audacity is to record some multitrack music. It’s easy to make music with Audacity A Beginner's Guide to Making Music With Audacity at Home Audacity is a fantastic piece of software for all musicians. Here's how to use Audacity to make music at home! Read More , and all you need to get started is a microphone and an audio interface.

You can even get some pretty professional results from recording in Audacity. Don’t believe us? Check out this list of musicians who used Audacity to record their songs. Some of the examples speak wonders to Audacity’s musical potential.

2. Create a Podcast or Radio Show

Headphones and microphone over a white background

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Audacity is the perfect tool for mixing several tracks together, making it excellent for creating podcast episodes or radio shows. Thanks to its multitrack capabilities, it’s easy to fade in different tracks or add sound effects and music in between the dialog of your show.

All you need to do is drag-and-drop an audio file into Audacity to import it to your project. You could even use our previous audio project idea to record some music for a theme song.

3. Practice a Speech or Presentation

Another great use of Audacity is to record yourself delivering a speech or monolog. Listening back to how you sound will help you perfect your delivery before the big day. You might decide to cut out a section, add more jokes, or practice your pronunciation.

This is a great tip for getting ready to deliver presentations, wedding toasts, or even to prepare for an acting audition.

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4. Produce a Radio Advert or Voiceover

Man reading script into a microphone

If you have a good voice, you could use Audacity to create a radio advert for a small business. All you need to do is read your script and add a few sound effects. It’s far cheaper to record it yourself than pay for a professional.

If the advert turns out well, you could use it to form a portfolio and seek more voiceover work in the future.

5. Make a Recording of Your Interviews

It’s a good idea to use Audacity to make a recording of any interviews you conduct. You might use these for research projects, hiring purposes, or to publish them online. Either way, it’s incredibly useful to have an audio recording to refer back to.

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Take a look at our simple tips to improve your interview recordings 3 Audacity Tips to Enhance Your Recorded Interviews Clear audio is vital for any podcast or recording you want to publish. Boost your audio quality with Audacity in three easy steps. Read More for the best quality.

6. Record the Audio From Other Apps

Large speaker on a computer desk

There are plenty of reasons you might want to record the audio from other applications on your computer. You can use Audacity to record the audio from a Skype call, a YouTube clip, or even an online radio station.

To dissuade copyright infringements, you can’t usually do this without commercial software or a loopback cable. But you’ll find a comprehensive guide detailing how to record your computer’s audio on the Audacity Wiki.

7. Practice Foreign Languages

Anyone who’s successfully learned a foreign language will agree that you need to speak it frequently to get it right. It’s difficult to improve if you have no-one to talk to, but that’s what you can use Audacity for.

Record yourself speaking a foreign language, then listen back to make sure your accent is right. Bonus points if you can compare your own voice with recordings of your language teacher or a native speaker.

8. Create Audiobooks for LibriVox

Headphones plugged in to a book

Put your reading voice to good use by using Audacity to record free audiobooks for people. This is a particularly simple audio project idea because all you need to do is record a single voice.

If you have small kids in the family, you could create children’s audiobooks for them to enjoy as bedtime stories. If those books are in the public domain, you could even share them with other people when you have finished.

LibriVox is a great place to volunteer public domain audiobooks for other people to listen to.

9. Create Karaoke Backing Tracks

Karaoke is a lot of fun, but sometimes you can’t find the backing tracks for the songs you want to sing. Once again, Audacity can help.

Follow our step-by-step guide to remove the vocals from your favorite songs How to Remove the Vocals From Any Song Using Audacity If you need to remove vocals from songs, leaving behind just an instrumental track, you can do so using Audacity. In this article, we explain how. Read More and create karaoke backing tracks using Audacity. You could even record your own vocal performance over the top to show off your singing skills to friends.

10. Capture Your Every Thought

Tascam voice recorder dictaphone

Whatever’s on your mind, you can use Audacity to capture it in a recording. If you’re a musician, record the new melody that just popped into your head. If you’re a writer, keep an audio account of your best story ideas. Or just use Audacity to capture random thoughts that you don’t want to forget.

Whatever you do, make sure you keep all these audio recordings well organized and clearly labeled. Otherwise you’ll never find the ones you’re looking for again.

11. Export Custom Ringtones

You can use Audacity to export MP3 files, which in turn, you can use as new ringtones. So it follows that you can use Audacity to make custom ringtones.

If you’re into video games, there are lots of free video game ringtones The Best Free Video Game Ringtones (And How to Add Them to Your Phone) Here's how to make your phone geeky with retro video game ringtones and notification sounds from Mario, Sonic, Pokémon, and more. Read More available to use.

12. Create Samples and DJ Mixes

DJ decks in a colorful club

Audacity is what a lot of DJs use to cut up samples or create mixes from multiple songs. It’s easy to import MP3 files by dropping them into the Audacity window, then grab the samples you want to keep using Cut and Paste.

If you add multiple songs to different tracks, experiment with fading them in over the top of one another to create your own mixes. You might want to make sure they both play at the same tempo first for the best chance of success.

How to Remove Background Noise

By now, you should have a pretty good idea of what you can do with Audacity and all of the different audio projects you can use it for. It’s an incredibly flexible and powerful piece of software, especially considering that it’s totally free.

However, despite Audacity’s versatility, any of your audio projects can get ruined by intrusive background noise. Thankfully, we have detailed how to remove ambient noise using Audacity How to Remove Ambient Noise From Audio Files Using Audacity It's simple to remove background noise in Audacity and give your recordings a much more professional feel. Here's how to do it. Read More to help you keep your recordings crisp and clear.

Related topics: Audacity, Audio Editor, Audiobooks, Internet Radio, Karaoke, Music Production, Podcasts, Record Audio, Ringtones.

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  1. Andy Crofts
    August 24, 2016 at 4:07 pm

    Also for language studies: Tutorial sound DVD's sometimes are a bit fast to understand. I use the 'tempo' function to slow it down by 10-15%, listen to it a couple of times like this, then increase the speed to normal. Great help, especially with Finnish

  2. Framton Goodman
    November 13, 2012 at 4:47 am

    I volunteer as a Producer at a local radio station and they use Adobe Audition. I've been using Audacity at home for a couple of years, and it's as good as Audition for broadcast-quality results!

    • Angela Alcorn
      November 14, 2012 at 1:04 pm

      Thanks for the comparison. Audacity really is quite powerful!

    • Wave Deaf Retaliator
      December 29, 2014 at 1:28 am

      The quality results depends solely on the hardware. But between these two programs there are huge differences. Audition has many more tools. They are incomparable, Audition is a thousand times more powerful than Audacity. Audacity has a few bugs and is not professional. Compare it with Audition is ridiculous ...

  3. Guest
    September 18, 2012 at 2:06 am

    I use Audacity to rip audio from video files. Some of the movies I have didn't have "official" soundtracks (or did, but they're now out of print), but had some really cool songs in the movie itself. Usually the best recordings come from over the credits, when there's no other dialogue or sound effects coming from the movie itself. Other times there's a montage that uses a particular song, but that song isn't on the album.

    You need the FFMPEG libraries (ffmpeg.org) for Audacity to open the video file directly (especially if it's a DVD .mpg or .vob), unless you use a tool like Virtual Dub or DGIndex to "demux" (separate into individual files) the audio from the video. I've had better luck with the latter -- saving as .wav from Virtual Dub and re-importing into Audacity, then cutting the audio to just where the song is and saving as .mp3 or .flac.

    Another thing I do for fun (in the same way) is to strip various audio segments from the dialogue and make a "soundboard" with the best lines from the movie, like some guy did for Scarface: soundboard.com/sb/scarface.aspx

    "Say hello to my little friend!" :-)

  4. gmonly
    September 9, 2012 at 6:14 am

    i have used this when i had win 98, I used it for burning my albums to cd's, it takes out the album noise, I even made a sound board for Halloween (i lost that a long time ago).
    IMO, for the price, this is the best software for audio. just don't forget to have Lame (also free from Audacity's site), to convert to MP3's.

  5. Kao Vang
    September 8, 2012 at 4:55 pm

    Nice article.

  6. rimaz nazeer
    September 8, 2012 at 3:04 pm

    Using this for a long time,really useful and very easy to use.

  7. Harshit Jain
    September 8, 2012 at 2:17 pm

    Audacity can compete with paid audio editing software.

    • Wave Deaf Retaliator
      December 28, 2014 at 7:47 pm

      You can do the same things that are made with Audacity with any audio editing software. But applications like Audition or SoundForge are much more powerful and accurate.

      True, many musicians have used Audacity in their compositions, but that does not mean it is professional software. Just try a demo of either programs that I put as an example and you will see the difference.

      Audacity is a great program, but can not be compared to commercial programs, because it has many limitations compared to them. Otherwise no one would pay for commercial software and everyone would use only free software.

  8. Terafall
    September 8, 2012 at 11:02 am

    I never knew Audacity can do all that

  9. Justin Winokur
    September 8, 2012 at 3:44 am

    I use it to make slow fade-ins on 40 second snippets of songs I use for my alarm

    • Angela Alcorn
      September 8, 2012 at 2:58 pm

      That's a cool idea.

  10. Lee
    September 7, 2012 at 10:54 pm

    Another neat use is the fact that you can generate tones and set them to play out of certain channels.
    I've used this before to tell which ear bud is the right and left. Just generate a tone and then limit it to be either the left or right track. Then when you play it back, you can make sure the ear bud is in the correct ear. Most of the time this isn't an issue, but some headphones don't label the left and right.

    • Angela Alcorn
      September 8, 2012 at 2:57 pm

      That's a very neat trick. Thanks!