START a new Audacity Project

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Audacity Workshop

Everyone has to begin somewhere. Starting a new project is Step 1.

IMPORTANT TERMINOLOGY:

Be aware of the differences between a PROJECT and a FILE:

  • PROJECT: A project is your workspace. Envision yourself building a birdhouse in your garage. You have a workspace with a workbench and all your tools. This is where you work on your PROJECT
  • FILE: A file, in terms of Audacity, is a piece of audio used in a project. In our example of building the birdhouse: A FILE can be one of the pieces of the birdhouse such as the roof or the pieces that make up the walls. If you have a section of audio recorded elsewhere, such as from Riverside.fm or your iPhone or a digital recorder then you will need to bring the audio FILE into your Audacity PROJECT.

HOW TO CREATE A NEW AUDACITY PROJECT

To start a brand new Audacity Project (can also be referred to as a “session“):

Option 1: Click on the Audacity icon in your Toolbar/Dock

Option 2: Search for Audacity in your Applications, then open it

Option 3: If Audacity is already open and you want to create a second Project, select File in the Menu bar and then “New”

Tip: Keyboard shortcut CTRL-N will also create an additional Audacity Project if Audacity is already open

HOW TO OPEN A SAVED AUDACITY PROJECT

Option 1: Open in the File menu under “Open Recent”

  • On a Mac it is under File > Open Recent
  • On a Windows machine, File > Recent Files

Option 2: Find the saved project on your computer and double-click the .aup3 icon

Option 3: In Audacity’s File menu, click “Open”, then search your computer for the .aup3 file

BRINGING NEW FILES INTO YOUR AUDACITY PROJECT

If you are going to work with an audio file that already exists on your computer then:

Option 1: Drag-and-Drop the audio file into a New Audacity Project window

Option 2: Select the file on your computer, right click, and select “Open with Audacity”

Option 3: Select “File” in the Menu Bar, and then select “Open”

Option 4: File > Import > Audio (or Raw Data, but in rare cases)

Tip: Keyboard shortcut CTRL-O will open the “File>Open” option to help you search your computer

DEFAULT SETTINGS TO OPEN AUDIO FILES IN AUDACITY

The fastest way to open a file in a new Audacity project is to double-click the file on your computer. However, if doing so opens the file in another program then you will need to decide if you want to change your computer’s default settings to Audacity.

WARNING: THIS WILL CHANGE THE WAY ALL AUDIO FILES ARE OPENED ON YOUR COMPUTER

On a Mac:

On a Windows machine:

  • Find an audio file on your computer (usually mp3 or wav)
  • Right-click, select “Open With”
  • Select Audacity or drop down to “Other” and search for Audacity in your Applications folder
  • To permanently open with Audacity check the “Always Open With” box
  • Click “Open”
  • Find the file on your computer
  • Right-click, select Properties
  • Click the “Change” button next to “Opens With:”
  • Select Audacity or “Browse” for Audacity program on your hard drive
  • Click “Open”
  • Click “Apply”, then “OK”

How to change the
“Opens with” default
on a Windows machine

You’re viewing the free preview of the Audacity Workshop. Take your learning further by purchasing the full standalone course (or joining the Podcast Editor Academy for this and so much more).

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