Miniterm 2020 Class Stuff

Here is a series of files and a description of the Miniterm 2020 “Introduction to BroadcastingPodcasting” class. All tools you need to work with Audacity in the classroom are available here, so it might be a good idea to have this open in a browser window while you work.

Thursday, January 9th

Production Skills

First: A discussion of how to properly not eat a microphone and sound like you know what you're doing.

  1. Broadcast Safe Language
  2. Peaking, Overdriving, and Headroom

Audacity Skills

  1. Skills
    1. Tracks
    2. Zooming in and Out
    3. Panning
    4. Levels
    5. Clip Detection
    6. Copying and Pasting
    7. Saving and Basic Encoding

Friday January 10th

Production Skills

A long and drawn-out discussion of compression. This is an annoying one, but if you can apply it there will be much understanding and a lot less pain.

  1. The Compression Wars
  2. A Conceptual Understanding of dBFS
  3. The Concept of Noise Floor

Audacity Skills

  1. UI Continued
    1. Working with Multiple Tracks
      1. Discussion of Multitrack vs. Single Track Recording
      2. Mute and Solo
      3. Sync Lock vs. Free
    2. Amplification
    3. Compression

Monday, January 13th

Studio Operation

You've used the studio already, but now let's talk about how it works and how you should be using it.

Audacity Skills

  1. UI Continued Pt. 3
    1. Importing Audio
    2. Fades and the Envelope Tool
    3. Discussion of Effects
      1. De-essing
      2. Noise Gating
  2. Rendering and Mixdown
  3. Lossy vs. Lossless reexplained
  4. Metadata

Tuesday, January 14th

Production Skills

What actually is podcasting? It's not just recording.

  1. Podcasting
    1. Websites
    2. RSS Feed
    3. Aggregators

Audacity Skills

  1. Review of Things We're Having Problems With
  2. Edge Cases
    1. DC Offset
  3. Whatever comes up.

Lossy versus Lossless Encoding

Lossy encoding methods such as MP3 will throw out some data in order to get a smaller file size. Lossless methods such as FLAC do not throw out quite so much information. For archiving, FLAC is better than MP3 because repeated encoding will cause artifacts, which are noises we don't want.

MP3 Files:

FLAC Files:

Useful Settings


  1. View > Show > Clipping – set to on
  2. Edit > Preferences
    1. Import/Export
      1. “Used Advanced Mixing Options” is selected
      2. “Show Metadata Tags editor before export” is checked
  3. Quality
    1. Under Sampling, “Default Sample Rate” is set to 48000 Hz

Starting Effects Settings

These can be modified as needed to fit the recording, but these are helpful defaults.

  1. Normalization: 1.0 dB
  2. Compression:
    1. Threshold: -20db
    2. Noisefloor: -35db
    3. Ratio: 5:1
    4. Compression based on peaks is not selected
    5. Make-up gain for 0 dB after compressing is selected