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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Entering the Daunting World of Audio Editing
Audio engineering requires a lot of technical and artistic skills so programs like Audacity can easily overwhelm the beginner. Bethany Hiitola has done a good job of creating a usable book.

She has 10 chapters with well written step-by-step guides that show you how to set up the software, record the sound files on computer, edit and repair the sound files, add...
Published on March 30, 2010 by Chris Brooks

versus
4 of 14 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars too expensive too small
audacity is a great program
and is really easy to use

most people should not need any manual let alone a separate book -- if they have any experience with recording or are smart.

if you want to know about using audacity then you should first read the documentation on line starting with the quick start guide

playing with audacity while...
Published on March 22, 2011 by the olde professor


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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Entering the Daunting World of Audio Editing, March 30, 2010
This review is from: Getting Started with Audacity 1.3 (Paperback)
Audio engineering requires a lot of technical and artistic skills so programs like Audacity can easily overwhelm the beginner. Bethany Hiitola has done a good job of creating a usable book.

She has 10 chapters with well written step-by-step guides that show you how to set up the software, record the sound files on computer, edit and repair the sound files, add effects, and then export your final product in a variety of formats. She tries to keep jargon to a minimum but that is pretty difficult so she provides a reasonable glossary in an appendix. Chapter 9 is a great reference chapter that could easily be overlooked. It has clear details on all the Audacity effects and how to apply them - it would have been more accessible as an appendix.

There are two traps for young players that are not dealt with adequately in the book: Firstly, there are only sketchy notes on what sample rates, sample formats and bit rates mean - these are things you have to select when you save a file and are totally daunting to a beginner. Secondly, there is no discussion of the pros and cons of working files in the most commonly used file formats of wav and mp3. Specifically, editing in mp3 is `lossy' which means that information can be lost every time you save a file, so it is better to edit in wav format and export into mp3 as the last step.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ideal for the novice in audio editing, March 17, 2010
By 
This review is from: Getting Started with Audacity 1.3 (Paperback)
A few months ago I was approached by the good folks at Packt Publishing to do a technical review of their brand new book "Getting Started with Audacity 1.3".

Throughout the time I spent reviewing the chapters, I found the book to be interesting and very readable, proposing projects that were both easy to do and immediately compelling, such as creating and editing useful soundbits from a ringtone to creating a podcast complete with a phone interview. I even used what I had learned to create my own ringtones: the first chords of "Fortunate Son" by Creedence for one, and a few bars of the main theme from the film "Ponyo on the Cliff by the Sea" for another.

I recommend this book for those that want to create or edit their own soundbits and don't know how. It is the perfect introduction to audio editing. The fact that the app used is available on the three major operating systems for free, and that it has an intuitive interface is a major boon.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent step-by-step guide to audio editing with Audacity, June 22, 2010
This review is from: Getting Started with Audacity 1.3 (Paperback)
I use Audacity on my multimedia journalism courses and, with just one reservation, I'd recommend this book highly. It's a great starter guide.

FOR

Very clear, step-by-step approach (about 200 mono pages with screenshots, plus numerous hints and tips along the way)

An ideal starting point for online journalists, bloggers and students. (Includes easy-to-follow advice on using Skype/Audacity to record interviews and how to submit podcast-ready audio files to iTunes)

Very good chapters on `beyond the basics' (how to use echo, EQ, compression, ducking etc).

Helpful guide to output file formats and how to extend Audacity with plugins and libraries.

AGAINST

The price. Sorry, but an RRP of £24.99 ($39.99 US) is a bit too steep, in my view. However, an e-book version is available on the Packt website and watch out for Amazon deals.

VERDICT

This book will have you weaving audio magic in no time ... if you can afford it.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great intro for beginners, May 16, 2010
This review is from: Getting Started with Audacity 1.3 (Paperback)
What's the most intimidating about audio editing software is its interface. You can find a lot of audio editing software, but none of them looks intuitive. One reason you think so is that you don't know about digital audio itself. I could understand some of the interfaces such as the playback button and the record button, but everything else is incomprehensible. Audacity is not the exception in that regard. What is worse, Audacity is cross-platform open source software. What's wrong with "open source" and "cross-platform"? The user interface of most of such software are terrible. A platform-specific program may have a guideline to follow. For example, Apple has a human interface guideline. But it is impossibly difficult to do the same for open source cross-platform software for a few reasons. Some are purely technical and others are more of cultural and political. It is difficult to find an interface designer that contributes to the open source community. As a result, programmers create everything.

The book introduces Audacity of this complexity and confusion in a very easy-to-follow manner. Throughout the book each platform (Mac, Windows and Linux) is well taken care of. For example, a) installation of Audacity, Skype (used to record the audio), Audacity plug-ins and b) keyboard shortcuts are explained well enough for each OS. I didn't need to spend a time on Google at all. After explaining installation and basic usage, the author introduces a sample project. That is making a podcast with the audio you record with a Skype interview. From recording to publishing. The final outcome is really a podcast. The author introduces how to add background music, export the entire audio and publish to the iTunes. So remember that this book doesn't end with very basic cutting and pasting. You will learn different techniques to make your audio more professional including how to remove the noise, adjusting the audio level strategically and softening annoying sounds like "sh" and "ch".

There is no required knowledge to read the book. The author avoids jargons where possible, and, when a term is introduced, she explains it in details. Additionally, the glossary of terms is placed at the end of the book. The language used in the book is simple. No dictionary is necessary. Many screenshots visually help understanding. All the screenshots are taken using Mac, but the author reminds the reader of potential differences across the platforms. I'm sure users without access to Mac can go through the book without a hassle.

Even if you are already an Audacity user, you'll find explanation of effects quite useful. However, unfortunately this book is not meant to be a comprehensive guide for every single feature in Audacity. When I browse through all the menu items, some items aren't mentioned in the book. For example, generators and sound activation are not refered to.

In summary, the book explains the basics of Audacity very well for beginners and intermediate users. After finishing the book, you will have a good understanding of its interface and usage, which is complicated by nature. The interface ugliness won't change, but the interface doesn't intimidate any more after you finish this book.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great hands-on approach, plus a great user/developer community, April 28, 2010
This review is from: Getting Started with Audacity 1.3 (Paperback)
Some months ago I was asked to be a technical reviewer for the, now recently published, book "Getting Started with Audacity 1.3'. I have to tell you, guys, not only Packt Publishing is a great company, which provides EXCELLENT tools for authors and reviewers to work with, but boy they know what books to publish!

Reviewing this book was a real pleasure, so I'm now publishing this blog entry so I can try and get you to buy the book (which is available both hardcopy and as DRM-free PDF ebook!)

So, why should you buy this book?

* It's straight-forward, no-nonsense. You get hands-on from the first chapter.
* You can read my name in page 4, that's SURELY an incentive :P Kill me.
* Chapter 3 is packed with "How to record Interviews" tips.
* Chapter 4 goes on to editing, effectively changing the recorded interview to a real PODCAST!
* Chapter 5 goes straight into Noise Removal.

As you can see, just if you read chapters 1 to 5 (or skip straight to 3 if you are good with GUIs), you'll get a real sense of what working with audio is, which will probably make the following chapters more interesting:

* Exporting to MP3
* Advanced Audio Editing
* Effects and background music

In a nutshell, it's a really good book on using Free/Libre Open Source Software to create a professional Podcast. The great oriented approach of the book, plus the AWESOME, HUGE Audacity Community, makes this book a great buy.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good Reference, March 13, 2012
By 
A. Lawless (North-Central Missouri) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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This review is from: Getting Started with Audacity 1.3 (Paperback)
Being a noob at the whole recording thing, I needed something a little more involved than the Audacity online help file. This reference works well for my level of expertise, which is limited.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent starter info, February 13, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Getting Started with Audacity 1.3 (Paperback)
Great resource for getting started with Audacity. Book contains detailed yet comprehensible explanations of software features along with images/screenshots for further clarity.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A Good Introduction To Aucacity, January 5, 2015
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If you have never looked at an audio editor before, your first look at Audacity can be a little over-whelming.
Here's a book that is by no means exhaustive, but is a pretty good introduction to Audacity. It's a combination of guided tour and tutorial. Easy to read and grasp the basic concepts of audio editing with Audacity.
Audacity is another example of the superb open source software that keeps Microsoft et al grinding their collective molars.
I'd give this book another star but I think the author spends too much time explaining where to find Audacity and installing it. The meat of the book is cerainly worthwhile.
The book covers an older version of Audacity, but the fundamentals are the same.
BTW it is usually a better choice to get the ebook version. Packt print copies do not have color illustrations. The ebook versions do.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Where This Piece Fits in the Puzzle, August 27, 2010
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This review is from: Getting Started with Audacity 1.3 (Paperback)
This is an outstanding book, particularly for beginners in audio mixing. How you use it depends on your objectives. To start, the author assumes Audacity will be used for podcasts-- mostly, in other words, VOICE applications. Whether recording a course, sermon, lecture, speech... etc., Bethany assumes your major application will be voice and podcasts. Indeed, this is how Audacity got started as a stand alone, FREE, recording and mixing program, so it is not surprising that Bethany doesn't cover a lot of the areas to which Audacity has now evolved in music and multimedia mixing and integration, file format exchanges, etc. It is now a WONDERFUL tool for far more than voice recording.

Let's look at the components of an entire production system for a second. You have inputs, imports, exports and outputs. Let's say you are mixing a production for your own website, youtube, or a podcast. Your production has ALL the elements of a multimedia production:

1. A track you create with a M-Audio Axiom 25 Advanced 25-Key USB MIDI Controller, 2nd Gen, or recording from your own Yamaha YPT-220 61 Key Personal Keyboard with AC Adapter, Deluxe Keyboard Stand and Professional Headphones or band.
2. A track that you sing or speak, using a microphone or microphones.
3. A track of loops from a software program like Sony Acid Music Studio 8.0.
4. A video track from your Flip UltraHD Camcorder, 120 Minutes (White) recorder.
5. Sound effects or parts of song tracks you upload from a free website like Jamendo (which Beth metions on page 139).

Where does Audacity, and Bethany's book fit?

The components you will need to "do it right" (professionally) are:

1. A PC or laptop
2. Music composing, integrating or looping software running on your PC, such as ACID and Finale SongWriter 2010
3. A physical mixer like the Tascam X-17 offered on Amazon
4. Your free Audacity software from audacity dot com (about which this book is written)
5. Video processor and integrator Sony Vegas Movie Studio HD Platinum 10 Suite like Sony Vegas

To combine the two lists above, you record your voice, music, band, etc. through the physical Tascam DP 008 Multi-Track Digital Recorder 4-Piece Bundle, or directly into Audacity. You then upload your video files from your flip or video recorder, with or without sound. You create a folder on your PC (eg: desktop or documents) (NOT in Audacity at first) called "Project X." Project X contains all the files that you created or imported onto your PC from your physical mixer, directly recording onto your PC, loops and compositions you chose from your composition software, your flip file, etc.

Next, you forget the video file for a second, open Audacity, and IMPORT all the other files, as tracks, that you saved in your master folder-- this will create the "audio" part of your production. Notice that your physical mixer and even other software programs like your composing program (Finale, etc.) can also perform a lot of the functions that Audacity performs, but Audacity is a GREAT integrator of file formats, especially at the finishing stages when you want to export them all in a single file type like an MP3 or input for your video editor.

This is where Bethany's book comes in-- it shows you many of the effects you can use on multiple tracks. Remember, it mostly focuses 90% on voice, but there are a few pages on music and external files, and the effects (fade ins, overtracking, etc.) apply equally to music as voice. But don't be disappointed when you find only a small section here on music!

Finally, EXPORT your finished audio file as INPUT for your video editing software to integrate your flip video so you have both sound and picture. Your video software is the place to strip off the flip audio if you want to use your Audacity audio instead. Note: you won't be able to edit individual tracks in your video software if you combined them into one file type in Audacity!

Your production is now ready for Youtube, your own web server, a cd, to email, etc!

We just wanted to give you context so you don't think that this wonderful free mixer/recorder is all you need, or that this book covers all aspects of putting together a production. The Complete Idiot's Guide to Home Recording Illustrated (The Complete Idiot's Guide) or PC Recording Studios For Dummies (BEST ONE) series is wonderful for integrating those aspects of home recording.
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Plain Language Primer, April 19, 2010
This review is from: Getting Started with Audacity 1.3 (Paperback)
The book is written in a clear, concise manner with clean screen captures to illustrate each section from setting up a project to the final touches on a podcast as you follow along with exercises. By the time you finish working through this book, you'll have a good grasp of the basics of the audacity recording/editing software no matter what you intend to record through it

I'm a podcaster, and I'll be honest, I've had problems routing & recording skype interviews via the program audiohijack, so, I was very excited to find this book and it's excellent and less stressful method for recording a skype interview to Audacity.
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Getting Started with Audacity 1.3
Getting Started with Audacity 1.3 by Bethany Hiitola (Paperback - March 2, 2010)
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