Using Audacity to Create Free Ringtones

How many times a day does your phone ring? Our guess is a lot since we all live in a world of constant communication.

Even though the non-stop availability has its upsides, it can sometimes get the best of us. We often end up agitated at the very sound of our ringtone. With loads of people using the same generic ringing options, the potential to be annoyed is even greater.

What most people find helpful is adjusting the ringtone and personalizing it so that they don’t have to listen to those boring default ringers everybody uses.

Luckily, with Audacity, we can make our own customized ringtones that sound a little more friendly and a little less dull. The good news is that you can do it too by following this simple tutorial.

What Is Audacity?

Before we dive into the how-to section, we do have to mention what Audacity is and how it works.

Audacity is an open-source program for audio editing. It is available for Windows, Linux, and Mac, so it’s safe to say we can all use it.

Having tried several options, we have found Audacity to be one of the most convenient apps around. It’s simple to use, efficient, and free, which makes it a suitable alternative to downloading premade ringtones.

But Why Not Just Download Ringtones?

People often ask why they shouldn’t just download a ringtone or buy a complete song online. With the prices ranging from $1 to $3, it may seem like a less of a hassle.

However, money is not the main reason. Of course, we would advise anyone to save whenever they can. Tiny costs tend to pile up, so we often end up spending much more than we intended.

But what’s more important is that audio-editing apps allow us to personalize the ringtone, something that may not be possible if we simply buy it. Whether we opt for a classic ringtone or a song, we might not be able to adjust it. What’s more, we may end up paying for a part of the song (usually the chorus) that we don’t really like.

Of course, we can just import the audio file directly to our phone. But without editing the content, we will be listening to the first 20 seconds of the song all the time. That is how long our phones usually ring. Unfortunately, the intro is rarely the part we love the most about a tune.

That’s when Audacity comes into play. Let’s see how it works and what creating a ringtone actually entails.

A Quick Guide to Creating New Ringtones with Audacity

Let’s go through the process step by step. The platform is user-friendly, so editing the files does not require any previous experience.

Step 1: Phone Check

The first thing we should do is check if our phone supports the MP3 format. It probably does, but even if that’s not the case, we can always convert MP3 into a ringtone file.

Step 2: Download and Install

Now we have to visit Audacity’s website and download the software. We should have no issues with installing it on our PC or any other device. The process is quite simple and safe. Just follow the instructions and keep clicking Next.

Step 3: Encoder Installation

We have a little more downloading to do. The LAME encoder supports MP3 files in Audacity and helps the program run smoothly.

Don’t worry — the software will prompt you to download it. Then, simply install the encoder, and you are ready to go.

Step 4: Importing the MP3 File

Once we have the encoder, we can use the Drag and Drop option to import our MP3 file or choose it from the File menu. The Importing window should appear, which means we’ve done everything right.

However, we would advise you to switch from Stereo to Mono at this point. Most phones don’t have stereo speakers, so the sound will be much better in the mono version.

Step 5: Selecting the Desired Part

Finally, it’s time to have some fun. The next step is to use the Selection tool to mark the 20 seconds of the song that we like. To ensure we’re as precise as possible, we can zoom in by using the Magnifying tool.

You can select more than 20 seconds, but as we said, you probably won’t get to hear the rest of the ringtone too often. Most calls disconnect after less than half a minute. 

Step 6: Trimming the Audio and Adjusting the Time

Now is the time to cut the audio and use the Time Shift tool. We have to go to Edit, select Trim, and then use the Time Shift tool to drag the segment to the beginning of the track. We need to move it to exactly 00:00.

Step 7: Fine-Tuning

The part where Audacity and similar audio-editing apps truly shine is when we can finally fine-tune our ringtone. The Fade In option is a favorite of ours because we simply don’t like to jump up every time our phones start to ring in full volume.

We can select the first five seconds of the ringtone, go to Effects,and choose Fade In. There’s also Fade Out,which we can use to gradually turn down the volume of the ringtone as it comes to an end. The principle is the same as in Fade In. We select the last five seconds of the tune and choose Fade Out from Effects. 

Step 8: Exporting the File

Our ringtone is ready! All we have to do now is go to the File menu and select Export. The program will ask us to name the file and save it.

At this point, we will have to choose the format of the file as well. There are several options, but it’s always best to save it as an MP3 file.

Step 9: Transferring the File

The last step is transferring the file to our phone, which we can do via Bluetooth or a USB cord. With some phones, we can also use our Micro SD card. However, this is a bit more complicated, as we would need an appropriate reader and adapter. It’s even possible to send it by email, but charges may apply depending on the provider.

In Conclusion

As you can see, Audacity has plenty to offer — we have just scratched the surface of it. If you like the editing process as much as we do, you’ll find that the possibilities are endless and highly entertaining. You can even use it to make customized ringtones for your friends and family. All in all, it’s a way to be creative and make that persistent ringing noise more enjoyable.

Updated: January 4, 2020 — 6:50 am

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