How to Make 8-Bit Sounds With Audacity

The Audacity sound editing program, available as freeware on Windows, Linux and Mac OSX, has a built-in function that turns high-fidelity 16- and 32-bit sound files into low-fi 8-bit recordings.

Step 1: Open A File

Click the File menu. Select an audio file to work on, then click the Open button to open the file.

Open an audio file
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Step 2: Export Audio From File Menu

Click the File menu, then select Export Audio.

Export the file
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Audacity opens a file dialog box.

Step 3: Enter File Name

Type a name for your 8-bit audio file in the File name field.

Enter new name for 8-bit file
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Step 4: Select File Type

Click the Save as type pull-down list and select Other uncompressed files.

Select Other uncompressed file type
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Step 5: Options Button

Click the Options button and select Unsigned 8-bit PCM from the list that appears. Click the Save button. Audacity displays a dialog box containing metadata information for the file.

Select Unsigned 8-bit PCM
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Step 6: Set Metadata

Edit the file metadata, including Artist Name, Genre and Year. You can modify this information or leave it blank. Click the OK button. Audacity saves your file in the 8-bit format.

Edit metadata and save the file
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Tip

Changing an audio file to 8-bit resolution reduces the file’s size as well as the sound’s dynamic range giving it a somewhat “muffled” quality. You may also hear more “hiss” noise in an 8-bit file compared to a 16-bit recording.

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