University at Buffalo
Department of


Art & Design

Art History

Visual Studies

I Can! Sound Art

Instructor: Domenic J. Licata
Twitter: @djlicata
ubART Twitter: @ubdeptART

This class will explore the qualities of sound, both analog and digital, using a waveform editor to cut and remix audio samples.

We will combine a brief lecture and a demo of Audacity to:

  • identify terms used in sound art and digital audio processing
  • learn what a waveform tells us about an audio sample
  • create a multitrack soundscape
  • output audio to WAV files

> Keynote Presentation

Step-by-step Instructions

Follow along with the instructor through the Keynote Presentation and the below steps.

  1. Create a New file
    Name it [your_last_name].aup and Save As… to your Desktop.When Audacity asks if you want to Save all Audio into your project, answer Yes.Note that Audacity saves out two elements: a Project file (.aup) and a Data folder. The data folder may contain numerous sound samples. The .aup file and its accompanying data folder must always be moved together, and never renamed.
  2. Record audio using the Mac’s internal microphone
    Press the Pause and the Record buttons (with the red circle).
    Notice the red meter indicating how loud your recording will be. The line should max out about 3/4 of the way to the right edge.
    Hit the Pause button to start recording.
    Speak your name a few other brief words.
    You can always Undo Record if you don’t like the results.
    Save your document.
  3. Selecting parts of your soundwaves
    Watch the instructor demonstrate how to select parts of your track.
    Select all or portions of the track and experiment with applying the following Effects. Stop when you’ve altered the sample into something interesting.Reverse
    Change Speed
    Change Pitch
    Change Tempo
    Fade In/Out
  4. Download this archive of sounds and import them into your project,
  5. Edit and Mix
    cutting, adding effects, and moving the sounds around into different layers.
  6. Experiment with each tracks Gain “loudness”.
  7. Pan some tracks to the left, some to the right.
  8. Export the Audacity file to WAV
    Go to File, Export. Choose WAV. Hit OK. Audacity project files must be converted to Mp3 or WAV in order to be used by other programs.
202 Center for the Arts, North Campus
Buffalo, New York 14260-6010
(716) 645-6878
(716) 645-6970 fax
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