Tips on Recording Audiobooks with Audacity

While there is a ton of documentation out there for using Audacity, recently, I’ve been recording some audiobooks in Audacity and struggled sometimes to find how to do specific things that are less to do with mixing tracks and more to do with editing a single track. So, here are a few tips and list of helpful resources.

Before Recording

  • Install the LAME encoder (link and instructions are on the Downloads page)
  • Suggested Default Settings from Librivox
  • Turn off: Preferences → Import/Export → Show Metadata Editor
  • Input metadata for artist (author), album (book title), and any other information that applies to the entire production under File →  Edit Metadata
  • Test and adjust your volume as necessary

Recording

  • Try to record the entire book as a single track by using the Pause button instead of the Stop button.
  • If you do use the Stop button, move your cursor to the track end before you continue recording. Audacity will still make a new track, but will continue it from your cursor (instead of the beginning of the timeline).
  • Even if you don’t record from the end of the previous track, you can align the tracks end to end.
  • To join all the tracks into one continue track, use the mix and render function.
  • Re-record small pieces by recording from the cursor selection, then (assuming it’s not a very different length,) you can replace the selection with your new track.

Exporting

  • Insert a label at the beginning of each track and give it the track name.
  • “Export Multiple” (from File) and choose MP3, with the options of “Joint Stereo” and a minimum of 64 bitrate. Also choose “Numbering before Label/Track” so that they will be in order.

More Resources

If anyone finds anymore really good resources or tips, please let me know and I’ll add them!

Published by

Cynthia

A librarian learning the ways of technology, accessibility, metadata, and people

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