Screencast: Creating Sound Effects with Audacity

Hello all,

I am involved with some local groups that produce audio theater, both as podcasts and as live re-creations of classic radio scripts. If you’ve ever heard of Second Shift (, I produced most of it using Audacity. Mastering an hour-long audio drama is admittedly not really what it’s designed for, but I worked with what I had at the time.

I recently participated in a free workshop on using free/cheap software to produce audio (mainly Audacity for processing, and Reaper for mastering), which seemed quite well-received. The thing is, I’m completely self-taught, and I’m sure I’m still missing a lot, so I wanted to run my presentation by the folks here to see if anyone had comments or suggestions for future iterations. I’ve put together a site with screencasts of my part of the workshop, which covered processing sounds you can record around the house to make more complex effects. You can find the page here:

The success of the workshop got me thinking: the medium of audio allows a great ratio of creative output to monetary input. In other words, once some basic hardware is acquired, most of what one needs is time and imagination to make a wide variety of things, from plays to documentaries. It seems to me that this could provide a valuable creative outlet particularly for low-income students, provided a resource existed that could give them access to a computer, some decent mics, and some training. I’m currently talking to some people from schools and after-school programs in my area (near Boston). If anyone out there has done anything like this before, I would love to hear from you!


“Part 2: Creating the Bomb Effect”

There is a plugin for Audacity to make explosion/fire/rocket sounds …

You could of course mix these synthesized explosion sounds with real recorded sounds.