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Audacity is a free, open source, easy-to-use, multitrack audio recording and editing tool perfect for podcasts.

Audacity [1] is one of those “must-have” tools for anyone who records or edits audio files. It is cross-platform (macOS, Windows, Linux), making sharing files and collaboration easier. The Audacity audio editor and recorder comes with an easy-to-use interface and works with a wide range of hardware. Audacity supports direct microphone or through-a-mixer recording in mono or stereo, and it includes some convenient keyboard shortcuts for more efficient editing. You can record directly into Audacity or open most audio and some video file types for editing. In this article, I cover direct recording into Audacity using a single source (microphone) and some basic editing. You will only use a handful of effects and features for simple podcasting. The effects I describe in this article are the ones I use most often. I’ve done some advanced editing, but those few times are exceptions.

Pro Tip: Make your podcast more appealing to listeners by removing silence, adding intro and outro clips, and adding background music.

One of the most-often-asked questions about podcasting is, “How much does it cost to start a podcast?” The answer sounds sarcastic, but it ranges from $0 to thousands. It’s $0 if you have a functional computer running Linux, use an onboard microphone, and install Audacity. Hosting might also be free if you use one of the free online aggregation services. These services take your podcast and distribute it to seven or eight of the big podcast providers, such as Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts, Amazon Music, and others. You could also purchase a new computer, a new high-end microphone or set of microphones, a mixing device, and you get the idea. If you have a computer you can use, install Linux on it, install Audacity, and buy a good microphone. The microphone’s price often reflects its quality. However, a microphone at the $100 price point will serve you well. You can always upgrade later should you acquire sponsors or followers who donate to your show.

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