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Creating Audio

Audio can be used in numerous academic contexts, from music and language instruction to archival recordings of lectures (we’ll take a look at a “field recording” example below). Making audio content available online can be an excellent way to reach students, who can listen from any location and at any time via the Internet. Students increasingly expect this content to be available to them, and, fortunately, the means of distribution are increasingly becoming easier to use.

Potential Uses

Use it to provide audio supplements to your online environment.

  • provide students with a study aid they can review after lecture
  • enable students to review the lecture in preparation for discussion and debate
  • demonstrate a task, procedure, or complex concept that would benefit from multimedia presentation and/or the ability to watch repeatedly
  • use on an ongoing basis as a reference for students

Use it as a tool for students projects or assignments


  • Whether it’s an audio file from the course management system, linked from a web page, or delivered via a podcast platform, learners can listen almost anywhere.
  • Even a smart phone can create good quality digital audio files you can share or edit into a larger audio production.
  • Learners can replay portions of audio for clarification or review as they need.


  • Because students are listening at their convenience, their ability to ask questions or participate in discussion is limited
  • Visual cues that may accompany in-person delivery are generally lost


Download an audio editing application

Using multi-track audio editing software you can combine and layer multiple audio files. There are many options available. Audacity is the most popular, free, cross-platform tool that has all the feature you need to create a audio clips.

This website provides clear explanations on how to use Audacity …and how to record a podcast with Audacity.

Record your voice

If you keep a few simple principles in mind, you can create a good, clear recording. The further away you are from the mic, the more you will record the space around you. A good starting distance is about 5 inches. Watch this video for more about mic placement.

Find free music for your productions

You may also want to incorporate some music into your audio clips. It’s always important to keep copyright in mind as you decide what music you use. There are several places online that provide free music. Below are two places to get you started.

Convert your audio file

Depending on how you intend to deliver your audio, it may be necessary to convert your recording to a specific format (podcasts, for instance, must be saved in the .MP3 file format). These two web sites allow you do convert your audio online for free.