Recording my own audio book

Hi there, I was just wondering if anyone could give me some advise.
I have downloaded Audacity on my Mac laptop and I have installed LAME. Everything is working super and I have no problem converting my files to MP3 format.
I am recording some old books for my mum, as they are not avail to buy on MP3 or CD/cassette. While I am an ok reader, I often stumble and make a mistake. Does anyone know how I can correct these mistakes easily? I am finding it rather difficult to put down the book, press stop and try and find the mistake and re record it. Surely there must be an easier way? (btw I tried to re record, and I ended up with two versions!).

Is Audacity the best kind of prog for this kind of thing, or should I be trying something else? Anyone have any ideas? Or even some tips and tricks for this kind of project. Its the first time I am trying this out!!!

thanks in advance

I was hoping Audacity would let me add a label at any point during a recording. It may still and I just haven’t figured out how to do it.

Audacity isn’t a tape machine where you can back it up and record over the mistake. However, it is a killer post production editor, so that’s the direction to go.

When you make a mistake, smack the microphone lightly with a pencil to get a large waveform target and speak the last sentence over again, correcting the mistake. Complete the performance and go looking for all those pencil smacks. They should stick up over the voice waves. Zoom in and remove the smack and the bad performance. Zoom out and look for the next one.

View the whole show and find the first smack. Drag-Select before and after the smack. Apple/Control-E zoom into the selection. Edit your brains out. Apple/Control-F zoom Full to the whole show. Also Apple/Control-3 to zoom out slightly.

After you get the show so it’s perfect in every possible way, Save the Project and then Export As WAV. This is an important step as Audacity Projects are not deliverable sound files. This WAV file is the Clear, Perfect Edit Master, not the Project. Back it up to a safety drive or storage medium (which you can’t do with a Project).

Then, after all that, you can re-Export As MP3 if you feel like it. MP3 is a delivery format, WAV is a production format.

When you go back in six months and discover that none of your Projects open up any more, you can open up the high quality WAV file of the performance from the backup drive.


@Koz: It does allow you to do that - just type CTRL+M and Audacity will lay down a marker (actually a label) at the current position.

@Jen - use the CTRL+M marker (be kinder to your mic - you don’t need to hit it :slight_smile: ) - and then follow the rest of Koz’ excellent advice …


Hi, Thank you borth Koz and WC. Those are some really helpful suggestions.

I have figured out how delete sections of my recording. pretty basic really! :blush: (my problem was that I hadnt zoomed in enough to see the stream of audio to select to delete DUH).

I am not actually using an external mike. My macbook has a mic built in. I have only recorded 15 mins audio so far, and I will save and export it as an mp3 file after 30 mins. I will add it to my ipod and have a listen to the sound quality after that (I have been listening as I have been recording as well). Do you think it would be ok to record without one?

WOW, its a long process and actually very tiring. The text that I am using is quite antiquated with makes everything harder

anyway thanks again :smiley:


since your delivery device is an iPod, why are you using MP3? Why not export from Audacity as uncompressed WAV and then import into your iTunes library as AAC?

Bitrate for bitrate (and size for size) AAC is reckoned to deliver better audio than MP3. You would only need MP3 if you want/need to distribute the output to folks who do not use iTunes/iPods.


Good point. To be honest I am not bothered to read the book, its for my mum. She has an MP3 Player. So I am only exporting it to my ipod to see what the volume and to check that everything is ok! I will be deleting it when I have finished my project :smiley:


I am New macbook user, I have downloaded Audacity and I will like to know where to begin
I use Serato (2 years) and I have transitioned to Mac, I play Universal music and i am interested in the
recording process
When I connect to Serato and prepare to record my set where do I begin
I learn quick and I need some useful tips, I have my crates ready and I
want to make me a CD/presskit for marketing


Hmm. I’m not sure that I’d want to be “smacking” my expensive microphone with anything like that. I baby these things and try NOT to overdrive them mechanically. There has to be another way.


Have a look at the “Tips” and the “Tutorials” section of the Audacity wiki (links at top of page).
A good basic introduction is here: