Recording Audio

How to Record a Lecture as a Podcast Episode

Teaching with Technology Today

Recording AudioAdding audio clips, known as podcast episodes, to your course is a great way  of providing your online students with on-demand lecture content. They are relatively easy to produce and can benefit both the student and instructor.   For example, Podcasts are great for promoting self-paced learning.

In this month’s “How To” I will walk you through the process of recording an MP3 audio clip. Watch for next month’s issue, where I will share with you some best practice tips for adding and managing these audio files in your course content.

Step 1: Download Audacity® and the MP3 Encoder Plugin

To record audio from your computer, you will need a recording program.  I recommend downloading the free audio recording and editing program called Audacity® to your PC or MAC computer.  Go to to download and install the this  software for your type of computer. It is available in several versions for Windows, Mac, and Linux/Unix computer operating systems.

To make your audio recordings accessible on any computer, you will need to download and install  LAME MP3 Encoder plug-in for Audacity®.  MP3 audio files are the best format for accessibility across computers, laptops, and mobile devices.

Step 2: Connect a Microphone to Your Computer

Once the program is installed, connect a microphone to the computer. It is recommended that you use a high-quality microphone, such as an easy-to-use Snowball microphone available to faculty for check-out through the Faculty Resource Center.

Step 3: Make a Recording

  1. OPEN your Audacity® program and position your connected microphone within speaking distance.
  2. CHECK the MICROPHONE MENU to make sure the program will use the microphone you connected. Make sure your microphone is selected
  3. In the program, notice that there is a panel of playback buttons located under the program’s menu bar. CLICK the red RECORD button to begin recording your podcast episode.
  4. While Audacity® is recording, a new audio track will appear. The blue graphics that appear are a visual representation of your recording as it happens, also known as waveforms. They are a good indication that your microphone is working and recording your audio. The moving red arrow and line is the playhead; it signifies the progression of your recording on the audio track’s timeline.  Recording in Progress
  5. When you are done recording, click the yellow STOP button located in the playback controls. To review your recording, either click the green PLAY button or press your keyboard’s space-bar.
  6. To save and export your recording as an MP3, locate FILE in the program’s menu bar and click on it. From the pop-up menu, select EXPORT.   Select File > Export
  7. In the Export File window that appears, choose a location to save your file. Then, give your file a logical name and select MP3 FILES from the SAVE AS TYPE menu. Click the SAVE button.  Save for file as an MP3
  8. An EDIT METADATA FORM will appear. If you would like to label your audio recording with this additional
    information, complete the form. However, you must CLICK OK to generate your file. Edit Metadata, then click "Ok"
  9. The file will be generated and saved to the specified location.Finished Audio File