Audacity Setup and Configuration

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For many users, Audacity will just work "out of the box", and you can immediately begin playing and recording. However, because there are so many different types of computers and ways to configure computers, some users may need to set up Audacity the first time they use it.

Setting Your Audacity Preferences

The main place to set up Audacity and customize it to work the way that you require is to use Audacity's Preferences dialog screens.

Preferences let you change most of the default behaviors of Audacity. The Preferences dialog can be accessed using the Edit Menu (or by using the shortcut CTRL + P). On a Mac, Preferences can be found under the Audacity Menu (shortcut CMND + ,). The Preferences dialog is split into a number of sections each with its own dialog page. There are many settings that can be made in your Preferences; do take some time to explore and understand these.

The image below shows an example of the Devices section of the Preferences dialog:

Preferences devices basic7.png

Changing settings with Audacity's toolbars and menus

Some of the more commonly used settings can be changed and reset from the main Audacity Window:

  • The Device Toolbar can be used to change the input & output devices, the recording host and the number of channels
  • The Selection Toolbar can be used to change the Project Rate
  • The Transport Menu can be used to control Software Playthrough and Sound Activated Recording

Using these can be quicker than accessing the preferences dialog to change these settings

Connecting your equipment

For help with connecting your equipment to your computer for recording please see the following tutorials:

Help Location