If you’re here reading this, chances are you’re trying to get into audio editing. Whether it’s for a video team, a hopeful future in the movie industry as the next Hans Zimmer, a career in music production and editing, or just for creating some sick ringtones for your phone, an audio editing software is going to be at the very heart of your setup; and that’s where the problem really lies — choosing a good audio editing software, or a DAW can be quite a daunting task, what with the variety of software available out there. Some are free, some bring in additional features, some are specific to a particular operating system and what not. So, in order to help you figure out where you should invest your time and money, we’ve dredged through the various audio editing software to find the best ones, the crème de la crème if you will. So, here are 10 best audio editing software you can check out.

Best Audio Editing Software

1. Adobe Audition

Adobe’s Audition is quite easily one of the best audio editing software you can get. The app comes with some incredible features that have been honed with the many years of experience Adobe’s team has in creating powerful applications for professional users. Audition comes with features like multi-track editing and mixing which will definitely make your audio editing experience much easier and efficient. The software also comes with a feature called ‘Auto Ducking’ which uses Adobe’s proprietary AI based ‘Adobe Sensei’ technology to figure out places where you may want to lower the volume of a background track in order to make the vocals, speech, etc sound clearer, making your job much easier to do. Audition also has some powerful clip editing features including things like mirrored fades, the ability to maintain layer stacks when moving a single piece of the stack, and a lot more.

There are a bunch of plug-ins, and Adobe even has its very own series of tutorials surrounding Audition, which should definitely make it much easier for you to get started with the app. Along with all of that, the app has a really well thought out interface, and manages to look inviting even with all of the features it packs once you scratch the surface. Plus, it supports most of the audio formats out there like MP3, WAV, AC-3, AIF, AIFF, AIFC, AAC, HE-AAC, CAF, FLAC, PCM, OGG, WMA and more, along with support for video formats like AVI, MP4, MOV, FLV etc.

Pros:

  • Wide array of features
  • impressive UI
  • Good fit for people looking to edit voice-overs, or video related audio tasks.

Cons:

  • Too many features for beginners to easily understand and make use of.
  • Not a good fit for people looking to produce music.
  • Subscription based software

Availability: Windows and macOS

Price: Free trial available; subscription starts at $20 per month

Check out Adobe Audition

2. Logic Pro X

Obviously, an article about creative applications will mention Apple in one way or another. Logic Pro X, which is Apple’s DAW for systems running macOS would’ve been my choice for the best audio editing software, but since it’s only available on macOS, it brings its accessibility down by quite a bit (not every artist uses a Mac, after all). That said, Logic Pro X brings some incredibly awesome features into the fold that make it an amazing audio editing app for both beginning editors, and professional users. Logic Pro X comes with all the basic features you’ll ever need in an audio editor, and also brings extremely advanced features including the ability to automatically match the timing of different tracks in a project using ‘Smart Tempo.’

The app also brings ‘Flex Time’ which lets you edit the timing of a single note in a waveform individually, without having to slice it out of the clip itself. That’s insanely incredible and will let you fix that single mistimed beat with minimal effort. There’s also ‘Flex Pitch’ which does the same thing for individual beats, except with pitch instead of timing. Logic Pro X also brings an ‘arpeggiator’ which can automatically convert chords into arpeggios for giving your music a more complex feel. There are also a ton of pre-recorded sounds, and patches that you can freely use in your workflow, along with Apple’s insane amount of plug-ins that are shipped with Logic Pro X (there’s over 60GB of additional assets you get with LPX!).

Logic Pro X supports audio formats like WAV, AIFF, CAF, PCM, ALAC, AAC, MP3, REX, RCY and a lot more.

Pros:

  • Works like a charm on Mac
  • Feature rich, and has a variety of plugins.
  • Control over singular notes as well, if needed.
  • Has a ton of tutorials.

Cons:

  • Mac only
  • Quite expensive at $199
  • Can be overwhelming if you’ve never used Garageband before.

Availability: macOS only

Price: $199.99

Check out Logic Pro X

3. Audacity

I’m pretty sure you’ve heard of Audacity. The free and open-source software is mentioned on almost every single audio editing thread out there, and for good reason. Like I said, Audacity is free, like completely free, and that makes it the most easily accessible software to anyone looking to get started with audio editing. Plus, it’s no slouch when it comes to the features either. It has almost all the features you’ll need. There are a lot of effects including things like bass, treble, distortion, noise removal and more. Along with that Audacity also comes with analysis tools such as beat finder, silence finder, sound finder, and more.

For a free app that’s also cross platform, Audacity is surprisingly feature rich. There are a bunch of other tools as well including an envelope tool, a time shift tool, and more. Plus, like most great audio editing software out there, Audacity supports almost all the audio file formats out there like MP3, WAV, AIFF, PCM, OGG Vorbis, FLAC, AC3, AMR, WMA, MP4 and more.

Pros:

  • Completely free
  • Cross platform
  • Beginner-friendly
  • Pro-friendly as well with all its features.
  • Massive online community for help.

Cons:

  • UI is not the best
  • Faces random crashes on Mac sometimes.
  • Mics plugged in after Audacity has been launched are not recognized.

Availability: Windows, macOS, and Linux

Price: Free

Check out Audacity

4. Reaper

Reaper is yet another audio editing software that’s incredibly powerful and feature rich while also being comparatively more affordable than some of the other options on this list. For starters, Reaper comes with support for multiple tracks, and has a remarkable multichannel support with 64 channels in each track. It also brings the ability to directly record audio to mono, stereo, or even multichannel audio files, along with the ability to record to multiple disks at the same time for data redundancy if that’s something you want.

With Reaper you can apply effects in a real time, non-destructive manner, insert almost any third party or MIDI plug in, and even brings real-time pitch shifting and time stretching capabilities into the mix. Reaper also supports most popular file formats along with some not-so-popular file formats out there. There’s support for ACID, AIFF, AVI, BWF, CDDA, EDL, FLAC, KAR, MIDI, MOGG, MOV, MP3, MPEG, OGG VORBIS, OGG OPUS, QT, RADAR, REX2, SYX, W64, WAV, WAVPACK, WMV and more.

Aside from all the functionality, Reaper’s interface is completely customizable so you can make it look exactly the way you like it.

Pros:

  • Feature rich
  • brings Logic Pro X like pitch shifting and time shifting
  • Comparatively more affordable than other powerful audio editing software
  • Comprehensive tutorials on the website.

Cons:

  • UI isn’t as good as Audition or LPX.
  • Not aimed at beginners.

Availability: Windows, macOS, and Linux (experimental)

Price: Free trial available; license starts at $60

Check out Reaper

5. FL Studio

If you’re looking to be the next big name in EDM (or even if you’re just looking for a remarkable audio editing software) you should definitely give FL Studio a look-see. Used by artists like Martin Garrix, Porter Robinson and others, FL Studio is definitely a top-notch software for audio editing files. Similar to other top notch DAWs, FL Studio also supports multi-track recording, time stretching, and pitch shifting. It comes with a mixer that brings features like effects chains, automation, delay compensation and more.

Plus, FL Studio comes with over 80 plug-ins ready for you to use, including plug-ins for sample manipulation, compression, synthesis, and a lot more. There’s also a huge number of instruments in FL Studio that you can use in your track; and, with support for VST standards, you can use almost any 3rd party plugins to get even more instrument sounds.

Since FL Studio is mainly aimed at music artists, it only supports a bunhc of file formats like AIFF, DS, DS, DWP, FLAC, MID, MP3, OGG, SF2, Speech, SYN, XI, and WAV.

Pros:

  • Loaded with features
  • Amazing for music production, not just editing audio.
  • VST support so you can basically use any 3rd party plugin.

Cons:

  • Not the best UI.
  • Can be a little intimidating to start off with.

Availability: Windows and macOS

Price: Free trial available; license starts at $99

Check out FL Studio

6. Ableton Live

Ableton Live is also a name that’s synonymous with music production and that’s pretty obvious considering the incredibly large number of features it brings. For starters, Ableton Live supports unlimited audio and MIDI tracks so you can stuff as many layers of tracks into your project as you need. There’s also support for MIDI capture, 256 mono input channels and 256 mono output channels. Along with that, you get up to 70GB of pre-recorded sounds you can use in your projects, up to 15 software instruments, and up to 46 audio effects.

However, Ableton Live doesn’t come with some features that are commonplace in most other audio editing software. There’s no pitch correction, and adding effects such as fades isn’t as easy as it is on other software such as Logic Pro X. However, Ableton Live is still one of the highly regarded DAWs especially for electronic music production, so if that’s what you’re getting into you should definitely check it out.

Ableton supports almost all the file formats out there including WAV, AIFF, AIFF-C, FLAC, OGG Vorbis, RIFF, PCM, MP3 etc.

Pros:

  • One of the leading names in electronic music production
  • Feature packed
  • Support for unlimited tracks
  • A huge library of pre-recorded sounds that you can use.

Cons:

  • Missing some basic features like pitch correction.
  • Makes tasks like adding fades more difficult than they need to be.
  • UI is quite below par as compared to the competition.

Availability: Windows and macOS

Pricing: 30 day free trial; pricing starts at $99

Check out Ableton Live

7. Cubase

Cubase, from Steinberg, is another audio editing software that you might wanna take a look at. The DAW comes with a legacy of major artists having used it including the likes of Zedd, Junkie XL and more. As far as features are concerned, Cubase brings forth quite a bit of these as well. There’s a frequency equalizer that lets you perform immensely delicate frequency edits to your tracks, an Auto-Pan feature that lets you quickly play around with your tracks.

Also, if you use plug-ins, Cubase’s Plugin Sentinel will automatically scan them on startup to ensure that they are valid and won’t harm your system. There’s also a feature called Audio-ins that lets you use filters and effects separately on your audio tracks. Cubase offers a free trial so you can check it out before deciding if you want to buy it or not.

Pros:

  • Comes with some pretty awesome features.
  • Has frequency equalizer to perform delicate edits.
  • Plugin Sentinel ensures safety of your system.

Cons:

  • Not meant for beginners.

Availability: Windows and macOS

Price: free trial available; pricing starts at €99

Check out Cubase

8. Presonus Studio One

Another audio editing software you might want to take a look at, the Presonus Studio One 4 is a versatile DAW that comes with a bunch of cool and useful features. There’s support for multiple tracks, and with Studio One’s Chord Track feature, you can easily make a quick prototype of songs and get an idea of what they sound like. Chord Track brings features like key modulation, chord substitution and more for easy protoyping. Studio One can automatically identify the chords from your audio track, and you can even drag a part to the Chord Track to make a reference.

Studio One also comes with a brand spanking new Impact XT drum module which is an improved version of the older Impact drum module. It brings more than 20 new features such as beat quantization and real-time stretching, allowing you to get creative with loops and beats in your song. Other than all of this, Studio One also has countless other features including things like multiple macro toolbars, improved multi-editing, external plugin scanner, and a lot more, so it’s definitely worth a look-see if you’re interested.

Pros:

  • Too many features to keep a track of.
  • Capable of automatically identifying chords from your music.
  • Has a plugin scanner to ensure safe operation

Cons:

  • Not meant for beginners.

Availability: Windows and macOS

Price: Free version available; pricing starts at $99

Check out Presonus Studio One

9. Hindenburg Pro

Hindenburg Pro is also an audio editing software that’s worth mentioning. It’s cross-platform and works with both Windows and macOS. Plus, it comes with non-destructive, multitrack recording. Hindenburg Pro can also import 24-bit audio files and even work in 24-bit sessions. Other than that, the DAW brings in a large number of effects including compressors, EQs, loudness meters, and support for third party plugins so you can expand your effects-set to the extent of your imagination. With the automatic EQ feature in Hindenburg Pro, you can let the software automatically set up your preferred voice profile without having to tweak things too much, and once you’re done editing your audio, Hindenburg will let you export the project to a variety of formats including mp3, AIFF, and even Apple Lossless.

Pros:

  • Feature rich.
  • Support for 24-bit audio files.
  • Automatic EQ will help normalize your voice while editing voice overs and interviews

Cons:

  • dated UI
  • Not really suited for music production.

Availability: Windows and macOS

Price: 30 day free trial; pricing starts at $95

Check out Hindenburg Pro

10. Ardour

Last but not the least, Ardour is also a pretty powerful audio editing software that’s made better by the fact that not only does it work on Windows and macOS, it also fully supports Linux, so you can basically run it on almost any computer you want. Ardour brings you almost every feature in the book when it comes to audio editing starting from making recordings easier with mics and MIDI devices, to editing thanks to easily usable editing features like cuts, crossfades, transposition, swing and more. The software also brings unlimited undos and redos so you can experiment to your heart’s content. There are also mixing features included with the DAW, so you get access to EQ, automation, faders, monitors and more. Add to that a flexible mixer and the hundreds of plugins that Ardour brings and supports, and you have a great audio editing software.

Pros:

  • Completely cross platform
  • Kind of beginner friendly.
  • Unlimited undos and redos

Cons:

  • UI looks bad.
  • Doesn’t come with advanced features.
  • Not suited for professionals.

Availability: Windows, macOS, and Linux

Price: Free; Pay at least $1 for full feature set

Check out Ardour

Bonus: Best Audio Editing Software for People With Basic Needs

The article above mostly focused on audio editing software that are feature packed and can be used for everything from basic audio slicing and joining to frequency modulations, pitch corrections and more. However, if you’re simply looking for an app to perform the very basic of manipulations too, there are a bunch of options you can go with.

  • There’s Acoustica Basic Edition which brings all the basic features in the free package.
  • There’s MP3 cutter if you’re only looking to cut audio files into smaller pieces.
  • There’s Audio Joiner which works completely online so you don’t even have to download an app.

There are obviously more of these software, but for your basic needs these should prove plentiful. You can also check out AudioTool if you’re interested in getting started with making beats without spending insane amounts of money of software. In fact, AudioTool works online as well, so it’s easy to access anywhere.

SEE ALSO: 10 Best Video Editing Software for YouTube Videos

Use These Audio Editing Software for Your Next Project

So now that you know about the 10 best audio editing software you can use, which one are you planning on giving a shot? All of these options are pretty great in their own regard but at the end of the day it only matters which software best fits your style of work, so make use of the free trials on these software to figure out which one of these software will be the best DAW for you. If you think we’ve missed out on a pretty great audio editing software that deserves a mention, drop us a line in the comments down below.

43 COMMENTS

  1. Hello,
    I am a novice looking to do some basic editing of a bunch of family camcorder videos I recently converted to digital format on my PC. Most of what I want to do I’d call pretty basic (cutting long video into separate clips, adding captions, etc.). One aspect– the removal of some annoying voice segments while retaining the accompanying video sections– I’m guessing may be more complicated. I’m trying to figure out which programs will enable me to do this but am confused as to what having separate audio tracks really means. Is it strictly to manipulate different audio clips one is adding to a project when building a video, OR is it pertinent to my goal of deleting audio segments from one standalone video (i.e., I’m not adding different video and audio clips together from different sources)?

    Thank you for any advice, feedback, guidance regarding software suggestions to accomplish my goal.
    p.s. I am currently learning Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop and am somewhat familiar with the feel of those Adobe platforms… so if all the products were basically the same, I’d likely opt for an Adobe product because I’m guessing it would be easier/quicker for me to pick up.

    • For Windows… I would recommend Cubase Pro and FL Studio. I use both and never looked back. Ableton Live is also one of the big boys and a good program. The free stuff will only leave you frustrated with limitations and a lot of quality loss to the point where you cannot publish your work in the end. Yes, the free stuff can be good depending on your hardware but, you will end up using aprox 20 different apps which will definitely slow you down. I have searched high and low for cheaper and free alternatives, with only leading me back to my roots for what I originally got certified for in the first place. USE WHAT YOU KNOW and play with the other toys until you can ace it… Free or Paid 😉

      NOTE: Ableton Live have a HUGE learning curve if you’re used to Steinberg Products… Just a heads-up 😉

  2. Well, just one question… Why no one consider Vegas Pro as a good, friendly and powerfull tool? i have more than 15 years using it and at the end nobody can find a diference between and export or bounce from Vegas vs ProTools or oders Editors/Daws.
    Im using it before have the video edit capabilities (Sonic Foundry).

    For music does not work well if you are a Millenial but if you are a veteran, and have experience in music production, can mage easily a Grammy winner.

  3. I want to edit audios for youtube as i record it in my phone but the voice is not clear. So which s/w should i use for youtube?

    • Sudarshan, if your phone doesnt produce a clear recording of your voice that: A) Try a different phone; B) Record/Edit/Upload from your PC or laptop. Not sure what your content is but to obtain the best possible sound, pick-up a low to mid-level USB Microphone. Im talking a full-size mic. You can pick up a cheap-o or something decent on amazon for as little as $30! You can grab an Audio Technica for $90-$200. Otherwise you can try your computers on-board mic but youre not gonna get the clear sound that an actual microphone can offer. Of course, if your sound is bad, unless your content is REALLY good visually, you wont get a high volume of viewers 🙁

  4. Please Somebody help me, How to edit my voice like RJ O.P Rathor or RJ Nawed and which is is best software in which I edit My Voice. Please Reply Thanks.

  5. I like Audacity – very simple to use. I use it for practicing guitar – laying down solos over loops or backing tracks and experimenting.

    Downside appears to be that Amplitube effects don’t show up in Audacity.

    Anyone have a good alternative that allows the Amplitube effects to be recorded as played over a loop or backing track?

  6. Im trying to make cd+g tracks for songs that I like. Can anyone explain the best program to use from taking the vocals off, then to put them on a cd+g and play them in my karaoke machine please with the words being highlighted as the words are meant to be sung? I have cd+g creator pro but Im confused if it removes vocals.

    • I also have protools 12…my first time trying to learn these music programs so Im really illiterate as far as what these programs are capable of.

  7. I have a question if there is a audio editor, which can be used for record ultrasounds? Once was suggested to me, that Audacity should do the work. What experiences do you have guys?

    Tnak you, Matej

  8. Sound Forge is no longer owned by Sony. It is owned by MAGIX in Germany. Sony provided excellent support. Installation support is free with MAGIX, provided you are actually ever able to reach anyone on their Sales Support number they instruct you to call. I have yet to reach anyone after multiple attempts, so I have never been able to install the program. If you actually need ~technical~ support, you have to BUY a support voucher. Sony was great…MAGIX is not.

    • It gets even worse when you actually reach someone in tech support for MAGIX – they had me install a program to determine the OS of the host computer, and it got the answer wrong so MAGIX support told me that I did not have Windows 10 on my computer so they couldn’t help me. I sent them screen shots proving I had Win10 but they didn’t believe me. I am trying to get a refund now. Sound Forge was awesome, MAGIX sucks.

      • I found MAGIX online offer for $20 reasonable enough to give it a try, though I’ve never tried Sound Forge but would like to try it out. I found MAGIX to be more of a music writing program with all their sound bites and you can edit songs as well but I was not impressed and rarely use MAGIX anymore. For music editing & engineering I use Adobe Audition which has worked very well and it processes with 1,000’s of processes which you should write down your settings if you like the output, because there are so many variables. I got a version before they got greedy by their monthly/yearly charging for using Audition. I would NEVER pay a monthly or yearly fee for using software unless the cost was reasonable and $360 a year is outrageous IMO. Adobe software bought “Cool Edit Pro” from Syntrillium Software Corp. which was way ahead of their time for the quality of that software. Audition is as close to professional studio software like Protools that I’ve tested.

  9. I downloaded Audacity – could not access any of the editing tools – I was locked out without a paying version, felt duped

    • That’s interesting…I own Audacity, which is a free, open source software. I have never run across ANY portion that requires you to pay for anything. There is no PAY version. The only thing that you DO have to do is download the codec for MP3 files if you plan on working with them.

    • Audacity is FREE Open Source Software. I’ve been using it exclusively for 6 years. You need to download and/or install a couple things, depending on what you wannaw use Audacity for. For example, if you want to export audio that you’ve recorded/edited with Audacity as .mp3 files (and you do!) you’ll need to the “LAME/FFMPEG libraries. Easy Peasy. The link is right there on the website. It, too, is FREE! I use it continuously every day. The other thing to do is make sure all your “Effects” are enabled. Cllick “Effects” + “Add/Remove plugins”. If you do any voice over or vocals, you’ll want to grab the Declicker AND perhaps DeEsser. I COULDNT SURVIVE WITHOUT THEIR DECLICKER! at the end of each day, I say a special Thank You to my Audacity Declicker! <3 So, depending on your needs, you might need to spend 10 or 15 minutes rounding up the handful of FREE extras that make Audacity even more of a gem! Once installed, everything works seamlessly together! AND if you find yourself confused, frustrated … pop into the Audacity Forums. THEY ARE EXCELLENT FOLKS … VERY HELPFUL V-E-R-Y HELPFUL. I had some unbelivable shit going on where i had multiple versions on my mac and oh my gawd i cannot begin to describe my frustrations. I had a project due for a client (voice over) and i was in tears. my own fault. I posted in the forum and they were on it immediately … told me what i needed to do and WALAA they were right. i wanted to hug and squeeze em all. YES INDEED THE SOUNDFORGE/AUDACITY CREW ROCKS! (i was not paid or given anything free for this review which isnt even a review, its just the plain truth.) I LIED. i did receive something FREE in exchange for this post … it's called AUDACITY!

    • impossible..had Audicity for a long time …open source , never ask money what so ever…must be a missunderstanding

    • Pro Tools is a DAW, not technically the same as an isolated “audio editor” (although it does have audio editing features). Just a different category of software.

  10. Make all apps of music editing free…people will likes all music editors to download …and having fun

  11. Make all apps of music editing free…people will likes all music editors to download …and having fun

  12. What if I need to mix a reocrded clip and a bit mixed background(already ready one) yet enhance the recording in that bgm?

  13. I had a recommendation for Logic Pro X. Any comments on that software? Also, doing just some church sermon editing and tweeking before posting online to listen and then using same audio to create a video in Final Cut. Logic Pro a good choice or any other suggestions? Thanks.

  14. Machaane, thank you soo much for such a good article. Nyaan or song undaakeetu padaaradangi irikuva. so Just browsed the web for some help. thank you for sharing your knowledge, i am downloading audacity and lmms and will try to learn to use em.

  15. A bit misleading for the title: even a DAW user need an external audio editor. An audio editor and a two different things.

  16. Stainberg Cubase 7 is a good place to go, or if you want a no-pay philosophy, the Linux MultiMedia Studio concatenated with Audacity is a good damn choice 😀

  17. What might any one recommend for a novice. I am a dance studio owner with very limited tech skills. Any guidance would be most appreciative.

    • Audacity. Easy to use. You can mix sound tracks easily and yes, you also can add a few effects like echo and reverb. Pretty good for novice users. The free version is enough, don’t go for the pro if you don’t really need it!

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