Podcasting with Audacity

29 February 2024
By Dann Hurlbert

Podcast structures vary dramatically.  So do the tools that help you record, edit, and deliver your podcasts.  Audacity is a free and very capable recording and editing tool. Below, you’ll see a possible podcast structure; futher down is a tutorial on how to use Audacity to create your own podcast. As with most projects, it’s good to first envision your desired end goal. Exploring some script templates, such as those from Buzzsprout, can help you work backwards.

Since AI tools are all the rage, at the bottom of this blog post, you’ll also see a brief example of how you could use ElevenLabs, a text to voice tool that can help you generate narration for your podcasts, without saying a word.

The “Structure” of Your Podcast (in Audacity):

Whether you’re creating a dramatic story with sound effects or conducting an interview, your edit will likely include multiple tracks of audio and may look something like this:

Audiacity Interface with multiple tracks.
Audiacity Interface with multiple tracks for podcasting.

To “see and hear” the above podcast in action, check out the short video below by Carleton’s Dann Hurlbert and Auiannce Euwing. As you watch, pay attention to the advancing audio playhead, which carries you through the Audacity tool and reveals some helpful notes and tips.

Recording and Editing Your Podcast (in Audacity)

To learn how to record and edit a podcast using Audacity, check out the tutorial below.

Using AI to Generate Your Narration

In late 2023, Amazon announced its new initiative to create audio books using AI generated tools. With the right tools, and some patience, it’s incredibly easy. ElevenLabs is one of those tools. It lets you choose from a wide variety of voices, languages, and dialects . . . and you can clone your own voice for re-use. Below is a look at the interface.

ElevenLabs Interface
Text to Voice AI Tool, Elevenlabs Interface

This audio clip is a short passage from Homer’s Odyssey, read by an AI generated voice called Roshni, using ElevenLabs.

And here is my cloned voice reading a passage from The Cremation of Sam McGee, by Robert W. Service. By providing a 1-2 minute sample of my own voice, ElevenLabs was able to create a reasonable facsimile of me speaking…which means if I write my podcast narration and paste in the text, I no longer have to record myself speaking at all.


After you’ve created your podcast, you’re still stuck with how to distribute it. For classroom use, uploading to Moodle or Google Drive might be the easiest option. If you’re ready for your podcasts to get out to the world, however, you may need to explore platforms such as Buzzsprout or PodBean. Descript.com offers a helpful breakdown of ten podcast distribution platforms.

If you have any additional questions about creating an audio podcast or video, feel free to reach out to Dann Hurlbert in Carleton’s PEPS and Academic Technology.

*We also owe a huge thanks to our talented Media Tech, Auiannce Euwing, whose voice and technical skills helped pull these media samples together.