Best Free Audio Editing Software

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Introduction

Back in the old days, recording and editing audio was not a simple task: mainly because not everyone had access to the required equipment and because of the limitations and high prices of the devices. Today, you can simply use a computer, audio editing software and a PC microphone (or the line-in on the sound card).

Of course, the latter isn't going to be a pro-task, but the majority of people who just want to record themselves or external equipment in a simple way, and be able to edit the recorded material in the digital world, will probably use the quick and cheap method mentioned above.

If you want to get more serious with your recordings and editing capabilities, investing in good audio equipment and/or extending the capabilities of your PC (via hardware and software), will bring you a big step forward into the pro audio recording and editing world. Presuming you already have a PC with a built-in sound card, and you want to record something and edit it later on, or you just want to edit an audio file that is on the PC already. Then you just need an audio editing software to make changes to the sound you want to manipulate.

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Rated Products

Audacity  

A multi-track audio editor and recorder can be as simple, or as complex as you want it to be


Our Rating: 
5
License: Free (Open source)
Interface is easy to use, easily applies noise profiles, capable of saving in multiple compressed formats.
Support for VST Plugins is available via a separate plugin.
Read full review...

KRISTAL Audio Engine  

A powerful multi-track recorder, audio sequencer and mixer


Our Rating: 
4
License: Free (Private/Educational use)
Modular system - Many different plug-ins, supports ASIO.
Can only handle 16 audio tracks maximum, requires a fast PC.
Read full review...

Wavosaur  

A small portable program packs a lot of advanced features and analysis tools


Our Rating: 
4
License: Free
No installation required, edit sounds like a pro user.
N/A
Read full review...

To be reviewed:

Ocenaudio, an easy, fast and powerful audio editor across multiple platforms including Windows, Mac OS X and Linux.

 

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Editor

This software review is copy-edited by Ian Richards. Please help edit and improve this article by clicking here.

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Comments

Audacity is not compatible with Win 10. They are reportedly working on it.

Many thanks for the quick reply. I've downloaded the program and it's exactly what I've been looking for. It's easy to use as well. As a software junkie, Gizmo's is marvellous. I always read the links every day and there is always a relevant and helpful article. Keep up the good work.

All the best,

Alex

Hi,

I've tried to download Kristal Audio Engine without success. Every time I try to access the download, the page won't load. Anyone know of a way round this as I would like to try this program.. Thanks in advance

Alex

Hi Alex. There is a problem with their download link. We have now changed this to the Softpedia source which is working fine. MC - Site Manager.

I have an iMac 10.9.3 and have used Audacity on several occasions. I have used Peak LE for many years, but it is no longer in business and freezes very frequently. Peak was perfect for my use since mostly I am recording a voice concert on a digital recorder and then editing and adding tracks to make a CD. When I now use Audacity, tracks is another matter since it is set up to do multiple tracks. Is there an easy and quick way to separate songs for CD tracks when editing?

I just did this with a cassette tape of our choir. I connected my cassette player into the line in of my pc, and recorded it to one file (didn't need to babysit it, just let it run). I opened the file and by zooming in I can see where songs begin and end. I highlight what looks to be one song with the mouse and copy and paste that one song (and a little extra) to a new file. I trim it to just the right length, apply any filters etc. then save as a mp3 and wav file (for CD).

I used OcenAudio on LinuxMint, but Audacity should work the same way.

I still think OcenAudio beats Audacity, most of the time. Better set of tools, and smaller download. I just installed the latest version on LinuxMint, piece of cake.

I just downloaded OceanAudiox64 after seeing your comment, it went well with my Win 10x64. Even the authors do not publicize this; strange!

Waveshop : http://waveshop.sourceforge.net/ Still in beta though.