Narration Stuff – Audacity Shortcuts and 30 Seconds of Room Tone

A collection of stuff so I can find it later.

Room Tone file and Noise Reduction

  • Room tone is solely the sound of your environment once you’ve cleared all the elements you can control (like buzzing lights, fans, vents, etc.).
  • Make all the recording adjustments (recording level, gain, etc.) you plan to use for your recording.
  • Make a 35-second recording.
  • Trim beginning and end so you don’t include the clicks and movements associated with starting/stopping the recording.
  • Final recording should be somewhere between 10 and 30 seconds.
  • Re-record whenever you enter a new recording environment, or if you move your mic.

Noise is anything beyond what you’re trying to capture — like the sound of a laptop while trying to record your voice. Make sure the room tone file is free of bumps, stomach gurgles, and any other evidence of your presence.  Using this “blank” file, you’ll be able to create a noise profile you can use for cleaning up the sound in later recordings.

Caveat: I’m not sure if a long average (30 seconds of room noise) is more or less reliable for noise reduction than 5 seconds before and after the recording done that day. For example, there’s ambient birdsong in April that wouldn’t add to the noise profile for a December recording. This will be an ongoing experiment.

Audacity Keyboard Shortcuts

Recording Shortcuts Function
 P Pause
 R Record
 Spacebar Play/Stop (toggle)
 B Play from Cursor to Selection
 1 1 second preview
Navigation Shortcuts Function
 CTRL + 1  Zoom In
 CTRL + 2  Zoom Normal
 CTRL + 3  Zoom Out
 CTRL + E  Zoom To Selection
 CTRL + F  Fit In Window
 CTRL + Shift + F  Fit Vertically
 CTRL + R  Repeat Last Effect
Save/File Shortcuts Function
 CTRL + I  Import Audio
 CTRL + N  New Project
 CTRL + O  Open Project
 CTRL + S  Save Project
 CTRL + W  Close Project
 CTRL + P (CMD + ,)  Audacity Preferences
Editing Shortcuts Function
 F1  Selection Tool
 F2  Envelope Tool
 F3  Draw Tool
 F4  Zoom Tool
 F5  Time Shift Tool
 F6  Multi-Tool Mode
 D  Next Tool
 A  Previous Tool

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