Workflow and Saving
For journalistic audio pieces, the typical workflow is to listen to each track first, and then "clean it up" based on either a script or preferences of a producer. This could include removing clicks, pops, smacks, or even portions of the audio track that you know will not become a part of the final product.
After you clean up each track, it is good practice to export each "cleaned up file" as an uncompressed .wav or .aiff file to your project folder. The reason for this is so you have a copy of each edited track that is a part of your project.
Once you have exported each individual piece of audio, start a new Audacity project and import these uncompressed files as various tracks to begin the second phase of audio editing which is mixing your different tracks together.
Organization plays a big part in complex audio productions, and building good practices will make the task of editing much easier.
Exporting audio tracks
Exporting audio in Audacity is a pretty straight-forward process. From the File menu, you have two options for exporting; you can either Export or Export Selection.
If you choose Export Selection, you will only export highlighted regions of your audio tracks. This allows you to export only a certain segment of your audio. If no segments are highlighted, then Audacity will automatically highlight your entire project.
The Export option will always export the entire project.
In the export dialogue box, you will be given the option to choose the audio format. If you are exporting single tracks that have been cleaned up, it is highly recommended that you export in either .WAV or .AIFF. Both are similar, the difference being that .WAV was made by IBM and is now a standard on Windows PCs, and .AIFF was made specifically by Apple.
To ensure compatibility, it is recommended to choose .wav if you are on a PC or .aiff if you are on a Mac.
Saving your Audio Files
Once you have cleaned up and exported each audio track to your main project folder, you can start your final Audacity audio project.
Import each track, and along the way, you should save your project to prevent losing any hard work. Audacity only saves in its own proprietary format called Audacity Project (.AUP)
From the File menu click Save As... The first time you save, a warning message may come up letting you know that the Audacity file format is not a audio file standard, but a file type that is only for Audacity projects.
You can disable this warning from appearing in the future by checking the box.
A second dialogue box may also appear asking you about any connected media (this warning will only appear if you have audio tracks imported into your project).
What this dialogue is asking is whether you want to copy the audio files that are a part of your project into a special data folder that is near your Audacity (.AUP) project file. You can either Copy Selected Audio Into Project or Copy All Audio into Project, but either way it is highly recommended that you copy all connected media into your project. and keep it self-contained.
Audacity will create a special data folder named after the project name. For example, if your project is named "test" the folder would appear as "test_data". This data folder contains information about your project, and should always be in the same location as your audacity (.AUP) project file. If you wish to transfer your project to another computer, you will have to copy both the .aup project file and this data folder.
Remember to save often. Crashes do happen!