If you’re reading this here, chances are you’re trying to do audio editing. Whether it’s audio editing your YouTube videos, a promising future in the film industry as the next Hans Zimmer, a career in music production and editing, or just creating some sickening ringtones for your phone, audio editing software Both will be at the heart of your setup. So today, we’ve rounded up the 15 best audio editing software for your Mac or Windows computer.
The Best Audio Editing Software for Mac and Windows in 2022
Choosing a good audio editing software or digital audio workstation (DAW) can be a very daunting task, as there is a wide variety of software out there. Some are free, some bring extra features, some are specific to specific operating systems, and some are not. So, to help you figure out where you should invest your time and money, we’ve dug through the various audio editing software to find the best one, preferably crème de la crème if you want. So, here are 15 of the best audio editing software you can check out.
Adobe’s Audition is easily one of the best audio editing software you can get your hands on. The app has some incredible features honed by the Adobe team’s years of experience creating powerful apps for professional users. Audition features features like multi-track editing and mixing, which are sure to make your audio editing experience easier and more efficient.
The software also comes with a feature called “Auto Ducking” that uses Adobe’s proprietary AI-based “Adobe Sensei” technology to figure out where you might want to lower the volume of etc. The sound is clearer and makes your job easier to get done.
Audition also has some powerful clip editing features, including mirror fades, the ability to maintain layer stacks when moving individual stacks, and more. There are a lot of plugins and Adobe even has its own series of tutorials on Audition, which will definitely make it easier for you to get started with the app.
In addition to that, the app boasts a well thought out interface that packs all the features it packs into and looks appealing even after you’ve touched the surface. Besides, it supports most audio formats such as MP3, WAV, AC-3, AIF, AIFF, AIFC, AAC, HE-AAC, CAF, FLAC, PCM, OGG, WMA, etc. and supports video formats such as AVI, MP4, MOV, FLV, etc.
- Extensive functionality
- Impressive user interface
- Great for anyone looking to edit voiceovers or video related audio tasks.
- There are too many functions that are easy for beginners to understand and use.
- Not for people who want to make music.
- Subscription-based software
Obviously, an article about creative apps will mention Apple in one way or another. Logic Pro X is Apple’s DAW for systems running macOS, it’s always been my choice for the best audio editing software, but since it’s only available on macOS, it’s much less accessible (not every artist both use Macs, after all). That said, Logic Pro X brings some great features that make it a great audio editing app for beginners and pro users alike.
Logic Pro X has all the basic features you need in an audio editor, but also brings extremely advanced features, including the ability to use Smart Tempo to automatically match the timing of different tracks in your project.
The app also brings “Flex Time,” which lets you edit the timing of individual notes in a waveform individually without splitting it out of the clip itself. It’s incredible and allows you to fix that ill-timed beat with minimal effort. There’s also “Flex Pitch,” which does the same thing with individual beats, except pitch instead of time.
Logic Pro X also brings an Arpeggiator, which automatically converts chords into arpeggios, giving your music a more sophisticated feel. There are also tons of pre-recorded sounds and patches that you can freely use in your workflow, as well as a huge number of Apple plug-ins that come with Logic Pro X (you can get over 60GB of extra assets with LPX!).
Logic Pro X supports WAV, AIFF, CAF, PCM, ALAC, AAC, MP3, REX, RCY and other audio formats.
- Works like a charm on Mac
- Feature-rich, and has a variety of plug-ins.
- Individual notes can also be controlled if desired.
- There are tons of tutorials.
- Mac only
- At $199, quite expensive
- If you’ve never used Garageband before, it can be overwhelming.
I’m pretty sure you’ve heard of Audacity. Free and open source software is mentioned in almost every audio editing thread, and for good reason. Like I said, Audacity is free, like absolutely free, which makes it the most accessible software for anyone looking to get started with audio editing. In addition, it is not inferior in function. It has almost all the features you need. There are many effects, including bass, treble, distortion, noise cancellation, and more. In addition to this, Audacity comes with analysis tools such as Beat Finder, Silence Finder, Sound Finder, and more.
As a free, cross-platform app, Audacity is surprisingly feature-rich. There are many other tools, including the Envelope Tool, the Time Shift Tool, and more. Also, like most good audio editing software, Audacity supports almost all audio file formats like MP3, WAV, AIFF, PCM, OGG Vorbis, FLAC, AC3, AMR, WMA, MP4, etc.
- Completely free
- Suitable for beginners
- Pro friendly and with all its features.
- Huge online community for help.
- UI is not the best
- Occasionally experience random crashes on Mac.
- A microphone plugged in after Audacity is launched is not recognized.
Reaper is another powerful and feature-rich audio editing software that is also more affordable than some of the other options on this list. For starters, Reaper supports multi-track and has excellent multi-channel support with 64 channels per track. It can also record audio directly to mono, stereo or even multi-channel audio files, as well as the ability to record to multiple disks simultaneously for data redundancy if you want.
With Reaper, you can apply effects in real-time, non-destructively, plug in virtually any third-party or MIDI plug-in, and even bring real-time pitch shifting and time-stretching into your mix. Reaper also supports the most popular file formats as well as some less popular ones. Supports 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 many.
In addition to all the features, Reaper’s interface is fully customizable, so you can make it look exactly to your liking.
- Feature rich
- Brings Logic Pro X, such as pitch shift and time shift
- More affordable than other powerful audio editing software
- Comprehensive tutorial on the website.
- UI is not as good as Audition or LPX.
- Not for beginners.
If you’re looking to become the next big name in EDM (or even if you’re just looking for a great audio editing software), you should definitely give FL Studio a look. Used by artists like Martin Garrix, Porter Robinson, and more, FL Studio is definitely a top-notch software for audio editing files. Similar to other top-notch DAWs, FL Studio also supports multitrack recording, time stretching, and pitch shifting. It comes with a mixer that brings effects chains, automation, delay compensation, and more.
Additionally, FL Studio comes with over 80 plugins at your disposal, including plugins for sample processing, compression, compositing, and more. There are also tons of instruments in FL Studio that you can use in your tracks; and, thanks to support for the VST standard, you can use almost any 3rd party plug-in for even more instrument sounds.
Since FL Studio is primarily aimed at music artists, it only supports file formats like AIFF, DS, DS, DWP, FLAC, MID, MP3, OGG, SF2, Speech, SYN, XI, and WAV.
- Function loaded
- Music production is amazing, not just editing audio.
- VST support so you can basically use any 3rd party plugin.
- Not the best UI.
- It can be a little scary to start wit
Ableton Live is also synonymous with music production, which is pretty obvious considering the plethora of features it brings. For starters, Ableton Live supports unlimited audio and MIDI tracks, so you can fill your project with as many track layers as you want. MIDI capture, 256 mono input channels, and 256 mono output channels are also supported. In addition, you can use up to 70GB of pre-recorded sounds, up to 15 software instruments, and up to 46 audio effects in your projects.
However, Ableton Live doesn’t have some of the features commonly found in most other audio editing software. There’s no pitch correction, and adding effects like fades isn’t as easy as it is on other software like 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 into you should definitely check it out.
Ableton supports almost all file formats, including WAV, AIFF, AIFF-C, FLAC, OGG Vorbis, RIFF, PCM, MP3, and more.
- One of the leading figures in electronic music production
- Feature rich
- Support unlimited tracks
- Extensive library of pre-recorded sounds at your disposal.
- Some basic features like pitch correction are missing.
- Makes tasks like adding fades more difficult than they need to be.
- User interface is far below par compared to competitors
Cubase from Steinberg is another audio editing software you might want to check out. The DAW carries the legacy of major artists who have used it, including Zedd, Junkie XL, and more. In terms of functionality, Cubase also offers quite a few. There’s a frequency equalizer that lets you make very fine-tuned frequency edits to your tracks, and an auto-pan feature that lets you play your tracks quickly.
Also, if you use plugins, Cubase’s Plugin Sentinel will automatically scan them on startup to make sure they’re valid and won’t harm your system. There’s also a feature called Audio-ins that lets you use filters and effects individually on audio tracks. Cubase offers a free trial, so you can check it out before deciding to buy.
- Comes with some really cool features.
- Has a frequency equalizer to perform fine-grained editing.
- Plugin Sentinel keeps your system safe.
- Not suitable for beginners.
Another audio editing software you might want to check out, Presonus Studio One 4 is a versatile DAW with lots of cool and useful features. With support for multiple audio tracks, Studio One’s Chord Track feature makes it easy to quickly prototype songs and learn how they sound. Chord Track brings key modulation, chord replacement, and more for easy prototyping. Studio One automatically recognizes chords in the audio track, and you can even drag sections into the chord track for reference.
Studio One also comes with the new Impact XT drum module, an improved version of the old Impact drum module. It brings over 20 new features like beat quantization and real-time stretching, allowing you to get creative with loops and beats in your songs. Beyond that, Studio One has countless other features, including multiple macro toolbars, improved multi-editing, an external plug-in scanner, and more, so it’s definitely worth a look if you’re interested.
- Too many features to keep track of.
- Ability to automatically identify chords in music.
- Has a plug-in scanner for safe operation
- Not suitable for beginners.
Hindenburg Pro is also an audio editing software worth mentioning. It’s cross-platform and works on 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. On top of that, the DAW introduces a plethora of effects, including compressors, equalizers, loudness meters, and support for third-party plug-ins, so you can expand your effects set to your imagination.
With the automatic EQ feature in Hindenburg Pro, you can let the software automatically set your preferred voice profile without much adjustment, and once you’ve finished editing your audio, Hindenburg will let you export your project to a variety of formats including mp3, AIFF Even Apple Lossless.
- Feature rich.
- 24-bit audio files are supported.
- An automatic equalizer will help normalize your voice when editing voiceovers and interviews
- Outdated user interface
- Not very suitable for music production.
Last but not least, Ardor is also a powerful audio editing software that not only runs on Windows and macOS, but also fully supports Linux, so you can basically run it on almost any computer you want run it on. .Ardor brings you nearly every audio editing feature in this book, from easier recording with microphones and MIDI devices, to editing with easy-to-use editing features like cut, crossfading, transpose, swing, and more.
Best Audio Editor Online
The software also brings unlimited undo and redo, so you can experiment as much as you want. The DAW also includes mixing functions, so you can use EQ, automation, faders, monitoring, and more. Add in a flexible mixer and hundreds of plug-ins that Ardor brings and supports, and you have great audio editing software.
- Fully cross-platform
- Kind of beginner friendly.
- Unlimited undo and redo
- The user interface looks terrible.
- Does not have advanced features.
- Not for professionals.
I don’t think there are many audio editing packages that can match the feature-rich and intuitive prowess of Avid Pro Tools. This software has probably the cleanest audio editing interface and can easily fit into any workflow. With a fast 64-bit recording and mixing engine to boot, it’s also great for productivity.
Speaking of productivity, Pro Tools offers an efficient way to handle large sessions. For example, you can organize your tracks into collapsible folders for more flexibility in your work. Another notable feature is the ability to group folders within folders and color-coded items, which makes navigation very easy.
Pro Tools comes with UVI Falcon 2, a highly proficient virtual instrument that lets you create amazing sounds. One of my favorite features of the software is a huge library of over 750 voice tracks, making it easier to create interesting mixes; this also doesn’t require HDX hardware. It also gives you the opportunity to discover the music of passionate artists and collaborate with them as the community of music creators continues to grow.
What’s more, Pro Tool even gives you the option to listen to music on major music streaming services including Spotify, Apple Music, Pandora, and more. It’s worth noting that Avid’s Pro Tools comes in three variants: First (free), Standard, and Ultimate. As you might have guessed, the free version is for beginners, while the ultimate version is for professionals. In terms of compatibility, this audio editor supports multiple audio formats, including MP3, S1, SD2, .aac, .M4a, etc.
- Fast 64-bit recording and mixing engine
- UVI Falcon 2 – a highly proficient virtual instrument
- Collapsible folder
- Over 750 voice tracks
- No built-in pitch correction
- Lack of VST or AU plugin support
- Does not have instrument track presets
If you want a one-stop platform loaded with high-end tools, Sequoia by Magix may be the right answer for your needs. The advantage of this audio editing software over many others of its kind is its ability to excel in all major aspects including audio production, post production, broadcast and mastering. It provides highly proficient features for source destination clips and multi-sync clips, enabling you to easily combine various concert recordings into one. With seamless collaboration, it helps music creators work in sync with their teams during post-production.
On the broadcast side, Sequoia offers a direct connection to the broadcast CMS and automation systems to simplify the experience. The software has a powerful audio engine that allows editing of files even during live recording, which is another advantage from a productivity standpoint. Even when it comes to mastering, the software can help you comprehensively, thanks to a wide range of tools such as a powerful object editor, best-in-class plug-ins, comprehensive phase and peak meters, and native audio restoration.
As for compatibility, it offers fully integrated OMF/AAF support so that you can exchange projects between all major programs and platforms. Note that AAF is the format of choice due to open documentation and extensive feature set. At $2,975, Sequoia might seem pricey compared to other audio editors, but if top-of-the-line tools are important to your mastering, you can’t go wrong. Definitely!
- Efficient features for source-destination cut and multi-sync cut
- powerful audio engine
- Collaborate seamlessly
- Powerful Object Editor
- Too expensive
- Steep learning curve