Last updated on December 14, 2022 by

It was a lonely quiet night. I hadn’t slept for 20 hours. My coffee was depleted and my energy even more so.

Despite this, I had just spent the last 3 hours of my life searching for an audio editor that would do what I needed.

I had over twenty different pieces of software that had audio editing capabilities. Yet none of them could perform the simple task that I wanted to carry out.

Eventually I found an application that did exactly what I wanted with minimal effort. To be frank, I was ecstatic.

That event inspired me to try out every free audio editor out there and compile this list.

If you are thinking about setting up your own home studio, and you want to start looking at the available free audio editing software out there, you are in the right place.

But, if you want the quick answer, I narrowed it down to a short list of the top 3 audio editors.

Find out what they are here:


Which Audio Editor Do I Use?

Audacity (Windows, Mac, Linux)

This is the godfather of free audio editing software. You can multi track to an extent (have more than just one stereo track e.g. a full band recording). There are a range of effects and plugins, and it’s easy to use once you get used to it. It’s by far the most popular free audio editing software. Volume automation is easy using the envelope. Deleting and muting sections of audio is also a breeze. Recording is easy too. Tip: Reset all the gain sliders if you want to do a gain staging/ track balancing. You might also like our post on how to eq vocals.

It does have its drawbacks though. The user interface is not particularly appealing, and there a lot of features that you’ll rarely use that clutter the tool bar.

It looks a bit ancient, but it gets the job done. This is an awesome starting point for anyone wanting a free editor.

Link: Audacity


Audacity, the godfather of free audio editors


ocenaudio (Windows, Mac, Linux)

This new simple audio editor has a clean and colourful user interface. It’s so easy to use! It’s fast and it’s lightweight compared to Audacity.

It’s bundled with loads of effects (including compression, EQ and reverb) that you can apply and tweak in real-time.

This is a huge benefit as most free editors are destructive (they record effects straight to the audio) so you have to rely on a ‘preview’ button. This is how Audactiy works, for example. But in ocenaudio you can play with the parameters of the effect and hear the changes instantly.

The editor has VST support so you can use your own plugins. It’s easy to record audio straight in to the software as well. There are lots of useful tools (such as a spectogram) for the more advanced user.

One downside of this software is that it only supports single stereo/mono files. You can’t have a multi-track session and record several instruments in your home studio and mix them. More on recording voice and mixing vocals here.

But for editing stereo music files, or mono audio files (such as a voice recording) this is awesome. It’s also relatively simple in terms of features compared to Audacity, although they aren’t trying to compete on that front.

Link: ocenaudio


ocenaudio, a new free audio editor




Hya-Wave (Chrome)

This is a member of the new wave of online audio editors that run in your internet browser. And it’s my favourite of that bunch.

Released in January 2015, I only discovered this a few months ago. The interface is clean and user friendly and the learning curve is pretty much non-existent. Three cheers for simplicity!

It doesn’t support multi-tracking but you can copy, paste, cut, clear and crop your audio. You can load and save in the cloud, apply live effects and share to social media or via URL (take a listen to a song I applied some compression and a high-pass filter to here: )

Browser based DAWs could be the future of audio editing. There are several out there for music composition already and now more audio editors are appearing too. Click here to see how to master a song at home.

This is ideal if you are recording or editing on the fly and don’t want to install large programme on to your laptop.

Link: Hya-Wave


Hya-Wave is an online editor that is free to use and brand new in 2015



WavePad (Windows, Mac, iPad, Android)

A slightly older DAW, but still highly useful. The interface may not be as sleek as some of the editors listed here, but it makes up for this in features.

It’s easy to install and easy to use. There are lots of bundled effects including noise removal, compression and reverb. There are also some great analysis tools for more advanced users. Reverse reverb: here’s how to create this cool trick.

Pitch and speed changes are possible. So is audio scrubbing, which can be very handy. It doesn’t support multi-tracking so you can only edit stereo or mono audio files.

My absolute favourite feature of this software is the batch processing (which I discussed in the introduction). You can apply compression, reverb, EQ or any effect to a number of audio files at once. This can save you HOURS in the right situation.

Link: WavePad


WavePad is a great free programme that can batch process


TwistedWave (web app, Mac, iPhone)

Another awesome online web application for editing sound. Again, it can’t multi-track, but it makes up for this with usability and features.

It’s easy to normnalize your audio and the effects are easy to apply.

Quick tip: like a lot of audio editing software, if you delete a section of audio the rest will ‘shuffle’ back so that there aren’t any gaps. If you want to remove noise without shuffling the audio, you need to ‘mute’ or ‘silence’ the section with noise.

In TwistedWave you can do this easily by highlighting the section of audio that you want to mute and hitting ‘s’ on your keyboard!

Link: TwistedWave


twistedwave is a new free online DAW or sound software to use in your home studio

Wavosaur (Windows)

This one is a bit ancient. Dinosaur… Wavosaur… get it?!

It’s looks like the missing link in the evolutionary chain between tape cutting (prime apes) and modern best DAWs (humans).

Joking aside, this application may be basic, but it works. The download is only 1.3MB. Now that is small!

And it’s not that old. The latest version was released in 2013. It’s a good piece of classic Windows music production software. No frilly bits, no messing about. Straight to the point.

It supports VSTs but doesn’t come with any. If you want to apply effects you’ll need your own. There are loads of great analysis tools and volume automation is easy.

It’s very basic and doesn’t look great. But if you just want to get the job done without downloading a huge application, it’s perfect.

Link: Wavosaur




Wavosaur, a new free online DAW sound editing application to use in your home studio

Soundation (web app)

This is a great online application that also functions as a multi-track DAW. This means you can have several audio tracks playing at once.

The interface is attractive. It’s easy to record. Volume and pan automation are easy to perform. You can change the color of the tracks to keep them more organised. Time stretching is also supported and there are a range of effects and plugins.

There is an awesome looping feature reminiscent of Logic Pro. This application is geared just as much to music composition and arrangement as audio editing.

Yet this may be it’s downfall when considered an audio editor – it’s features and workflow are perhaps better suited to arranging music.

Link: Soundation


Soundation, a free web application DAW

Acoustica Basic (Windows)

Easy to set up a project and start recording. It has a scrub tool which can be extremely useful! Unfortunately the basic edition does not support multi-tracking but there are some great analysis tools.

This is also the only free audio editor that I have come across that comes with a convolution reverb (a special type of digital reverb you can use to semi-accurately model any room). You have to use your own impulse files though.

Link: Acoustica Audio Editor


Acoustics Basic is a great free DAW


Audio Cutter Pro (web app)

If you just need to crop some tracks and add some fades, this tool is perfect. It’s simple, the interface is great and the keyboard controls are intuitive.

You can also import files from Dropbox or Google Drive so it fit’s in perfectly with cloud based storage.

Link: Audio Cutter Pro


Audio Cutter Pro is a simple online audio editor and mp3 cutter


Nero Wave Editor (Windows)

Another simple and free audio editor. There’s nothing particularly special about this one, but it will meet basic audio editing needs.

You can apply effects non-destructively which is pretty useful. You can also create your own presets.

Link: Nero Wave Editor


Nero Wave Editor is another awesome free audio editor



WaveShop (Windows)

WaveShop supports multi-channel audio (up to 18 outputs) which could be useful in the right situation. It also claims to be ‘bit-perfect’, so samples aren’t changed needlessly.

I can’t think of any more reasons why you would want to use this over any of the other editors listed here. But it’s worth taking a look if you want a simple Windows application for basic audio editing.

Link: WaveShop


WaveShop, new free software to use in your home studio


Qtractor (Linux)

A colourful and sleek UI, multi-track support and even a mixer! This one is perfect for Linux users.

Unfortunately I don’t have anything running Linux so I can’t give this a try myself. It has some great reviews though.

Link: Qtractor


Qtractor, a new free online audio editing application for Linux


Audio MP3 Cutter Mix Converter (Android)

If you need to make edits on the move, check out this Android app.

It has over 1 million downloads, 55,000 ratings and a range of features.

Link: Audio MP3 Cutter Mix Converter


The Top 3 Editors for Musicians

There are a lot of options out there.

It can be overwhelming.

I tried every editor on this list, and narrowed it down to the top 3

Find out what they are here:

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85 comments on this article

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    This blog is indeed advantageous. I am glad you posted an article with this content or topic. Such a great blog.

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    I absolutely love this post! I have read it and it was very informative. Thanks for sharing thisI

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    Hi Rob,

    Thanks for creating and sharing the above article.

    I am working on a project in which I need to edit (improve sound quality, remove noise) for approx 4000 audio files which were recorded in 1970’s.

    Can you suggest software for editing multiple files at a time.
    I am searching for

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    Yo! Thnx 4 your hours in searching for a satisfying app… You saved me A LOT of time!
    Great job!
    I know how it is when you’re obsessed to find exactly what you’re searching for… and it takes tiiiiime!

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    I notice you don’t mention Reaper. Audacity and some others limit you to 16 bit and don’t support VST or other higher bit plug-ins. Is there a reason this was left off the list? Just curious, as you can use it free, or if you are honest, pay the 60 bucks if you like it.

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    I would love to see a free audio editor that could “draw” in the waveform to remove clicks from the dialogue like in Pro Tools.
    Thanks for the post.

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    There are two pro level audio editors I use almost daily in my work. iZotope’s RX8 and DSP Quattro. Both are superb.

    iZotope’s RX8:

    RX8 will edit surround formats and lets you view the audio as a waveform or a spectrogram. It has a built in FFT and hosts AUs and VSTs. There are many forensic tools in RX8 and it also has a batch processor.

    The three main use cases for RX8 are:

    1. Spectrogram style audio forensics with real-time FFT.
    2. Mono, stereo, and surround sound cleaning and mastering.
    3. RX8 comes in three flavors, Elements, Standard and Advanced. Standard and Advanced also contain RX based AU, VST and AAX plugins for performing sound cleaning and mastering in 3rd party DAWs.

    RX8 is a professional grade app used by film studios, recording studios and forensics experts. It’s not free. macOS and Windows.

    DSP – Quattro

    If you want a pro grade two track editor with (Red Book) CD Mastering abilities and a whole lot more, then DSP Quattro is about as “pro” as you’ll find. I use DSP Quattro along with RX8 for all my mastering and forensics needs. (Note: Neither app is a multi-track DAW, these are true two track and surround mastering apps).

    The three main use cases for DSP Quattro are:

    1. Two track editing, (mono and stereo).
    2. Red Book audio preparation and CD burning.
    3. AU/VST host and recorder. Hosts AUs and VSTs, (as VIs and effects), applies effects and records input and output streams.

    DSP Quattro 5 is a professional grade app used by mastering houses and CD burning facilities. It’s not free. macOS only.

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    GoldWave makes all above a waste of time

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    Unfortunately Acoustica isn’t free. It’s a 30 day trial after which you have to buy either the Standard version ($59.90) or the Premium version ($199.90).

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    Just bought a new Lenovo 510A-15ICB computer. I have used Audacity in the past with Windows 7. This new computer has Windows 10, but the sound card appears to be SHIT. When I click on say youtube, and play a song by any artist…I can hear it fine and loud in my headphones and computer speakers, but as the song is playing, and I go to set levels in Audacity, as soon as I hit pause/record to set the levels, the levels are so low, that when I raise them the sound feedbacks. I’ve tried every different setting. I’ve adjusted my SOUNDS settings as directed in a couple Audacity set up Videos…but still the same thing. Is there something I’m missing? Any suggestions? Thanks for any help you can offer. Driving me nuts. Pete

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    A good list. I’ve been using audacity for a while. By far, it has been a good experience, but before moving on to a professional software like the adobe audition, I wanted to see if there are other free audio editing programs which are like audacity.

    Thanks for sharing the list

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    I am just looking for the best audio/video software that is (totally free and not just a free download) to be able to use on my newly established paranormal investigation team’s recordings to clean up and be able to hear the best and to be able to send or play for the client/s!!!!
    I am new to this and ANY help in this more direct approach is greatly appreciated!

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    I heard great things about Audacity so I decided to try it out, to my disappointment it won’t work with 5.1 sound. I’m not saying it’s bad but even the most basic audio editor should be compatible with several 5.1 formats.

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    Good information sir… Is the software you write include freeware? thank you …

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    Rob I am very much delighted with this post. Audio mp3 cutter which you have suggested for android, since many time I was searching for suitable and fast app. Your this post has helped a lot. I am highly grateful to you.

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    Wavepad is an NCH product. NCH will load trojans that are extremely annoying . They are so bad that some Anti-virus programs like Avast will identify them as malware and block their operation. Unistalling an NCH program will NOT uninstall the malware. You will have a learning curve getting rid of the leftover trojans. One annoying feature is it hijacks your default opening applications for things like photos, even tho you arent using the NCH product. NCH are unethical and a real pain . Not recommended

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      Spot on with that comment.
      NCH do a range of ‘free’ audio software packages, and they all behave similarly, so be warned!!!
      Tbh, I was surprised to see them listed here. The only list they should be in is ‘ most intrusive software’ in the ‘Disrespect Privacy’ section of ‘Data Thieves Monthly’! Lol!

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      My experience with NCH has not been a happy one. I bought their Master edition of Wavepad many years ago. Got a popup to say there was an update, so I clicked to update. What downloaded was the free version. The Master features I’d paid for were gone. I emailed them. Waited a month, heard nothing, so emailed again. Never got a reply.

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    Only one you forgot is Sound Forge and ACID both by magix, As a narrator i use Sound Forge and it is GREAT!!!!

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      Finally found someone who says Acid Pro And Sound Forge Are The Best!!!!

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      As a broadcaster and website operator use Sound Forge. It’s great for tight editing to do a really good clean-up job on speech productions.

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      Totally agreed, Luke! Sound Forge XP (even after, like, 20 years or so) still ROCKS for those Nice, Simple audio jobs.

      No, the XP version doesn’t support multiple tracks, nor VSTs (it pre-dates VST!). But if you want a no-nonsense, ultra-lightweight, fast-as-hell audio recording and editng program, it’s tough to beat.

      My main audio work right now is recording/editing/mastering audiobook narrations, and Sound Forge XP is great for that. Drop Markers during for your re-takes, Edit each Marker to be the re-record script, then you can copy the Regions List (= Markers List) to the Clipboard — that last feature being something I only discovered a few days ago: D’OH!

      And when I do need to use a VST (for de-essing, compression, and so forth), I wheel out my copy of Adobe Audition V3 (no, not CS3, I mean Version 3!) and run the effects in that.

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    As far as Wavosaur is concerned, the information given here is not correct.
    The article says that the latest version of Wavosaur was released 2013; however, states that the latest version was released in 2017.

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    If it’s true that you were up looking for the right software while missing out on some rest, thanks for giving us these information for free as they were and will be very helpful! Sometimes, people keep what they’ve worked soo hard for and want others to go through the same! Haha I never said they won’t learn more at the end!

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    It’s like none of these editors had someone thinking “What would be the best keyboard-shortcuts or mouse-options to do this with? What would be the easiest, and fastest operating user interface for this option?”
    Funny how nobody mentions Sonic Foundry’s Sound Forge, GoldWave or Cool Edit as historic legends in that aspect. I still use older free copies of those, they work just fine in Windows 7 x64. Especially fairly recent Sony Sound Forge has a still unmatched UI! I have tried and used them all, mostly professionally, but also for home/studio/radio work. Sound Forge beats them all in logical thinking, and it makes the work so much more pleasant to do. I always seem to run back to Sound Forge, no matter what I try on other bulky editors with strange quirks or weird looking interfaces, SF does it faster, you can customize literally everything of it (also colors/sizes) and seems more lightweight, even though its disk-footprint definitely is not, it uses RAM way more efficiently than others. Even Audacity does really bad in that area. You need lots of RAM for that to run smoothly.
    I tried to find free equals to SoundForge, but I have yet to bump into one. I luckily still have a registered copy from way back when it was cheaper. Its price-tag now is just bordering on insanity. If you want the noise reduction / noise filtering plugin, you immediately need to pay up for the Pro version at Magix, which costs around 400 USD now. Seriously, who’s going to pay such ludicrous amounts for something as basic as audio-editing? I’d much rather have paid Sonic Foundry around 80 euros or something, and then have THEM update Sound Forge with their mindset and dedication. Ever since they sold it to SONY, it has gone downhill in many ways, especially in their pricing.

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      Cool edit really was great… Haven’t seen it for years but would love to revisit it. There is an Android app called dWave Studio that is very very good. I have been using the beta for months now and am extremely pleased with it. I’ll even go so far as to use it and n my pho e instead of audacity on my PC. It’s that good.

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      I’m also from the radio field and all I can say is “Amen”! Sound Forge is also my choice for all the reasons you stated. I’m “only” using SF 7, but it does all I need it to do.

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    Martin McSweeney says:
    March 21, 2018 at 01:10:11 pm

    As a music teacher, I have some unusual requests!! First, it needs to be ridiculously easy, almost like a toy. Second, It would be extremely wonderful if sharing (importing/exporting/previewing) clips were easy as well.

    I’m thinking something like “Padlet” for audio. Make a clip, post to a wall of clips from your classmates. Import/export clips in and out of your tool, remix, edit, etc. Each student make his/her own song made from shared samples.

    Hya-wave looks promising! Wave pad?? Any thoughts about how I might make learning en masse easier is appreciated!

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    audacity the wave studio works not so good on the latest version from windows 10 version1709 the previous versions work good but the latest version from windows not meny bugs and i can not the album pictures on the media player from windows see only meny blocks and later i must than instal windows 10 new again the wave studio ocenaudio work’s good on the latest version from windows

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    Just wanted a simple editor to trim recorded files, possibly fade in/out, etc. Nothing complex desired. Tried ocenaudio and Hya-Wave to avoid installing software, but they didn’t work for me. Downloaded WavePad – simple, intuitive, easy, with tools I may never use. Excellent recommendations and avoided a lot of installation trial and error, restore points, uninstalls, etc. Thanks for the recommendations, Rob!

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    Everyone reading this page should go directly to

    REAPER has full editing capability as it is a serious recording tool.

    It has a small file size compared to other tools in the same category.

    After downloading REAPER, look at the videos page. The videos will show you exactly how to use REAPER.

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    I experimented with two programs recommended here.
    I am not a PC novice but definitely I am a novice at video & audio editing.
    I started with something I expected to be dead simple: remove the introductory audience clapping from trumpet piece.
    I also needed to eliminate this same clapping at the end of the piece.
    Once I got used to the principles employed to do this ( fairly intuitive but definitely not “simple”), i immediately noticed that I could not do these tasks with any precision. Moving a cursor can’t easily be done within one or two second accuracy on a 16 min track. So after multiple attempts I had a track which was almost as I wanted it.
    All this took well over an hour & to me looks like a fundamental weakness in the two programs tried.
    Both were said to be easy to use. Many other oddities found which would make both programs not practical for the occasional user who might easily forget the step details.
    Bearing my experience in mind I am not impressed with the contents of the reviews here which look as though they are copied from the marketing department

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    Emmanuel Emecheta says:
    February 19, 2018 at 09:01:27 am

    Good day Sir .I love this… please sir I need your help in area of recoding voice and mixing I’m just a beginner and I’m facing a lot of challenges please sir I need your help thanks.

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    Thx a lot, you made my day

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    I was just looking for an article of this kind, and there it is! I started off in MIDI – Cubase on C64, Atari ST and PC. Now it’s DAW, still Cubase, but a lengthy process compared to the way of working in the past. In the days of W7, i used Crystal, free and very fast & simple for assembling a collage of samples for music by the fancy name of Musique Concrète – as if sequencing a selection of samples on S-1000. Now on W10, Audacity came in the package. The basics are there but the amount of real-time control is minimal. The graphic interface is irritating but that’s endemic. For the type of music I do in this case, sounds have to be totally perverted – nothing’s to sound too “normal”. Thanx for the list, I’ll check out what can replace Crystal.

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    MIX by pradeep munda

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    Just went to Apple App Store and Twisted Wav Editor is not free for iPhone: they have the price listed as $9.99. Just FYI

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    I am sorry to say that you totally missed the point with Wavosaur and here is why:

    Your November 2017 updated article doesn’t mention that Wavosaur was updated to version 1.3 in 2017 and now works flawlessly in 32 bit AND 64 bit.

    Wavosaur has more tools and helpful calculators than most of the other editors (among which I use audacity and Ocenaudio for different matters). It has many decent though minimal real time and offline monitoring visualization and statistic rendering and gets the job done.

    Last but not least, it loads up to 255 VSTs in Rack as FX-chains (with re-ordering, mute/solo function) open/save FXB/FXP which is a HUGE advantage for flexibility. It allows any kind of non destructive sound design and processing. None of the other free editors can beat this one on this aspect of edition I believe. It makes mastering tasks a breeze and super fast.

    Its biggest drawbacks is that it doesn’t edit metadata and doesn’t import as many format such as flac.
    Still, Wavosaur is some kind of Soundforge made free. You really can’t go wrong with this one.

    PS: There is no free versions of Acoustica since version 7, which IMO makes Wavosaur it’s direct replacer.

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      I saw your list and, because I was not happy with Audacity, I’ve tried the second one: Ocenaudio.
      I’m using for 2 day only, but I’m very happy with it. A really excellent and easy to use programe. Thank you! I recommend it!

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    I’ve been looking for a list like this for YEARS. Thank you!!

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    I think you missed out FlexiMusic Audio Editor !! It is easy to use and has a great deal of options.

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    Thanks for the great list!

    A question though to you, if I may:
    I have multiple recordings of a single conference at different locations according to the speakers. Of course if they all used the microphone there won’t be any issues however, that was not the case.
    With that being said, would there be an optimal software where I would upload all the audio files in multi tracks and with a single function would enable me to have a single final audio file where the software would only take the clearest pitches of each sound file? In other words, say speaker A would speak in Audio File A. It’s not that Speaker A would be speaking all the time during the Conference. Would there be an existing software or function where the software would automatically crop the high pitches, the actual speaking voices and edit/crop them into a single file?

    I’ve been struggling with this problem for quite some time and for ever similar occasion had to simply resort to manual options where it would take me nights after nights for the editing. And the backside would be that there would eventually be some howling esp on the latter part of the file.

    So, if you could help or give me any kind of advice, that would be mostly appreciated.

    Thank you very much in advance!

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      I’ve been using Audio Cleaning Lab by Magix for a number of years. I’ve used several versions of it, and use it to edit and clean up recordings of sermons for our church. Recently I’ve also started to add music/speaking introductions and conclusions to the sermons, as well. After using it as much as I have, I am very comfortable making edits. It has some limitations, in that it will only work with two stereo tracks and only record one source at a time (mono/stereo). The nice features include the ability to cut out individual pops/clicks down to fractions of a second, fading in/out of the multiple tracks included in a recording, normalizing volume (selectable), expandable timeline to facilitate accurate edits, multiple built-in cleaning filters (completely adjustable), and a free downloadable 30-day unrestricted demo that becomes the full version upon purchase of the license/registration.

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    Thank you so much for this great list.

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    I need to record four tracks simultaneously using the Behringer UMC404HD. I was assured by several dealers before buying it that this would work but it doesn’t. Audacity says this is because the (program) needed (maybe ASIO) needs to be paid for. This implies to me that NO free recording programs can record more than two track at a time. This seems a basic requirement but it is rarely mentioned in articles, reviews, and ads. It’s rarely mentioned in regards to budget-priced programs either. Even expensive programs do not provide a list of the digital interfaces they will recognize. I’m pretty puzzled by this.

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      Not quite Terry. The reason Audacity doesn’t have ASIO support built-in is not because it’s free but because it’s open source. Including ASIO as it stands would violate either the GNU license rules or Steinberg’s license – a bit of a catch-22. You can get Audacity with ASIO if you compile it yourself and add in the ASIO plug-in and promise not to distribute it to anyone else. Compiling Audacity from scratch is, it seems to me, not something to be taken lightly.
      So, free doesn’t mean no ASIO. I’ve found a mixer/editor called MixPad by NCH which purports to support ASIO and multi-track recording and editing. First though I need a decent audio interface to connect to it.

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        I just saw your response…don’t know why. I will take a look at this. I previously corresponded with them but they wouldn’t tell me if their program would work with the Behringer. Tnx.

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      Asio is in your settings google it

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      Asio is in your settings google it

      Asio audio source input output setting

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    What was that task you were trying to do and forced you to find another editor?

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    I’ve used Audacity almost exclusively for years and always wondered why the plug-ins LAME and Fmeg are necessary in order to export various file formats, MP3, etc. Do any of the other fifteen editors you sampled also have that feature, that additional plug-ins like LAME and Fmeg are necessary? Anyone out there use Ocenaudio and how does it compare with Audacity?

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      MP3 is a copyrighted, non-free compressed data format. Several open source audio editors deliberately avoid building MP3 support into their own source code because of the licensing problems this may cause. Instead they rely on the user adding 3rd party plugins/software to address support for these formats. This puts the licensing burden on the user and/or the 3rd party software (e.g. LAME or ffmpeg).

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      it’s a whole less complicated, has more options, and doesn’t cost anything unlike audacity which does.

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    Will you publish the best free audio editors in the end of the year?
    Also, Audacity and Qtractor are my favourites. Thanks for great reviews!

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    Before you install Nero Wave Editor (Windows) please know it will install an app called OpenCandy that installs in most browsers and runs ads. I read complains that if you don’t install it with Nero it won’t let you install Nero. Look up reviews for Nero Wave Editor (Windows) and do research on OpenCandy and it’s removal before installing. I won’t touch Nero Wave Editor (Windows) because of this.

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    Rob Mayzes, before you create your next article, learn the difference between a DAW and an audio/sample editor. They are not used for the same task. You’re mixing both kind of softwares in this article.

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    Audacity would be great if only it would export MP3 files.

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      Related to Pete Melissakis’s comment. I use Audacity everyday. I record complete albums in Wav format, then I split out all the tracks and then I export in MP3. No problem at all. Just splitting the tracks is a bit time consuming!!
      I’ve tried Reaper, Studio one and FL Studio 12 and could not figure out how to set them up, use them or get any sound out of them! Manuals were just too complicated!! I’m planning to purchase a 25 key midi controller in the next month and play around with it! – DN

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      Hi Pete, You need to install the MP3 Codec (LAME) to export MP3’s.
      (It’s a free download and they put a link to it if I remember correctly.)
      Audacity usually prompts you to do this when you try to export to MP3.

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      it does! i have been using Audacity for many years, I use mp3 importing them in and exporting.


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      Audacity does export MP3, I’ve been doing it for years!

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    Hi Rob! First of all : thanks for your great posts and curses!

    I was looking for an Audio Editor where I could also edit fades and have the best zoom level on the waveform to be the more precise as possible.
    At work, I’m working on SADiE for those editing operations. But I can afford SADiE and plus I’m working on Mac at home which isn’t SADiE-compatible…

    Does anyone have an idea?

    Cheers from Belgium__

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    Hi, I’ve been trying out a few of these free DAWs, using my laptop with windows 8.1 and my focusrite 18i20 and I haven’t had much luck with anything free thus far. Studio one was a big disappointment because you go through the trouble of signing up, installing it and setting it up and then after a while you realize that it limits you to two tracks. There’s just stuff like that.

    The best thing to do is just buy the full version Reaper. It runs on anything–mac, pc, linux–and it’s very smooth and runs on my systems. Where as protools and cubase are huge hogs on your system and bug you endlessly with registration related stuff. I can’t stand protools especially.
    Honestly I’m thinking of going to logic pro, after many years of messing around with windows apps.

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      Your are wrong about Studio One limiting you to 2 tracks. It’s unlimited even in the free Prime version and as of version 3.52 the Arranger track is now included in this free version. Here’s a short summery.

      Studio One Prime Highlights
      “Studio One Prime does not time out, feature a nag screen, or limit the number of songs you can create.
      Record and mix with no limit on the number of simultaneous tracks, plug-in inserts, or virtual instruments.
      Create songs quickly with Studio One’s fast drag and drop workflow, and newly enhanced browser for accessing backing tracks, plug-ins and more.
      Get inspiring sounds with the new Presence XT sampler featuring a rich 1.5 GB sampler library.
      Sweeten your mix with nine PreSonus Native Effects™ audio plug-ins that cover all the bases.
      Access the power of a real DAW with real-time time stretching, resampling, and normalization; single and multitrack comping; multitrack track transform (advanced freezing), and Control Link controller mapping.
      Expand Studio One Prime with more Presence XT libraries and professional loop content, purchasable directly from within the Studio One browser. “

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      Why don’t you try LMMS? I used it before switching to FL Studio. It’s pretty easy to use, even after experimenting with it for an hour you have all the tools you need to put out something that sounds great. It’s also very similar to flstudio so when you feel like moving up it’s like familiar territory. Oh, and it’s a DAW. Just to be clear…

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      Why don’t you try LMMS? I used it before switching to FL Studio. It’s pretty easy to use, even after experimenting with it for an hour you have all the tools you need to put out something that sounds great. It’s also very similar to flstudio so when you feel like moving up it’s like familiar territory. Oh, and it’s a DAW. Just to be clear…

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    #15. HTML 5 Audio Editor (web app) is going to a donation page. Please remove this editor.

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    Hi Rob! I loved your article and I was wondering if you could help save all these hours that I am spending looking for an online solution. I would like to stream but my voice (45 yrs old) is not great. I would like to make my voice more attractive to the audience. I am looking for a real time voice editor/changer as I hate the way my voice sounds. The Voice changers that I have downloaded make my voice sound so fake and in order to try a product I am prompt to buy it. I dont mind spending money on buying a product as long as I know that it will work in real time streaming and the result wont sound fake or like Im an Alien/Robot.
    I would really owe you a huge favour if you could please please help me. Caroll <3

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    As a Ubuntu user I was looking for something lighter and Audacity. Audacity also makes a 1+ gb file for a 1 hour file to edit. That is not good for my 32 gb hard drive! That was how I found this web page. I tried oceanaudio and this was exactly what I was looking for… more than better! The UI was so friendly and easy to use. However, GDebi said that it could be a security risk to install deb files without being in the standard distribution. How do I know that this safe?

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    This weekend we made a home movie via an iPhone. It has some background noise, a truck, and a dog barking. Is there some sound editing software you would recommend that could take this out?

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    For reference, as of August 13th 2016, with the release of version 5.0, Ardour now runs on Windows too.

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    Good luck!

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    Great guide, thanks! I like to use Audacity. Free, and easy.

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    Good post Rob, I didn’t know about all the cats in this list. I’m familiar to Audacity because my school forced us to use it to send our oral english exams via internet. As for DAW usage, I go with Studio One by Presonus which is pretty intuitive and easy to get going. Audition by Adobe is also great, and it’s featuring in their creative cloud membership so if you’re a designer making also music, like in my case, that makes all sense :) Looking forward to read your next posts.