Audacity was used to edit an Echo360 audio recording of a lecture, to slice out and clean up 1-2 minute audio clips (approximately 35 per lecture) which could be associated with slides for an online version of the lecture – two such online lectures have been created for Phase 2 Medicine which are available via Moodle and can be viewed on any device. It was chosen over other tools as it is free, quite easy to use, works in the same way across Mac and PC and had previously been used, thus was a familiar technology. It has features such as the ability to “zoom in” on the timeline for the audio track or to neatly chop out any background coughs, speaker hesitations and long silences while waiting for a student response, that help make the clip sound professional. It is also easy to adjust volume levels for the clips so that they match.
Although the audio does not have significant intrinsic value, it is important in the context of the online lectures. Good clean audio adds to the professional “look and feel” of the online lectures. The starting point for these clips was a live lecture and thus the recording was of lesser quality than would be possible in a studio, but this was not seen as a disadvantage as it made it feel more “real”.
Good audio editing is painstaking work regardless of the tool, but using Audacity for these online lectures has proven that it is more than good enough and will be the choice of audio editing tool again in the future.
A sample of the audio file:
A demo of the audio file open in Audacity: