Fine Arts Center

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Jan. 19 — Welcome to the Spring 2016 semester. May it be a good one – and not too cold!

Feb. 2 — Just a reminder - Tuesday is Monday on Feb. 16. No school Monday, Feb. 15, no class, Tuesday, Feb. 16.

Feb. 9 — No class next Tuesday. Next week Tuesday is Monday.

Feb. 16 — No class today. The school is on a Monday schedule.

Mar. 15 — Welcome back from Spring Break! I hope yours was a good one.

Mar. 15 — The "soft" due date for the Soundtrack Project is now March 24.

Audio Exercise 2

(Creating a Ringtone)

With this exercise we continue what was done in Audio Exercise 1, following the same steps used in that exercise AND adding some additional ones.

  1. If your song is on an audio CD, rip (copy) the track on to your computer. In the lab we use ITunes to do this. In ITunes you may have to set the format of the file you want to create, depending on the capabilities of your audio editor. With the lab's version of Audacity you should be able to open files created in the default ITunes format. If needed, a plugin (FFmpeg import/export library) can be downloaded from the Audacity Web site that will allow you to open an ITunes file.
  2. If you have an MP3 file or an audio track on a CD-ROM or Flash drive, copy the file into your folder on your computer. Editing a file located on an external drive can sometimes take more time.
  3. Open Audacity.
  4. Choose Open on the File menu, navigate to where you saved your audio file (your folder) and select it.
  5. Immediately create a new folder in your personal folder and save your Project - File > Save. (Save your work often. If you want to save the file with a different name or in a different location - File > Save As).
  6. Listen to the track and note where the excerpt you want to use as a ringtone begins and ends by watching the Time Ruler as it's playing. Zoom in while listening to get a more precise reading on the ruler.
  7. Once you know where your excerpt begins and ends, highlight the portion of the track that precedes it and cut it (Edit > Remove Audio > Delete). Make sure everything back to the beginning of the file is highlighted before cutting.
  8. Go to the end of the excerpt, highlight everything that follows it and cut it (Edit > Remove Audio > Delete). Make sure everything to the end of the file is highlighted before cutting.
  9. Note: If at any time you don't like the results of any cuts (or any other step done) you can Undo the step on the Edit menu.
  10. Once you are satisfied with your edited excerpt, Add a fade-in and fade-out as we did in our last exercise. Both commands are located on the Effect menu.
  11. At this point - besides adding a fade-in and fade-out - you could process the excerpt many ways - increasing/decreasing its volume, equalizing it, adding reverb, etc. The effects you use are only limited by the effects you have installed in your audio editor and your own choices on how you want the excerpt to sound. More on processing audio later in class.
  12. Export your excerpt - for this exercise in two formats - WAV or AIFF and MP3.
    1. File > Export. Set the format to WAV or AIFF and make sure you save the file in your project folder
    2. File > Export. Set the format to MP3 and the Options to 1) Constant Bit Rate Mode, 2) 128kbps Quality, 3) Joint Stereo. Again, make sure you save the file in your folder.
    What all these options mean and why we're exporting the excerpt in two formats will be discussed in class.
  13. Make sure you save your project file before closing Audacity. (The exports are audio versions of your project. You still need to save the project file if you want to continue working on it in the future.
  14. Once your excerpt is completed, you should be able to upload it to use on your phone. How this is done varies from phone to phone so check your phone's documentation. In the recent past there have been several web sites which offered assistance in uploading. We'll search for one. (The site we used often in the lab,, no longer provides this service.)
  15. The skills learned in this exercise will be useful for creating audio excerpts you can insert into a multimedia presentation, place on a Web page or blog, or with more precise editing, for creating an audio loop or sample to use in music production. More about loops and samples in later classes.