Audacity is a free software program for recording and editing audio. You can use Audacity to record sounds onto your computer with a microphone or it can open and edit audio files, including tracks downloaded from the internet or copied from CDs. Audacity can open and save MP3, WAV, AIFF, and several other types of audio files.

You can edit recordings with Audacity the same way you edit text with a word processor. Audacity can cut, copy, splice, and mix sounds together. Filters are included for altering speed and pitch, adding echo or reverb, removing noise from recordings, and more. To get started, click here to download the Audacity software.

Once you have downloaded the mac version of audacity, you will need to download the LAME encoder in order to save files as MP3. MP3s are the files you need for IPODs and many Podcasts. Select the

For Audacity 1.3.3 on Mac OS X (Intel or PPC), or Audacity 1.2.6 on Mac OS X (Intel):

Mac LAME encoder download

Place the downloaded lame folder in the applications folder. Be sure to rename to libmp3lame.dylib to make the lame work with mac.

The reason for having students use free loops is to avoid copyright concerns. Click on the link below to view the fair use guidelines for educators:

Fair Use Guidelines for Educators

Before beginning a recording project in Audacity, it's necessary to set the Audacity preferences in the Edit Preferences dialog box. This ensures that the sound source and playback options are set correctly as well as bit-rate, quality indicators and more. Click on the link below and scroll down to Setting Up Audacity Preferences on Your Computer.

Setting Up Audacity Preferences on Your Computer

There are many places on the web that you can get free sound loops. Some are listed below:

Partners in Rhyme

Flash Kit

Sound Dogs

Free Play Music

The activity files and tutorials are listed below:

Audacity Activity Files

PDF Workshop Activity Files

Nicholson's Lesson Plan Blues Audacity Tutorials Page