You have a masterpiece in you. Did you know? It could be a beautifully composed instrumental piece, with a bird song quality air, or perhaps the next big podcast. Regardless, this masterpiece will never bounce off the hearing channels of the worshiping fans if you do not let it out. And even once you've let go, you need to master it, edit it, and follow the entire post-production process. Fortunately, there are many options available. Whether you are a total newbie, an old pro, need a freebie, or can spend a good chunk of change, the best audio editing software for you is probably on this list.
- 1 Best Audio Editing Software – Free Options
- 2 1. Audacity
- 3 2. Apple Garage Band
- 4 3. WavePad
- 5 4. PreSonus Studio One Prime
- 6 5. ocenaudio
- 7 Best Audio Editing Software – Premium Options
- 8 1. Apple Logic Pro X
- 9 2. Adobe Audition
- 10 3. Avid Pro Tools
- 11 4. Reaper
- 12 5. Izotope RX6
- 13 Have you found the best audio editing software for you?
Best Audio Editing Software – Free Options
The audio editing software does not have to cost a fortune. Some of them do, but you can find very functional and very powerful DAWs that are totally free or freemium. They may not have all the bells and whistles of the more hardcore premium suites, but these are some of the best audio editing software that money can not buy.
We might as well start with the free product of most people . Honestly, there is a reason for that. Audacity does almost everything you want from a DAW, and it's open-source. In addition to recording and editing, the post-processing you can do in software rivals just about everything except the professional suites the most upscale. Effects, leveling, noise reduction, everything you need is there in a few clicks. It's available on Mac, Windows and Linux – and from my experience, it's by far the best option on Linux because premium suites are not available there. You can even use their string function to batch process and configure basic automations.
In many ways, Audacity is the GIMP or Paint.NET of the audio editing sphere. It lacks a lot of quality of life tools that you will find in Adobe Audition or Pro Tools, but when it comes to getting the job done … Audacity will do it. The only real problem with Audacity is that it has a minor learning curve, but 20-30 minutes and a bit of Google Fu, and you will be a pro.
2. Apple Garage Band
For Mac users, your computer is already equipped with one of the best options you can get. Apple has been doing incredible things with Garage Band over the years, and you can not really find a simpler and more user-friendly audio editor. Designed for beginners, but powerful enough to handle some major products, Garage Band deserves your attention. Many podcasters and musicians use Garage Band as a publisher because it is free and very neat. It integrates with its companion iOS app, which is not as feature-rich as the desktop app, but still can do some pretty spiffy stuff.
The only two disadvantages of Garage Band are the fact that it is Mac, so no Windows or Linux likes it here, and sometimes the interface tries to be a little too intuitive, this that does drag and drop or touch the only interaction method – it's really annoying for keyboard shortcuts and menu lovers. Other than that, if you have a Mac, check it. It's already on your computer.
As my mother said, an easy pumpkin pie. That's pretty much WavePad in a nutshell . From the moment you start the software, you know what to do. There are two panes: the first is where you can see all your tracks and waveforms, and the second is a list of tutorials with videos and interactive wizards that teach you how to use the software. Like Garage Band, there are mobile apps that integrate with it, but only for Android and Amazon Kindle – not iOS. But there is a Mac version, so there is that.
Although WavePad is free and complete, there is only one limitation to this: the unlicensed version is for non-commercial use only. So, editing your Tuesday night podcast with your pals is fine, but cutting your next LP is not. If you do not pay for the commercial license, it's only $ 30 if you do not want their SFX library and $ 50 if you do.
4. PreSonus Studio One Prime
The PreSonus Studio One software is divided between three versions of differences . The Prime edition is free, but limited to features, and is available for Mac and Windows. While the Artist and Professional versions have more features depending on what you need. If you're not looking for something too sophisticated, Studio One Prime will probably be pretty feature-rich for you. Its feature set rivals Audacity and Garage Band, really. There are not many that are missing, but you will not find the rich library of effects that come with others. Prime can do just about anything you want, unless you're into a mix and setup of very powerful automations and macros / scripts.
The interface can be daunting, though. It's a lot busier than any of the previous entries on the list, but that's because it's a premium DAW that just has locked features . It is really worth trying and learn how to use it. If you like the interface and how things work, it will be a fantastic training to switch to another premium DAW – or update Studio One.
The free offers are supplemented by ocenaudio which works on Mac, Windows and (like Audacity) Linux. Unlike some cross-platform software, ocenaudio boasts of maintaining the same interface between Linux, Mac and Windows. Most of the time, there are platform-specific concessions that are made. The software itself is incredibly efficient and does not get bogged down easily, so when its features page says that the program handles big files well, it does not joke. I've added gigabytes of tracks, and navigation is fluid. And there is support for VST plugins! So, if it does not do what you need out of the box, you can create your own.
In addition to this, the ease of use of the interface is incredibly clean and easy. It feels in many ways as if Garage Band and Audacity had a baby and called it ocenaudio. Although there are no built-in tutorials to make sure you learn how to use it, it may be because you're probably not going to need.
Best Audio Editing Software – Premium Options
For those of you who need a little more power behind your shots, there are plenty of premium options for audio mixing. It's really hard to say what is the best audio editing software because the competition is so tight near the top. It is the basis of a photo every time, and if you choose one of these 5 options, your sound is in good hands.
1. Apple Logic Pro X
Logic Pro is the very successful elder brother of Garage Band. While Garage Band was staying at home, wearing sweatshirts, relaxing and playing in a garage group – you guessed it – Logic Pro came out to the world and became a venture capitalist who bought a house discs.
The difference is apparent from the moment you load it and activate the "advanced features". This is not a hit at Garage Band. It is that Logic Pro is so powerful. With advanced features, you get a user interface that can handle everything you throw at it. You can stack tracks that will later merge into one or keep different mixes and projects separate but ready to go when you need them. You can even use your iPhone or iPad as virtual mixers to do almost anything.
The real appeal of Logic Pro is the way it works on a very thin line to be accessible without being overwhelming. The user interface is complex but intuitive because it was designed by Apple. It may be that you have less intimidation with the use of Logic Pro than with other top quality sound editors.
This is a bit expensive at $ 199.99 but it is not as expensive as other tools.
2. Adobe Audition
The hearing was ridiculously expensive. Since the release of Creative Cloud, however, Adobe Audition has become a much more viable and accessible option than before . Instead of hundreds of dollars in advance, you have the option to pay as little as $ 19.99 a month for access to the software. It does just about everything Logic Pro does, which is great – because Logic Pro does a lot. You do multitrack editing, post-processing and effects overlay, as well as various levels and reduction of hum. Recent updates have made the game more intuitive through the use of templates and their Essential Sound feature. (Ducking, that's when you lower the volume of a track when another is playing simultaneously – like the background music that goes down when a podcast host starts talking). You can also save effects and post-process templates so that you can automatically execute them as scripts when you import them. The scripts and templates in Audition are incredible.
A major concern for people is that Adobe products are not user friendly. Unfortunately, Hearing is no different. It is designed to be a professional tool and works as a professional tool. There is a lot of polish here, but it's more in the workflow and features than in the user interface and the user experience. However, if you already use Premiere for video editing, or even Photoshop, or if you use Adobe key sequences from other apps, you will feel at home. Hearing definitely does things Adobe Way . It can be good or bad for you. That's not to say that it's not one of the best audio editing software on the market, though.
While Creative Cloud subscriptions can accumulate over time, the $ 19.99 entry price is low enough for you to see if this DAW level is for you, and you can go from there. If it does not work after a month, you have twenty dollars and now you know. If that is the case, you can start and stop the subscription because you need the features that it offers and use one of the free options above to handle daily tasks.
3. Avid Pro Tools
Here is a true story: when I started podcasting, I talked to a lot of my friends sound engineers. I've heard of Logic Pro and Hearing, yes. But Pro Tools came more often and I was recommended much more strongly. (And I live in Muscle Shoals a kind of mecca of recording, when we say what is the best audio editing software, we listen.)
So I looked at my options, I reinstalled on Audacity. I was a new podcaster, and when I saw Pro Tools, I was terrified. It was like watching the sun. There was just too much power there. Nowadays, there is a user friendly version called Pro Tools First which is totally free . It's basically the same as the differences with Garage Band and Logic Pro, and it's fantastic for beginners.
Now Pro Tools and Pro Tools HD … they are bestial software pieces. The difference between HD and Pro Tools is essentially the amount of work you do. Pro Tools HD gives you twice as many tracks (up to 256) as regular inputs, and more plugins. If you are a beginner, you will be overwhelmed by if someone is not there to give you a walkthrough and some tutorials. But if your goal is to work professionally with audio, there is a reason why it calls Pro Tools.
From the cost point of view, however, it is a mixed bag. You can get the regular version of Pro Tools for a subscription of $ 24.95 a month, but this must be on an annual contract that makes a total of $ 299 . You just pay for it every month, but it makes the cost easier to digest. And the Pro Tools HD subscription is $ 999 for a year $ 2,499 for a perpetual license which includes an annual upgrade. Finally, you can buy an upgrade of $ 1,899 from the normal version . So you own the software forever, but only get 1 year of updates.
Reaper is not Pro Tools. But it does not try to be. What it is trying to be, however, is a complete DAW that can do anything that almost everyone, but the top pros would need. And for that, he succeeds massively. When you use it to cut and splice audio tracks, it works. (And is not that what you would like from the best audio editing software?) There are a ton of advanced features in Reaper, like spectral editing and scripting support integrated for the creation of complex macros and automations. Python, Lua or EEL. And the best of all? Developers care about their code, and they want it to be clean and lightweight. Reaper is known to be stable, and that means a lot when you are working on a major project. You do not want the 7-hour recording session of your client to be lost due to a memory leak.
Also, there is a massive amount of documentation and community around Reaper. People love it. Because the devs love them. There is a $ 60 discount license and a $ 225 commercial license. Plus, you get a 60 day free download evaluation period that each of you should take and give a sho t. If you are a user of Sublime Text it uses the same licensing model.
5. Izotope RX6
And finally, there is Rx Post Production Suite 2 of Izotope . If there's ever been a really high-end audio editing suite, that's it. Selling for $ 1,499 (with its own payment plan!), Izotope has made a name for itself by publishing really powerful software. Although yes, you can absolutely do the basic cut, cut, paste and even, this suite RX really focuses on making your job easier. There is the automatic enhancement of dialogue and the algorithms that adjust your levels to the delivery specifications of your particular industry (broadcasting in the UK, for example, has standards different from those in the US). Incredibly detailed visual tools make mastering your tracks much faster and more efficient than in other audio editors. They even export reports for you so that you can study how you can better comply with loudness standards, etc.
This particular suite is actually a lot of different software. You get all of their flagship products: RX6 Advanced Repair Kit, Neutron 2 Advanced Mixer, RX Loudness Control, Insight for in-depth visualization, as well as training tutorials (which even include courses on Pro Tools and Logic Pro) and a SFX library.
Although they have no follow-up, many podcasters use their application RX Elements that sells for $ 129 . If $ 1,499 is a bit out of your price range, RX Elements will tell you if the Izotope Suite is the best audio editing software for your projects.
Have you found the best audio editing software for you?
[Honestly, if the best audio editing software is not on this list, I can not even imagine what this program would look like. You have super simple freebies like Garage Band. And on the other end, mega-pro suites like Izotope and Pro Tools. On this spectrum, there should definitely be an application that meets your needs on this list. If you like touch controls and application integration, clean up the code bases and stability, scripts and automation, or even absurd amounts of plugins to handle all possible problems, one of these companies did something for you.
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