Adding Audio to Scratch

There are 3 main ways of adding audio (music or sound effects) to your Scratch project:

  • Use one of the Scratch sounds (easy)
  • Use the microphone on your device to record a sound in Scratch (medium)
  • Convert a video or audio file into an MP3 that you can import into Scratch (hard)

Using Scratch sounds

You can add songs to the stage or a sprite.

To add one of the built-in Scratch sounds you select the sprite or the stage, then click the ‘Sounds’ tab then click the add Sound button as pictured above. This will display a list of all the sounds that are built into Scratch. You can preview the sound by hovering your mouse over the play button (see below). Click the square to add the sound to your project.

Hover your mouse over the play button to preview the sound. Try and use headphones if you are sharing space with others.
There are several tools to experiment with that can be used to change the sound you’ve added.

The last step is to play the sounds using code blocks.

There are lots of sound related blocks to play with. You may want to use headphones so you don’t annoy everyone around you.

Record Sounds with a Microphone

Most internet connected devices have microphones that will allow you to record audio that can be directly added to Scratch. The quality might not be fantastic but if you are in a quiet environment you should be able to get a decent audio recording.

Select the ‘Record’ option to activate the microphone recording feature.

The first time you use this feature you may be prompted to allow your browser (e.g. Chrome) to access the microphone.

Security warning – Scratch wants to use my microphone! Click Allow.
Another warning! Chrome wants to use my microphone – yeah OK.

Now it’s time to record. Try and reduce any background noise. If you are recording audio from a different source (e.g. YouTube, Spotify) you should get those ready. I suggest only recording part of the song, but that’s up to you.

You should see the input indicator move when there’s any noise that it can hear. You should do a sound test to make sure it’s working (testing 1, 2, 2, 2).
You can chop out parts of the recording at the start and end by moving the red lines. Click the Play button to preview it then the Save button to add it to Scratch.

Phew! That wasn’t too bad. You can still use the audio tools that I described before to modify your recording. Don’t forget you still have to use code to actually play your sound.

Convert an audio/video file into an mp3

Scratch only accepts certain audio files (mp3) so if you have a file that is a different format or a video then you will need to convert it before you can use it in Scratch. Thankfully, there are free websites that can help us do this.

A long time ago before streaming apps like Spotify became popular people used to download their music as individual files onto their devices. There are many different audio file formats depending on what music service you used. One of the oldest audio formats is mp3. It does not have the best sound quality but it is compressed which means songs are quite small (usually around 3-4 Mb). The other great thing is that they don’t have fancy security so you can copy them, email them to anyone and they will have their own copy. Before you yell ‘piracy’ – yes, there is a big issue around people sharing copyright material like popular songs.

You can use this free website to convert audio or video files into the mp3 format. If you convert a video file then you only get the audio as the mp3 format is audio only. You can also trim audio files using the same website.

https://audiotrimmer.com/online-mp3-converter/

Choose the file you want to convert, then click Next.
You can skip these options – just click the ‘Convert’ button.
Once it has finished you can then click the ‘Download’ button to download the mp3 file onto your computer. It should have the same filename except it adds ‘-[AudioTrimmer.com]’ onto the end.

Now you need to upload the new mp3 file into Scratch.

Don’t forget to hover over the ‘add sound’ button on the Sounds tab.

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