Audacity as learning aid

I’ve been a low-key Audacity user for a few years. An incredible resource. I’d like to share one use that has helped me immensely with my guitar lessons.
I record the lesson on my iPhone ( I use AudioNotes probably any recording app will do). I then transfer to my laptop - usually an mp3 and open in Audacity. I then listen to segments of the lesson and hit “Cmd-period” whenever the teacher says something significant or demonstrates a passage. This generates entries in a “label track” that I can annotate with descriptions of the event. He also writes notes in a notebook that I can associate with a particular event time in the timeline which I jot besides his notes. If he demonstrates a segment of music, I can quickly set up a looped region and use it as a backing track. I find myself going back to previous lessons when I have time, and getting more out of them as I advance.

I’d be interested in hearing how others use Audacity to help with learning.

Thanks for posting the tips pslebow. If you have more tips, feel free to post them :slight_smile:

I think this post might include a solution to my problems, but I am not certain that it is or exactly how to implement the solution.

First the “must have.”

I am looking at taking a sample in one language as an example and I want to allow students to see the trace for that output and then repeat the material being able to see the differences between their trace and that of the target example.

This would be even better if I can put them on the same axis in different colours. The objective is to have the students able to see the differences and be able to experiment on their own to try to mimic the sounds. This would also help with stress and rhythm and all those other good things.

A “nice to have” would be if I could put the actual words under the traces so the student could actually see the target words as individual parts of the traces.

I should think this must be very handy with people learning musical instruments (as I would love to do) and probably for any number of other ideas that I cannot think of.

I have looked in the forums and do not see anything that is closer to my situation. Either this is because it is already there and clear to anybody not so stupid as I or it cannot be done with Audacity.

I have used Audacity on and off for many years, but am, at best, a very casual user. I mostly use it to improve podcasts or to record from streams, so I am really not very adept. I am a new member of the forums, simply because my previous usage has always been so very straightforward.

Thanks for your help

You could do something similar to that with a bit of effort. For example, you could record the first phrase, then repeat it twice (using the “Repeat” effect Repeat - Audacity Manual), then record the next phrase, and repeat that twice, and so on.
The student, equipped with headphones and microphone, start recording to a new track, and listen to the phrase the first time it is spoken, then speak it along with the two repeats, then on to the next phrase.

That would give you two track: the original (upper) track is the teacher’s voice, and the lower track is the student’s voice.

See: Audio Tracks - Audacity Manual

See: Label Tracks - Audacity Manual

Cheers for that!

I am embarrassed to see that the majority of my problem was covered in the manual. I thought I had carefully gone through the manual looking for items that would be of use. Obviously I was less than sharp when I did so. Your suggestions are clear and obvious when I look now. I am sitting here coloured a deep shade of stupid!

Thanks again, and sorry for being so very dense in the first place.

Don’t worry about it - I’ve been using Audacity for years, so I know what to look for :wink:

Audacity is definitely great for learning - one cool thing you can do is have beginner students (primarily guitar and piano) learn easy parts that just use the bass, tenor, alto, and soprano ranges. Record all of the parts. Then upload as mp3 and layer them. Definitely a bit of a challenge, but it really helps them learn to count properly, and you can get a cool-sounding piece without them having to move all up and down the keyboard/fretboard in one go.

Hi pslebow! That is a great idea. I am going to try it in my lessons too.