In addition to the links and resources listed below, we highly recommend checking out the LyndaLibrary training videos available for free through the Library's website. LyndaLibrary has an excellent introduction to Audacity video, as well as a large number of videos about recording and mixing techniques, and tutorials on other audio software.
This website offers a brief overview of Audacity, from the perspective of using it as a tool for digital storytelling.
There are a number of forums online that are dedicated to the art and science of home recording. The ones listed here are active and full of people with various levels of recording knowledge, from neophytes to professional audio engineers. They can be great places to ask questions and discover new techniques.
This forum tends to be more focused on electronic music production, but contains a lot of good general information as well. A number of music software companies host their official support forums on this site.
Some extra background information on subjects related to audio recording.
This website offers a lot of advice for people thinking of making their own recording studio at home. Written in a casual style, it covers a broad range of subjects and makes specific recommendations for equipment. While any guide like this has its own biases and idiosyncrasies, the advice here is generally solid and helpful.
If you'd like to build some of your own gear, there are websites that will show you ways to do it.
A pop filter is used between your mouth and the microphone to help tame those forceful rushes of air that often occur when saying or singing words that start with a 'p' or 'b' sound. They can be very useful when you're recording vocals or speech, and it doesn't cost a lot to make one for yourself.
This forum post on Gearslutz.com describes (with pictures) how one individual built his own inexpensive vocal booth using PVC piping and moving blankets.
The Winnipeg Public Library carries a number of books about audio recording, mixing, mastering, and other related subjects. The books most directly related to audio recording can be found under the subject heading "Sound - Recording and Reproducing". The books listed below are ones we particularly recommend.
A clever resource for the ever-growing home recording market. The revised edition is updated with a greater focus on digital recording techniques, the most powerful tools available to the home recordist. There are chapters devoted to instrument recording, humanizing drum patterns, mixing with plug-ins and virtual consoles, and a new section on using digital audio skills. And since, many true "Guerrillas" still record to analog tape, we have retained the best of that world. This edition features many more graphics than in the original edition, further enforcing Guerrilla Home Recording 's reputation as the most readable, user-friendly recording title on the market.
Written by an award-winning, highly respected professional, Mastering Audio gives you a thorough introduction to the unique procedures and technical issues involved in mastering. Suitable for all levels of students and professionals, it is ideal for anyone who wants to increase their mastery of digital and analog audio: musicians, producers, A&R, mastering, recording, and mixing engineers. Fully updated to cover the latest technologies, Mastering Audio discusses audio philosophy and art: sequencing, levelling, processing; how to make a record album radio-ready; and mixing as it relates to mastering. Divided into five parts, the book begins with the basics--monitoring, mastering techniques, useful tutorials, and the fundamentals of dithering and decibels--then moves on to more advanced concepts, such as jitter and clocking, monitor calibration, and multi channel audio, miking, and acoustics. Leading-edge audio concepts are explained in an easy-to-grasp style. Including practical tips and real-world experiences, Bob Katz explains the technical detail of the subject in his informative and humorous style.
The slides and handout from the Basic Home Recording and Editing workshop are available to view online or to download, if you wish.
The 4-page guide to the editing commands in Audacity used for the workshop.
Answers to some questions asked at previous Basic Home Recording and Editing workshops.
Which iOS apps would be good for recording interviews and conversation on an iPhone?
The iPhone comes with a built in app called Voice Memos which can do a fine job of recording conversations and interviews. It saves in the m4a format. You can email the m4a format to yourself, or you can import the audio to your computer via iTunes. Audacity can import m4a files if you download one of the optional libraries available for free from the Audacity website.
There are a number of free and paid recording apps available for iOS as well - I added a link to one free and well-reviewed app below that can save in WAV format and has multiple ways to transfer the audio to your computer.
Some apps on iOS allow you to edit the audio files, but I've always found it easier to do any serious editing on a computer. The screen on an iPhone or iPod Touch is too small for many to work comfortably.
Can you use Audacity to convert records and tapes to digital audio?
Yes, absolutely. The Audacity Manual includes a tutorial on doing exactly that, and it goes into a fair amount of detail on the subject. I've also linked to another tutorial which includes a 20-minute video going over the various steps involved.