How To Create Free Ringtones Using Audacity

Save money on ringtones by crafting your own from your MP3 library

Syncing Music to Phone


Instead of purchasing and downloading pre-made ringtones using one of the many services on the Internet, why not make your own for free? All you need is a digital music library, a cell phone capable of playing MP3s, and an audio editor such as the very popular (and free) Audacity. The process is easy and only requires five minutes per MP3.

What You Need

  • Audacity audio editor
  • MP3 files
  • MP3 compatible cell phone

Downloading and Installing Audacity

If you haven't already got Audacity, then you can download the latest release from the Audacity website. Even though the following tutorial uses Windows, Audacity is available for Mac OS X, Linux, and other operating systems. Once you have downloaded and installed it, you'll also need to download and install the Lame MP3 encoder in order to export MP3 files.

Importing MP3 Files

Before you work on one of your MP3 files it is advisable to make a backup copy of it first so the original doesn't get overwritten. Once you have done this, click the File menu tab and choose the Open menu option. Browse through the contents of your hard drive until you find an MP3 file you want to edit; highlight this and click on Open to import.

Creating An MP3 Ringtone

Once imported, you'll see a visual representation of it in blue on the main screen. Use the zoom tool (magnifying glass icon) in the top left-hand corner of the screen to make it far easier to find the portion of the song you like. Once you have zoomed in enough, click back to the selection tool (above zoom tool) and highlight a section of the song using the mouse; the typical length of a ringtone is 30 seconds or less. Click the edit menu tab and then choose Trim to isolate your highlighted section.

Exporting Your MP3 Ringtone

Finally, to save the ringtone to your hard drive, click on the File tab on the main screen and choose the Export As MP3... option. Type in a name for your file and click hit the Save button. You can now use your newly created MP3 file as a ringtone by transferring it to your cell phone.