Stardom Advice via The Book of Audacity
I was thrilled to win a copy of The Book of Audacity on the excellent website AudioTuts+ recently. It was a great excuse to become more efficient with this amazing free software program. My audio editing tasks are usually done using Ardour, a more feature-rich open source program dedicated to multitrack recording and production, but sometimes, if all you need is to do is make a few quick edits, Audacity is an easy choice. A certain amount of technical knowledge about Audacity is also a wise choice for any audio geek. It's free, open source, works on Windows, Mac, and Linux, and if you are the musician in your group of friends, there is a high chance that someone will come asking you for help using it one day. So far I haven't been reading it in a very linear fashion, which I think I best. I can't imagine ever getting around to experimenting with all of the features Audacity has to offer, but I did have a look at the chapters on Making Your Own Ringtones, Transferring Vinyl LPs to CD, and Becoming an Online Star, the latter being an unexpected perk in a book that I had assumed would be mostly technical tutorials and explanations of digital audio.
Planning your rise to fame
Becoming an Online Star, feels more like a follow up to the previous chapter on Creating Podcasts, but for me was significantly more helpful. Plenty of amateur musicians and podcast creators these days have the wherewithal to start up a new audio editing program and figure out how to put some tracks together, and online tutorials can help if you run into problems, but how to best distribute and advertise yourself on the internet is the real question. The Book of Audacity contains a wealth of good suggestions on this topic. The most informative part for me was the rundown of Online Music Distributors, which provides decent easy to understand advice and statistics for a variety of the most popular sites, accompanied by info on how to self host your own storefront.
…the book contains a great deal of information on various customizations for Mac, Windows, and Linux, and at one point sparks some interesting debate on the merit (or perceived merit) of vinyl over digital media. It also fulfills it most basic function of being a wonderful and more importantly, optimistic and fun introduction to creating audio of just about any type. Recommended for both beginner and advanced audio folk. Though I think beginners will find it most helpful. Go get it now and do something cool with Audacity!
May 3, 2011