Audio editing can be a funny old game. A game in which the slightest altercation of pitch or echo, could result in a massive overall change to the final sound of the piece. Thus meaning that when choosing a software program to run, meticulousness favors the artist. The more in depth and detailed the search for the best editing program, the better the audio will turn out in the grand scheme of things. But the question is, just where do you look?
And the answer to that pivotally crucial question:
Look no further.
I will provide you with a list of the top 6 greatest software programs for editing audio. Bearing in mind this list isn’t necessarily in any sort of order (that would be too difficult as a lot of these programs are extremely useful in their own individual ways) but it is a list all the same, and reading in detail about the software that I will mention should aid you in your search for the perfect audio editing software. Which, at times, can be one of the most stressful things for any sound engineer, artist – or whatever else you may do which means that you require audio editing software.
Are you ready to begin learning about them? Are you eager to begin your search? Yes?
Okay, here we go:
One of the best things about Audacity right off the bat is that, not only is it a cross-platform, easy-to-use, professional and feature-rich piece of audio editing software, but it is also totally and utterly free – which is actually rather rare for something of such great quality!
It is a program which contains a whole boatload of nifty features, some of the main ones being: recording live audio, recording computer playback on any Windows Vista machine, changing the pitch or speed of a recording, convert records and tapes into CDs or digital recordings, Edit: WAV, AIFF, MP2, FLAC, MP3 or OGG Vorbis sound files, supports AC3, M4R/M4A, WMA and other formats by using optional libraries, can copy, splice, cut or mix sounds together and a whole host of other useful and professional features.
With Audacity, it is safe to say that not only do you get an array of handy features that can be used collectively to create brilliant sounds and edit tracks properly using its many tools, but you also get an amazing deal on it because – as I’ve already mentioned – it is totally free to download. And you know what they say:
If it’s free, it’s beautiful. And beauty is a noun, which couldn’t be more appropriate for Audacity.
2: FL Studio 12.1.2
Unlike the aforementioned Audacity, FL Studio 12.1.2 isn’t just a great tool for editing files and enhancing the sounds that already exist, it goes way beyond that. FL Studio 12.1.2 is a completely put-together, DAW – Digital Audio Workstation, which is essentially a system which lets you mix and create music totally from scratch.
Some of its notable and newly added features include: four high quality FPC drum kits, 2 high quality piano instruments (Stage Grand and Close Grand), FLAC file import support, Fruity X-Y-Z Controller plugin, added FL executable which are scaled by windows, Launchpad Pro and Launchpad MK2 support, VFX Key Splitter plugin and an enhanced file browser.
As you can probably tell by that fairly long list of features (and that’s only a selection of them): FL Studio 12.1.2 is a professional platform, feature-rich for all and any people with an eye – or an ear rather – for creativity. But not only is it ideal for creating original pieces and mixes, it is also excellent for editing pre-existing audio, and that is the reason that it has made it onto this list.
Yes I can hear you shouting the question:
So where’s the kicker?
Well, here it is:
Unlike Audacity, FL Studio 12.1.2 isn’t free. It is actually rather pricey. The most basic version starting at $99. But, I suppose after considering all of the added features and thinking about what you can actually achieve with FL Studio 12.1.2, the price is rather fair.
After all, you can’t put a price tag on originality.
Here we have yet another professional looking, professional sounding, easy to use piece of software. Ardour provides a hint of versatility with its features. It could be handy for all sorts of audio-based professions: sound track editors, audio engineers, musicians and composers – to name a brief few. It is a program, which would allow audio engineers to mix their MIDI projects with ease, but it is also a program that, given its advanced recording abilities, would be extremely useful for musicians and composers who are looking to get creative.
Ardour’s main features include: recording audio, editing audio, mixing, audio and MIDI multi-track recording and editing, plugins with full simple accurate automation, transport sync and external control surfaces, powerful anywhere-to-anywhere signal routing, importing videos and a host of other intricate features.
To summarize, Ardour is an all-rounder. It is useful in all sorts of audio editing and creation – making it the ideal tool for pretty much anybody out there who is into their audio.
And here’s what is probably the most important part for a lot of you folks out their given the current financial situation of our world: the pricing. Pricing begins at $1 for all of the programs features, including minor version updates – which basically means you will be updated with bug fixes and small additions until the next major release.
Alternatively, you can opt to pay a monthly subscription of $1, $4 or $10/month – based on the type of subscription that you choose. With these packages, you receive all minor updates but as well as these, you also receive major updates too so long as your subscription lasts.
And for all you free-lovers out there, there’s also an option to trial the software for free. So there you go, you cheapskates!
Following what I just finished with – here’s another free one for you.
Wavosaur is a fairly basic audio editor which falls between DAW and minimal-feature mixing tool. It is absolutely ideal for those looking to edit existing music, mix music together and create unique music of their own style. It is both professional and easy to use – boasting simplicity as well as sheer quality.
Some features worth mentioning are: multiple document interface – for working with numerous files at a time, all classic editing functions: cut, copy, paste, mix, paste replace/insert, paste to new file, trim/crop, delete and undo, a vast selection of processing options: mute, channel convert, insert silence, volume adjustment, normalize level, fade in/out and invert/flip.
It’s more advanced features include: resample, bit-depth convert, pitch shift, vocal removal, DC offset removing, silence remover, interpolate, auto-trim, crossfade loop, exporting multiple WAV file from regions and many numerous others.
Wavosaur is the ultimate in free editing and creating, especially in terms of its massive variety of professional and detailed features that it provides. Not only does it offer such vast detail, it is also easy to navigate and simple to use, making it perfect for beginners all the way through to the experts of the world of sound.
All of those features and more, and all for the price of oxygen!
5: Adobe Audition
Part of Adobe Creative Cloud, Adobe Audition is a tool that you can completely rely on in your search for the perfect audio editing software. It provides users with the ability to professionally edit their musical projects through a whole list of unique features. It comes with a UI similar to that of all other Adobe products, so if you are familiar with Adobe, then choosing this one would prove a wise decision as you’ll already be somewhat used to the way it functions and navigates – meaning that you don’t have to waste time by trying to familiarize yourself with the program before putting it to good use.
Adobe Audition provides you with all sorts of cool features, such as: mixing, editing and creating audio content using multitrack, waveform and spectral display, remix and adjust the duration of a song, generate synthesized speech, automatic loudness correction, dynamic link for streaming video content from Adobe Premier Pro, live relinking, auto-backup to Adobe Creative Cloud, timed recordings, refined user interface with HiDPI support, expanded video format support – the list is eternal.
In summary, Adobe have done exceedingly well in linking all of their platforms and pieces of software together. An example of this is listed above: providing a link for streaming video content from Adobe Premier Pro. This means that when you download a package, you not only get the software that you want, but you are also granted access to loads more software, meaning that you definitely get your money’s worth.
Speaking of money, this one is definitely worth it. Adobe Audition is part of the Adobe Creative Cloud package (you can see what else you get with this package online) which costs just $29.99 a month – which may seem a little steep at first, but once you learn more about the package, you won’t be disappointed. But if you’re serious about your music then price shouldn’t really be that much of an issue (within reason of course)…
You can also get a free trial to see whether or not you like it before you decide to purchase the full version. So there you go, not one that you can have for free, but you can try it for free – which is okay.
6: Sound Forge Audio Studio 10
This software – which was produced by Sony – is often dubbed as the ultimate home studio for the production of audio. And after reviewing a list of its features and uses, I must say that it is a hard statement to argue with.
Sound Forge Audio Studio 10 covers all grounds of music production from start, all the way to the sometimes-dreaded finish! After plugging an instrument or microphone into your computers sound card, you can let your creativity loose and start to record. And then, once the recording is done with, you can also use Sound Forge Audio Studio 10 to sharpen up those vocals and tighten up that guitar riff, making your music sound professional – just like a proper studio album.
Features of Sound Forge Audio Studio 10 include: powerful recording tools, high resolution 24-bit/192 KHz support, simple and easy editing, ASIO driver support, integrated CD layout and burning, export audio to portable devices, edit MP3z and rip audio CDs, customize window layouts, create podcasts, enhanced vinyl recording and restoration tools, more than 30 built-in audio effects, resonant filter plugin, vocal eraser plugin, VST support – the list goes on and on and on and on and on and on and on – kind of like that sentence. (I just wanted to make sure that I had emphasized just how many features this one has… just to be clear, it’s a lot!)
No wonder it has been named as the ultimate home studio, with features that thorough and in-depth, who needs proper recording studios? Why pay for studio time when you could simply pay for Sound Forge Audio Studio 10 and achieve pretty much the same thing?
When I said pay for it I bet the question crossed into all of your minds didn’t it? How much? How much do we have to pay?
Sony’s Sound Forge Audio Studio 10 costs $59.95 – which I must say, is a fair price considering the quality of this software. I know one thing’s for sure: it’s certainly a lot less more than you’d pay for studio time!
That’s All Folks!
Well, my work here is well and truly done.
I hope that the list has helped you in your seemingly impossible endeavor. I’m sure that after reading it, you will have a much firmer grasp on the capabilities of each piece of software and which one would best suit your musical needs.
Maybe you need a mixture. Maybe there are two or three on that list that you could benefit from all at once. It’s just like anything in life: it requires a lot of trial and error. And if all else fails, I’m sure McDonald’s will have a few jobs floating around…