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Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Audacity: Another Option for Your Poor Audio

Last week, Mandi covered the basics of poor audio and what Express Scribe can do for you here. However, Express Scribe can sometimes distort audio just enough depending on the reason it is poor and can actually hinder your ability to hear the words correctly. When I find this to be the case, I turn to Audacity to see if it can't boost my audio without distorting it.

Audacity is a free program that allows you to make several editing changes to your audio file. I have found the Amplify function to be very useful in increasing the volume of a file without distorting the audio or making background noise louder. I have the beta 1.3.5 version downloaded to my computer.

You can load your audio into Audacity by dragging and dropping the file into the window.

Then go to Effects and down to Amplify. Here you can see the full list of effects Audacity offers. I have only played around with a few, but I'd love to learn how to utilize some of the others more effectively.

After opening Amplify you can set the decibel level and test to see if is loud enough. If there is silence at the beginning of your file you won't be able to test and will need to guess to reach the right level. Be sure to check the "Allow Clipping" box and hit OK.

After you've amplified your audio you can export it and then load it into Express Scribe or your other player as usual. The process can take a few minutes to complete, and I usually try to do this while I'm planning on taking a break so my computer works while I rest.


margi said...

Just exactly what I needed today. Thanks!

margi said...

For video files, I have been trying out GoldWave; I'll let you know how it works!

Shaina said...

When I was looking for a video converter I considered GoldWave; however, I was told about Magic Video Studio by Cerene on the Transcription Essentials forum and went that way instead, which has been a lifesaver several times over. I am interested to know how you find GoldWave for editing video, though, so be sure to update us.

margi said...

Well, fooey. GoldWave fixed the audio but I don't have the foggiest notion how to add/replace the original audio - nor do I have the time to try.

I did download Magic Video on your recommendation; so thanks!

(I tried to post a response yesterday but Blogger was being cranky.)