With features starting from frequency equalizer to multiple streaming channels being offered to the users. The name of Steinberg attached to it makes it one of the best audio editing software. Now, we would be turning our attention to look at some of the best audio editing software for Mac: 7. Jun 28, 2020 Shotcut is highly versatile free video editing software available on Mac and PC. Once you get past the somewhat steep learning curve, you’ll find you can do quite a lot with Shotcut. And, since it’s a free software, you have the option of seeing whether or not you like it without having to pay a cent.
If there’s one thing that really gets me going is whensomeone says that you need to have Pro Tools, Cubase… you name it, installed inorder to be a good producer.
The funny thing is that this couldn’t be farther from thetruth.
In order to be a good producer, you need to learn how to properly produce music, the software you use for recording/editing is secondary.
If you don’t have the proper knowledge, acoustic treatment,equipment, and skills, it doesn’t matter if you use the “best” software outthere…
Your mixes will most certainly suck!
So, before I get into the free Audio recording software, there are some things that need to be addressed.
Table of Contents
- Traverso (Windows, Mac, Linux)
- Ardour (Windows, Mac, Linux)
- Jokosher (Windows, Linux)
- Ohm Studio (Windows, Mac)
- Pro Tools First (Windows, Mac)
- Tracktion T7 (Windows, Mac, Linux)
- Studio One Prime (Windows, Mac)
- Cakewalk by Bandlab (Windows)
- Audacity (Windows, Mac, Linux)
- Garageband (Mac only)
But first, something that is a lot more important than the editing software you use, which is…
Improve your skills
Just like with anything else in life, recording, mixing, andmastering are skills that need to be learned… and this takes time.
Think more about which of those skills you are lacking and focus on improving them instead of thinking that you need to purchase Pro Tools simply because someone said so.
If you are excellent at using any kind of software, let’s sayAudacity, do you think that you could achieve the same quality mix on Pro Toolsor Cubase?…
Probably not, right?… At least not until you get used tothose DAWs.
While it might be a good idea to upgrade to some of the moreprofessional recording software/DAWs at some point, I really don’t think thatthis should be a priority.
Lucky for you not only are there dozens of free recordingprograms out there…
But even Pro Tools, Presonus, and other of the big names, have free stripped-down versions of their most popular DAWs.
If you think that you might need a couple courses to improve your skills quickly, then let me recommend the loopmasters website where you can find loads of courses about almost anything music related.
Best Free Audio Recording Programs
Now that that’s out of the way it’s time to get into thelist of the recording programs…
Note: You might be thinking “Hey, but my computercame with one pre-installed, can’t I use that one?”.
Well, yes and no…
If you own a Mac then it means that you get Garageband forfree, and Garageband is definitely on this list since it’s excellent!
If that’s your case then yes.
If you own a PC, like most of us, then you will absolutelyneed to download another program.
Lucky for you, here’s a list of 10 great ones which not onlyare free, but also work great!
Note: I’ll end the post with the ones I like themost.
Let’s get started…
The whole idea behind Traverso is to make the workflow aseasy as possible.
They achieve this by allowing you to control the entireprogram through mouse+keyboard shortcuts, which I know may sound a littleintimidating at first…
But once you get the hang of it, you’ll be able to work thatmuch faster.
Some cool features of Traverso are;
Non-destructive audio editing: This allows you to undo/redoas much as you want.
Cut the track into a million pieces, add effects, and more…and the original file will still be intact.
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This is a great feature for beginners to have, since you can’treally run into any serious problems.
Burn directly to a CD: Yes, we almost don’t use CDsanymore, but it’s a nice feature to have.
Once you’re done with a project you can burn it directly on-toa CD without even leaving Traverso.
Note: This is not a simple recording program…
It’s actually a full DAW which is quite powerful and thatcertainly is capable of producing professional sounding music.
So, if you like using shortcuts and don’t mind that initiallearning curve, by all means, give Traverso a try.
You can download it here.
Ardour is yet another free DAW/audio recording and editing software that is both aimed at the seasoned producer as well as beginners.
It’s a fully featured DAW, and the whole point behind Ardour is to be the go-to choice for engineers who are on a budget and can’t afford to purchase a premium one.
Just like Traverso, Ardour features non-destructive editingas well as 32-bit float.
Not only that, but contrary to Pro Tools first, Ardour doesn’tput a limit on the number of simultaneous tracks you can use.
It also supports VST, LADSPA, AU, and LV2 formats so thatyou can use your favorite plugins.
Additionally, Ardour runs on JACK which is excellent at handling MIDI without any latency whatsoever.
Lastly, would I recommend Ardour to a complete newbie?
Probably not… and here’s why;
The user interface is a bit more complex than the one onother free recording software out there, like Garageband which is extremelyeasy to use.
However, I’ve you’ve ever worked with a real DAW before, Ardourwill probably be easy to learn, plus it can do anything a premium DAW can.
You can download it here.
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Jokosher is one of the most lightweight recording programs you’ll ever find.
It’s not really designed to be able to do any advancedmixing and mastering, like most other programs on this list…
However, what it lacks in functionality it more than makesup in ease of use.
Not only that, but it was designed to use concepts that musicians are more familiar with than the language used in most audio editing software…
Making it a good starting point!
Even though Ardour may not be as in-depth as some of theother DAWs on this list, it still features all the basic editing tools likesplitting, trimming, etc.
It even comes with a decent number of instruments which can be added to a project.
However, if you want do add extra plugins like Orchestral VST,for example, you will only be able to add LADSPA plugins… which Iknow isn’t ideal.
All in all, Jokosher is a great free tool mainly due to its ease of use… it’s very similar to Garageband in that regard.
If you need to do some simple audio recording, mixing, etc.,or if you want a simple tool for podcasting, then Jokosher might be the rightfit.
You can download it here.
7. Ohm Studio
Ohm Studio looks like a regular DAW, or like any other audiorecording software.
But what sets it apart from every other program on this listis not the number of plugins it comes with, or how powerful it can be…
What really sets it apart is that it’s a collaborative recording software.
What this means is that you can give access to otherpeople and they can simultaneously work with you in real time on thesame project.
The reason I included Ohm Studio in this list is exactly becauseof that one feature.
Other than that, it doesn’t offer anything that otherrecording software don’t.
It comes with a lot of effects and instruments that can beused completely for free, and it also supports VST plugins… but only 32-bitfor now.
You can download it here.
6. Pro Tools First
Pro Tools First is the stripped-down version of the mostpopular DAW in existence…
It includes the Xpand!2 virtual instruments and UVIWorkstation 3 sample player which give you access to a variety of sounds,from beats and loops, to power chords and more.
Since it’s a lite version of Pro Tools, it only allows forup to four simultaneous tracks to be recorded at the same time…
And 16 tracks can be played back at the same time.
I know this doesn’t sound like a lot but remember that it’s the free version and you can always upgrade later on.
Pro tools First also comes with 23 effects andutility plugins, which are great for basic mixing procedures.
It is free to download and use, but you need to registerwith them and with iLoki also, which takes a bit of time.
Whenever you want to try out free software, having to jumpthrough a couple of hoops isn’t the worst thing, but it would be much better ifthey didn’t make you do any of this.
Note: If you’re thinking about building a homestudio, don’t miss out on this list I wrote about all the HomeStudio Essentials you need!
You can Download it here.
5. Tracktion T7
Tracktion T7, just like Cakewalk, which I will talk about in a second, is a completely freeand fully featured/unlimited DAW.
This means that there is no “Lite” version, there areno track limitations, no plugin limitations, or any other constraint of sortslike on Pro Tools First or Cubase LE.
The T7 version, and all the prior ones, are free.
This is because they want you to try them out and see if youlike the workflow…
If you do, you can upgrade to the latest version that is now called Waveform 9, which isn’t free.
In order to get this one, you will need to register as well.
After this, simply select your OS and download.
The BIG difference between Tracktion T7 and all the otherDAWs I’ve tried is that the workflow is very different.
You have your tracks, which go from left to right, like in any other DAW, but the Mixer isn’t on the bottom, like in EVERY OTHER DAW… it’s on the right.
The controls for every track are on that same track but on the right side of the DAW.
This might be a bit confusing at first, but it makes senseonce you’ve gotten used to it.
However, even though getting used to the different workflowof Tracktion 7 can take some time…
Why would you spend a fortune in order to get some other DAWwhen this one, and Cakewalk as well, can do the same things but for free?
Definitely give it a try!
You can download it here.
4. Studio One Prime
Studio One Prime is a beginner friendly DAW.
The user interface is extremely intuitive and easy to use and it offers ahassle-free workflow.
Therefore, it’s great for beginners since recording a demo in your bedroomwithout any prior experience won’t be such a headache.
I recommend Studio One Prime to people with no prior experience who justwant to learn the basics of mixing music.
The biggest drawback it has is that it can’t load VST or AU plugins.
If you want to be able to do this, you will need to upgrade to Studio OneArtist.
Note: In order to use VST/AU plugins in Studio One Artist,you will need to purchase a separately paid add-on for these VST/AU plugins towork.
Yes, this sucks… But the software itself is great!
Studio One Prime comes with nine Native effect Plugins like delay,distortion, etc. which are surprisingly good.
At the time of writing this article, the current version is StudioOne 4 Prime.
The latest version introduces a couple of improvements added from the Artistand Pro editions of the Software.
These are; An improved instrument editing workflow, theintroduction of drum and melodic patterns as well as MP3 encoding.
This is a stripped-down version of the Artist and Pro editions, if you needVST/AU plugins, or if you want more effects, you will have to either getanother DAW from this list, of purchase the Artist or Pro editions.
Remember that the Artist version requires a separately paid add-onfor VST/AU plugins to work.
Just like with most of the DAWs on this list, you will need to register inorder to download it.
Still, I think that Studio One Prime is definitely worth checking out.
You can download it here.
3. Cakewalk by Bandlab
Cakewalk is considered to be the best free DAW out there,the one issue is that it’s only for Windows users (Windows 7 or higher and only64-bit), but you are getting a $600 value DAW for absolutely free.
It’s basically a rebranded version of SONAR Platinum withall its professional features included.
One of the differences between Cakewalk and ProTools Firstor Cubase LE (light version of Cubase), is that those come with a couplerestrictions;
Like limited simultaneous tracks recording and playing back,and some other features.
Cakewalk is just as powerful as the full versions ofProTools and Cubase, but 100% free!
Not only is Cakewalk my top choice for any free recordingsoftware out there, but it’s also the one I generally use the most.
For years now I’ve been using Cubase and I have to say thatI really like the workflow…
But Cakewalk is very similar in the sense that it’s a fullDAW, while still being absolutely free.
Of course, it comes down to your own preferences.
Maybe you like the interface of some other DAW better, butthis one offers everything the full version of a paid DAW does, and more!
If you are a Windows user, then get Cakewalk, no questionsasked!
Note: Once you downloaded Cakewalk, you will need toregister (you can do this through Facebook or Google, it only takes onesecond).
Then you need to go to the “App” section and installCakewalk.
You can download it here.
Audacity, while not being the most powerful program outthere, is the go-to recording software for most beginner home music recordingenthusiasts as well as podcasters.
The reason for this is that it’s fairly simple to use, whichis ideal if you are a beginner.
The interface is simple and clean (Ideal for a newbie),which just means that the user experience as a whole will be much lesscomplicated.
Not only that but it can record using your PC’s onboardsound card directly through the mic input and line-in input.
Live streaming is also an option if your sound card supportsit.
It comes with quite the number of included effects which areuseful for getting the sound you desire, from setting the levels right tochanging the sound of your voice even.
From EQs, to pitch correction, delay, reverb, compressor,noise removal, and more… Audacity has got your basic effect needs covered.
Additionally, it even supports VST, LADSPA, AU, and Nyquistplugins, meaning that if you want to load a Drum VST plugin,you can.
Audacity supports a sample rate of up to 192kHz, which isfar more than you’ll ever need since most of the times, even in professionalstudios, the sample rate is 48kHz.
But having the alternative to go this high will allow you todo some high-caliber recordings.
Note: You’ll need the appropriate gear to takeadvantage of this feature.
Audacity may not necessarily come packed with loads offeatures, but what it lacks in added functionality it more than makes up insimplicity.
This is why I think that it’s excellent for beginners, sinceit’s fairly simple to use while still providing you with a whole lot ofoptions.
If you’re just starting to learn about audio engineering orif you are recording simple things, like a podcast, then Audacity is definitelyworth considering.
You can download it here.
Garageband is an amazing DAW that comes free with any iOSdevice, if you own a Mac or an iPhone you will have access to it.
It is, essentially, a stripped-down version of Logic Pro Xbut completely free.
Garageband is a great place to start if you want to learnabout multitrack recording, using MIDI and essentially mixing, before spendinga lot of money on expensive software.
With Garageband not only can you produce a song on yourcomputer but you also can produce an entire song using just your cellphone,since you have all the tools you need right there.
This means that if you own an iPhone and you want to recordonly using that device, Garageband will be the ideal choice for you.
I wrote an entire article on Howto produce a song with no Studio Equipment which should be of use to anyonewho wants to record using a mobile device.
Garageband is extremely easy to use, which is why I think itdeserves the first stop on this list.
The interface is clean, the design is super intuitive…Perfect for any beginner!
Which one should you choose?
Well, this is a complicated question to answer…
The fact is that most of the audio recording/editingprograms on this list will be able to do almost the exact same things properly.
However, this all depends on your overall music productionknowledge.
If you are a complete newbie then I’d recommend Garageband,for Mac users, and Jokosher, for Windows users.
Garageband is pretty versatile and will allow you tocreate some pretty good sounding music.
Jokosher on the other hand, is very easy to use… butalso very limited, and should be used as a jumping off point.
If you already know a bit about how to use a DAW, then I’ddefinitely recommend Cakewalk, which is Windows only…
Otherwise TracktionT7 is your next best bet.
Like I mentioned in my little rant at the beginning, having thelatest version of a premium software like Pro Tools and Cubase isn’t reallynecessary.
There are loads of free alternatives out there which havenothing to envy the premium ones.
In my opinion, it all comes down to how you feel using eachDAW.
If you prefer the workflow of Pro Tools First, then it mightmake sense to purchase the full version.
Otherwise, just stick to a free one.
I hope this information was useful.
Have a great day!
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the easiest software to make music?
If you use an iOS device to record, then Garageband is your best bet since it’s incredibly intuitive and easy to use.
On the other hand, if you’re a Windows user then I would recommend Studio one Prime, which is one of the easiest DAWs to learn, or Audacity since it doesn’t provide so many features that you’ll feel overwhelmed.
Can Audacity record MIDI?
Audacity cannot record MIDI. It can only reproduce it if you import it.
Audacity cannot be directly controlled by a MIDI controller either.
Is there anything better than audacity?
Even though Audacity works pretty well, it’s far from the best free recording/editing software out there.
If you want the best free alternatives then I’d recommend either Cakewalk or Tracktion T7.
Is Audacity Safe?
If you download it from the official website then yes, it’s absolutely safe.
However, you need to be really careful since there are dozens of other websites out there that allow you to download Audacity and you might get some unwanted malware with those downloads.
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Want to create an awesome remix song for your group dance performance? Want to compose a music for the background sound of your next play? Want to record your own audio? Well, an audio editing software is the solution to all of these requirements.
Today, it has been a very easy task to compose, edit, record or remix the songs just by sitting at home. Raw audio clips contain noise and less clarity so, we edit the audio files using audio editing software to enhance their quality. You can easily get an audio editing software for your Windows or Mac computer and edit audio files at your home.
Must visit: What’s This Song? How To Identify A Song Playing Near You
There is a huge number of audio editing software available around the web which allows you to edit your audio without extra efforts. The amazing features of these software make it the work of only a few clicks to record or edit an audio file.
Best Audio Editing Software For Windows & Mac
It may take a lot of time before your find a good audio editing software suitable for all your audio editing needs. So, for your convenience, I have created a list of Top 10 best audio editing software for windows and mac. Hence let’s go through it …
Wavepad is one of the best audio editing tools. It a powerful and professional tool which helps you to edit the audio in your desired way. This tool provides you every necessary feature you need to have for editing the audio. Also, the working of the tool is quite easy to understand and you can quickly edit audio files without any problem.
The main features of this audio editing software include batch processing means you can add effects or edit multiple audios at the same time if you need to apply the same effects on all of the audio files. It enables you to copy, paste, delete, insert, compression, auto-trim, pitch-sifting, silence and so on.
It supports all kind of popular audio file formats such as mp3, vox, wav, wma, real audio, ogg, amr, mid, aac, etc. You can even add effects such as equalizer, amplify, reverb, envelope, reverse, echo and so on for making your audio more interesting and attractive.
The software provides you free and paid version. The free version offers you the basic tools to edit audio but for getting the benefit of advanced tools you can purchase the full package for $39.95.
Adobe Audition tool is the another great tool for editing the audio files. This software is the product of Adobe creative cloud. It offers you many professional-level audio editing features. You can perform multi-track editing, audio slicing, mix several sounds, apply sound effects, restoration and so on. It also includes some inbuilt sounds which you can use in your musical projects.
The software supports all the audio formats and it can also convert one format to the other. The software is available for both Windows as well as Mac. Adobe Audition provides you 30-days trial and you can get the full version for $29.99/month.
Ardour is another wonderful audio editing software which can be used by composers, soundtrack editors, musician, audio engineers etc. This software is professional and easy to use at the same time. It enables you to record, edit or mix the audio tracks. it is also very easy to use. If you want to record the audio then simply connect your microphone and click the record button and start recording your audio.
The software offers you many features for editing your audio the way you want such as stretch, move, cut, copy, paste, snapshot, zoom, transpose, align, trim, rename, crossfade, swing, drag, drop and so on. It also supports plugin so that you can get the tool or feature you want to as per your requirements. You can get this software for free for Windows and Mac.
4. Sound Forge
Sound forge audio editing software is all you need to have if you want to compose music and edit it for personal use or the professional one. The software contains easy to use interface to provide the best experience to its users. It includes almost every aspect of creating a great music or editing the existing one. You can add effects, trim, copy, paste etc. It also offers you to record audio for creating the personalized audio files.
You can use its basic tools to perform the basic audio editing which can be done with a few clicks. Sound forge now has included 64-bit/192 kHz support so that you do not have to compromise the quality of the input. The can download the software for both Windows or Mac for $59.95.
5.AVS Audio editor
AVS Audio editor in one of the best audio editing software. With the help of this tool, you can perform every function for audio editing. The software lets you edit audio with efficient features such as trim, mix, cut, join, remix, spit etc. You can even apply effects to your audio files for providing them more life. AVS Audio editor lets you record audio from any of input. You can also create ringtones for iPhone with the help of this tool.
It also lets you export audio from video. Multilingual support is the another helpful feature of this tool. You can get this software for free and the full package costs you $39/year.
6. Avid Pro tools
If you are searching for a tool which can provide advanced music composing and audio editing feature then Avid Pro tools is one of the best options for you. It provides sounds of different musical instruments using which you can even create your own music or add some extra music sound to the existing audio. It also enables you to search for the music effects you want to add in your audio file so that you don’t have to scroll down or search for the same here and there.
Avid pro tools also enables you to edit audio file in batches so you do not have to edit the multiple audio files one-by-one. You also get the virtual Dj sound facility with this great software. It is available for Windows and Mac. You can get the software for $24.92 per month.
Wavosaur is another great tool for audio editing purpose which is available absolutely for free. This tool is also good for beginners as it provides you the easiest to use interface. You can perform all the basic things which you may require to edit your audio files such as clip sound, noise suppression, sound mixing, sound effects, etc. It also enables you to record the live sound without any hassle.
Another great thing about this software is that it is quite light weighted and you do not need to install any file. Simply double-click the application and there you go.
8. FL Studio 12.1.2
FL studio is another great audio platform to create your own music and edit audio files as per your wish. We can actually call it a digital audio workstation as it offers all the wonderful features for audio editing and provides a feel of professionalism.
When you first launch the software you will be highly impressed by its interface and the look of it. Also, the software regularly updates itself which is a good thing about it. The main features of this software include multi-touch, browsing, channel menu, piano roll, playlist, VST plugins, real-time stretching, fruity envelope controller, pattern menu and so on.
The software provides you different audio editing plans to choose from and the basic plan is available for $99.
Diamond cut is another efficient audio editing tool. This software includes all the necessary features to create the awesome and unique audio files. along with the basic features for audio editing, it also offers you unique features such as big click filter which helps you to automatically repair the large clicks resulted due to the badly gouged record.
You also get amazing sound effects such as overtone and sub-harmonic synthesizer. These features help in recreating the lost lower and upper octaves of a recording.
This audio editing software is only available for Windows and you can get its full package for $159.
If you have just begun with your audio editing skills then Audacity is the best option for you. This audio editing tool is a freeware and you can download this for free. It comprises of a user-friendly interface which is great for beginners. The software offers you many audio editing tools such as audio mixing, live audio recording, noise suppression and so on.
The software supports all the popular audio file formats such as AIFF, WAV, OGG, MP3 and so on. This amazing tool is available for Windows, Mac and Linux too.
Top Free Audio Editing Software Mac Download
So, above were the top 10 software for audio editing requirements. All the tools work quite well and most of them offer a free version. Try the free versions first as the free versions have enough features for daily audio editing requirements. If you want to do some professional audio editing then go for the premium versions. Let me know which one is your favorite in comments.