By Rebecca Vaudreuil, MT-BC, Neurologic Music Therapist
Audacity is a free software, cross-platform digital audio editor and recording application. It is available for Windows, Mac OS X, Linux and BSD. Audacity can also be used for post-processing of all types of audio, including podcasts, by adding effects such as normalization, trimming, and fading in and out. Audacity has also been used to record and mix entire albums, and accommodates the importing and exporting of WAV, AIFF, MP3. Audacity features for the music therapist include:
- Recording and playing back sounds.
- Editing via Cut, Copy and Paste (with unlimited levels of Undo).
- Multi-track mixing.
- Noise Removal based on sampling the noise to be removed.
- Precise adjustments to the audio’s speed while maintaining pitch (called changing tempo), in order to synchronize it with video or run for a predetermined length of time.
- Changes to the audio’s pitch without changing the speed.
- Conversion of cassette tapes or records into digital tracks.
- Support for multiple platforms – Audacity works on Windows and Mac OS X.
Neurologic Music Therapy Intervention Ideas and Music Therapy Testimony:
Creating Customized Music to Support Client Movement
NMT Techniques: Patterned Sensory Enhancement (PSE) and Rhythmic Auditory Stimulation (RAS)
Audacity music software allows music therapists to create client-preferred custom music for neurologic music therapy sesnsorimotor interventions such as PSE for pre-gait and RAS for gait training. After baseline assessment is completed by the music therapist and client’s cadence is calculated, clients can select a library of music to be altered and matched to their cadence speed, measured in beats per minute (BPM). The process of modifying musical selections in Audacity is straightforward. The first step is to find the original tempo, in BPMs, of the track that to be modified. Select “import audio” under the “project” section. Select the desired audio and import. Once the importing process is complete, select the file from within the program. Go to “change tempo” under the “effect” section. In the first empty BPM box labeled “from”, input the original tempo of the song in the correct BPMS; followed by the desired BPMs (closest to the cadence of the client’s gait speed for PSE and RAS interventions). Once the modification in complete, select “export selection as WAV” and save it to the desired location. Repeat this process to create a series of musical accompaniment in a variety of BPMs for RAS gait training or to establish a PSE pre-gait exercise program.
*Note*: An additional download is necessary to export selections as an mp3 file