Interpreter Training Resources

t h e     o n l y      d e d i c a t e d      s i t e      f o r      s t u d e n t s      o f      c o n f e r e n c e     i n t e r p r e t i n g


Using Garageband (Mac) or Audacity (PC)
 for Simultaneous Interpretation Practice

booth picto
Back to menu


The following was kindly donated by Prof. Barry Olsen of the Monterey Institute of International Studies (MIIS).

It is a description of how you can use standard or free software to record and practise simultaneous interpreting.



In Garageband

1.  Make sure in system preferences you have your "line in" set to your microphone and "line out" to your headphones (or alternatively your external speakers)

2.  Make sure this is set correctly also in Garageband>Preferences>Audio/MIDI

3.  Create a new Podcast

4.  Find the Audio File you want to listen to in your finder or media browser and drag onto one of the tracks (for instance on the male or female tracks) 

5.  Now click on a different track (so for instance if in #4 you put the file in male voice, click on female voice - don't worry that they say male or female it doesn’t really change much)

6.  Now you are ready to record the translation- click the red record button and talk away.  You will hear the audio but only your voice will be recorded.  Click the > play button to stop recording and you are all set.

7.  Now it is set to play both tracks at the same time, but to listen to just one or the other click the tiny speaker icon below the track name. (In this case for the "Male Voice" it is directly under the "V" of "Voice")

8.  You'll want to save and export, however, the file you wish to save.

In Audacity (Free download)


1. Go to Audacity's Edit -> Preferences -> Audio I/O menu.

2. Set the Recording source to whatever your microphone is plugged into. (This setting may already be in place)

3.  Set the Playback device to whatever your speakers are plugged into. (This setting may already be in place)

4.  Make sure "Software playthrough" is OFF, and "Play other tracks while recording new one” is ON.


1.  Import the file you want to interpret to Audacity (file -> open)

2.   Click on the record button and begin your interpretation. Interpret the speech as if you were in the booth.

3. Once you have finished interpreting, press the stop button on the Audacity console.

4. You can play back both the source and interpretation files simultaneously. At the far left of each track you will find a “mute” button and a volume slider, which allow you to listen to just one track or adjust the volume of the original speech and the interpretation.

5. You can save the

Audacity forum with information about using Audicity for two-track recording & SIM

More information about using Audacity to practice simultaneous interpretation click here:

*My thanks to Jeremy Robinson from the Digital Media Commons for helping me prepare this document.




Top of Page Contact ITR