Regardless of whether you’re looking to record music files, edit files to go along with your video, or even work on your podcast, finding the best audio editing software/sound designing software should be at the top of your priority list.
Working on software that’s most suitable for your work as well as what skills you wish to develop is crucial.
And luckily, these days, a lot of the audio editing tools out there are available for various devices and operating systems at a wide price range. So finding audio editing software that is powerful doesn’t take much time.
That said, working on software that is comfortable and relevant to the media you wish to create can be challenging. This is why we’ve gone ahead and compiled a list of the software for audio editing based on your needs and preferences.
What is Audio Editing Software?
Audio editing software is a tool that helps users in editing and creating audio files. For the most part, this software is used by audio editors to clip, edit, and delete sections of audio tracks. Audio editing software also helps users record, fix and several cases manipulate audio and render them in various audio formats.
Based on the nature of your work and audio-related manipulative tools, you can either pick one of the free software or opt for an effective paid version. You can work within your budget so long as you know the limitations of the various sound designing software out there.
For budding musicians, there is quite a few free software that can get the job done. However, if you’re looking to record music, you may need to invest in an audio interface. For newbies looking to start a podcast, picking a good microphone or set of microphones should be your main focus. If interested in some good picks, we’d suggest you check out our list of the best microphones for podcasts and youtube.
Top 10 Best Audio Editing Software
- Adobe Audition — Best audio editor overall (Editor’s Choice)
- Audacity — Best free audio software with professional quality
- Logic Pro X — Best audio design software for Macs overall
- Sound Forge Pro — One of the most popular software for both amateurs and professionals
- FL Studio — Best music mixer software
- GarageBand — Best free music editing software for Macs and iOS
- Audio Lab — Audacity for Android
- Ableton Live — The best interactive audio software for music
- Descript — One of the best Podcast editing software
- Ocenaudio — Best for cross-platform compatibility
Also see our best earphones, Best Animation Software, Best Software for AR and VR Design, and Best Software for Digital Artists.
And if you are an artist searching for NFT creator software have a look at this Best NFT Creator Software – Ultimate Guide for Creatives.
What is the Best Audio Editing Software?
Our pick for the best audio editing software goes to Adobe Audition.
What to Consider When Choosing an Audio Editing Software?
It is common to feel confused when learning new software, so it is important to consider how easy a software is to learn when searching for one to purchase because it is also necessary to see how to become proficient with it, so you should look at whether it has any tutorials or not. A sound designing software should serve all your needs for editing, recording, mixing, and mastering.
However, every software will have its steep learning curve depending on the one you choose. You must also consider having a look at the audio editing template to get help for learning how to use it.
It is common for software to come with features and capabilities and it is a crucial task for users to keep the interface simple and intuitive while accessing advanced settings and tools, which may come with difficulty.
Software is efficient when it helps in placing, organizing, and setting up all the necessary tools at your fingertips. You must ensure the user interface is easy and fast to use because it helps you in making you more efficient regardless of your skill level.
If you are buying software, it is always important to see when the manufacturer adds new features. It is always important to remove outdated features and add new ones to avoid crashing issues. It might also boost speed and productivity.
This is important because once we buy the software, we may rely on it for an extended period of time, so it is important to ensure that it receives regular updates from the creator.
Audio Tools and Features
When working with audio editors, the ability to cut, copy, trim, paste, and even merge audio files is almost fundamental, and most audio software has this capability. However, you may want to amplify, compress, or work with more crucial audio restoration features like noise reduction and removal of other unwanted noises that can occur in the recording process. Most of the more niche features will probably require you to purchase paid audio software.
To take your audio to the next level, it is best to have advanced editing tools and features. If you want your audio to impress and dazzle listeners, then it is necessary to have the required tools.
Some features like adding or supporting 3rd Party VST Plugins and having nondestructive editing tools and having a large library of various sounds, templates, and samples help you create the best possible content.
If the software includes MIDI effects, unlimited instruments, and audio effects, then it should combine the best of the audio makes. Also, the ability to group the tracks for good flexibility and detailed arrangements.
If you are looking for buying software, then you must have powerful computer systems. It is important to ensure that your computer can handle the tasks the software performs. You must also know about the computer’s audio interface capabilities, as the processing of high-quality audio can require significant computing time and resources.
Minimum System Requirements
OS: Windows or macOS (Latest version of OS is recommended)
CPU: Intel® Core™ i5 processor or faster than this is recommended
Processor: 32-bit or above (64-bit is is recommended)
RAM: 8 – 16 GB or more is recommended
Audio software can end up being quite pricey, which can be worth the investment if you are someone whose work demands it. But for amateurs, we’d recommend against buying expensive software right off the bat. That said, paid software comes with a lot more features that can make recording and editing audio files much more convenient.
And if you’re someone looking to advance in audio editing and engineering, putting in a few extra dollars can really pay off, provided it is something you’re serious about.
Community is the most important aspect when it comes to buying sound designing software because it provides support and experience. This helps in sharing tips, giving information, asking, and discovering more. Experienced users on a particular platform can share tips and tricks with new users to learn and use more advanced features.
These online forums help users when they cannot find the answers they need, they can ask on the forum. Someone who had the same issue you face can clarify it, making it important to see if the software has a community.
Podcasting / Vlogging vs Music Production
For editing audio files, it will all come down to what kind of audio you’re editing. If you’re working on audio effects for short films or recording audio for podcasts or blogs, you’ll likely only need an audio editing tool that reduces noise, can add filters, and mostly, have recording and editing capability.
But for music recording and production, there’s a good chance you’ll need software that’s more curated.
For example, if you’re having problems soundproofing your room or studio for vlogs or podcasts, investing in software that eliminates background noise is a great way to go. For musicians looking to produce and edit music, a software that enables additional instruments, filters, and effects like FL Studio, for example, is a lot more suitable.
Best 10 Audio Editing Software in 2022
1. Adobe Audition — Best audio editing software overall (Editor’s Choice)
Adobe dominates when it comes to creative software, and Adobe Audition is no exception. Although not without competitors, Audition is one of the best professional audio editing software around. One of the most popular tools used for audio in mainstream media, this tool is great for recording multiple channels, as well as noise reduction and mixing and mastering music.Audition is paid software but definitely worth the money if you’re looking for professional-level audio editing, including filters and audio effects, but is still most popularly used for music and audio mastering.
This software comes with a bit of a learning curve and is undoubtedly one of the best out there. The best part of Audition is the fact that you can try it out for free if you’re not ready to commit to anything paid immediately. Overall, Audition is the top pick as it’s versatile for both recording and editing files. You should check out our download Adobe Audition article if you’re interested in trying it out for free.
Plus get 65% off Adobe Audition with our Adobe discount guide.
|➕ Capable of recording multiple channels||➖ Does not come with MIDI compatibility|
|➕ Comes with several impressive visualization tools||➖ Some of the settings are complex and have a bit of a learning curve|
|➕ Allows for noise reduction to limit unwanted background noise|
|➕ Audio restoration features ensure professional sound quality|
|➕ Has a studio waveform editor|
2. Audacity — The best free sound editor for professionals
Audacity is the best audio editing software for cross-platform support that’s available for free. This free audio editing software allows for professional-level audio that is perfect for anyone working on a restricted budget and beginners looking to work on editing audio files.
When it comes to free audio editing software, features and capabilities are usually strongly restricted and underwhelming. However, Audacity does a great job with fundamental tools and can ensure most of your typical editing tasks are done smoothly.
One drawback about Audacity is the fact that the user interface for this software does not look as polished or as appealing as some of the paid software out there. That said, this powerful editing software comes with multi-track editing capability, and for newbies, can be the best software for editing audio.
|➕ Minimalistic user interface||➖ The graphics for the user interface are dull and need revamping|
|➕ Easy to learn||➖ Requires better support for plugins|
|➕ Has several professional audio editing features||➖ Has its limitations when it comes to audio mixing|
3. Logic Pro X — Best sound design software for Macs overall
Logic Pro is undoubtedly one of the best-suited DAW software for Mac systems. This responsive app is also low latency so your recording and playback have a minimal delay, making the recording process a lot more comfortable.
This software comes with several pre-made loops, as well as several instruments and effects that are convenient and practical to work with when recording music or any type of tune.
This software also comes with a large list of plugins and tools, making the recording process much smoother. That said, Logic Pro comes with a one-time price tag of $200 on the Apple site and is, without doubt, the best curated DAW (Digital Audio Workplace) for Mac devices.
|➕ Comes with a vast library of virtual instruments||➖ Slower than some of the other DAW software on the market|
|➕ Great compatibility with Apple products||➖ File management could be less complex|
|➕ Not many software issues due to frequent updates||➖ Not compatible with Windows|
|➕ Affordable — only requires a one-time payment|
4. Sound Forge — One of the most popular software for both amateurs and professionals
When it comes to audio software that is popular for both amateurs and professionals alike, Sound Forge is one of the most popular choices out there. This audio editing software can have its GUI (graphical user interface) modified to fit the user’s own preferences, and it also comes with several audio-visualization tools that make the editing process user-friendly.
Much like most of the software on this list, Sound Forge Pro is typically used when producing and mastering music files and, as such, has features that ensure users get the best experience possible. The latest version of this Sony software comes with responsive plugins and comes with ARA2 support that ensures real-time editing is smooth and efficient.
|➕ Highly customizable user interface||➖ Listening to VST effects after applying them to audio is difficult|
|➕ Comes with solid and reliable editing features||➖ A bit pricey|
|➕ Allows you to organize your VST plugins into folders for efficiency|
5. FL Studio — Best music mixer software
When it comes to software that is now an industry standard, FL Studio is one of the few that have been around for the past two decades. They are still considered to be one of the more versatile audio tools out there.
Currently one of the world’s most used and popular audio software, FL Studio has been updated through the years with innovative elements and effects that help you record, edit, and master any of the audio files that come your way. When it comes to composing fruity loops, it’s a popular choice among several eDM artists and composers that like a variety of instruments but can only make use of a MIDI.
FL Studio is also a great option if you’re on the go, which is why we’ve picked it as the best music mixer software on this list.
|➕ Affordable price that offers studio-level features for musicians and amateurs alike||➖ Its dynamically unique interface ensures a learning curve for even experienced designers|
|➕ Outstanding for audio mixing||➖ Underwhelming video integration|
|➕ Great compatibility with MIDIs — has impressive MIDI sequencing||➖ Not compatible with Windows|
|➕ Highly customizable and lighter than several of the other DAWs on the market|
6. GarageBand — Best free music editing software for Macs
GarageBand is one of the more traditional Apple device software when it comes to editing audio and for good reason. This free audio editor is among one of the top ones out there, although not as popular as Audacity or Audition. This iOS software can be both practical and convenient to use because of the several effects and instruments that make the process much easier.
Other than being user-friendly, it allows you to edit and record audio files with little to no effort. For podcasters, GarageBand is one of the best software to use in the recording process and also when editing and cleaning up the unwanted bits from the file.
Although it is mostly pre-installed software, GarageBand can also be found at the Apple store, free of cost, and can handle even more complex audio layering projects. So if you’re on a budget and are looking for the best audio-free software for Macs, GarageBand is your best choice.
|➕ Simple and easy-to-use UI interface||➖ Limited ability when editing MIDI tracks|
|➕ Free of cost for Apple users at the Apple Store||➖ Underwhelming user interface|
|➕ Comes with an expansive sound and loop library curated by Apple|
7. Audio Lab — Audacity for Android
Audio Lab is a compact and easy-to-use tool you can operate from your Android mobile device. This impressive and highly portable audio software is the best alternative for Audacity on Android. Audio Lab is a free-to-use software that can compress, mix, and merge audio files on your phone.
It also allows you to do your typical DAW functions like remove awkward pauses, convert the file format, trim and change the speed of your audio, all free of cost. Audio Lab also comes as a premium version which includes more extensive features like multi-channel editing. The price for this varies from $1.49 to around $14.99 per month depending on the pricing plan you opt for.
|➕ Impressive sound quality||➖ The free version has limitations|
|➕ Comes with both free and paid versions that have versatile and robust features for audio editing||➖ Some users have reported difficulty with storage and sharing|
|➕ Mixing, trimming, and pitch manipulation ensure practical editing even on the go|
8. Ableton Live — The best interactive audio software for music
One of the best software for musicians, singers, and DJs, Ableton is a great audio editing software for combining a large variety of instruments, tracks, and special effects. Ableton is an innovative software that lets you convert sampled music and beats into MIDI format so it can be converted to a completely different instrument or musical element.
The Ableton Live sound editing tool comes with all the features that are typically found in your traditional audio editing software. However, it also lets you connect with an Ableton hardware controller for a more interactive user experience.
That said, this software does not come with pitch correction. If you’re more of a traditionalist when it comes to recording, you’ll find the Ableton a great choice
|➕ Open-source and available free of cost||➖ The graphics for the user interface are dull and need revamping|
|➕ Easy to learn||➖ Requires better support for plugins|
|➕ Has several professional audio editing features||➖ Has its limitations when it comes to audio mixing|
|➕ Simple and minimalistic interface|
9. Descript Pro — Best podcast editing software
When it comes to simple and easy-to-handle software for recording podcasts, Descript is a great software to work with. This has no learning curve, is easy to work with from the get-go, and comes with a number of features that make it the best podcast editing software on this list.
What makes Descript stand out is its feature that allows users to transcribe conversations and interviews that would otherwise be intensive or consuming to do. With Descript, you can neaten up your podcast by removing awkward pauses and filler sounds that can occur in conversations.
With Descript Pro, you can do multi-track editing, collaborate, and make extensive editing with a simple and user-friendly interface.
|➕ Has automated transcription which comes in handy when recording podcasts and documenting interviews||➖ Underwhelming UX performance|
|➕ Enables users to edit video and audio in a document; allowing for efficient streamlined work||➖ Transcription can be inaccurate at times|
|➕ Good price|
10. Ocenaudio — Best for cross-platform compatibility
Ocenaudio, a completely free open-source program, was one of the first to go global. Ocenaudio is one of the best apps to download because it makes it possible to instantly modify large files while traveling.
Your access to a variety of effects is made possible by the Ocenaudio recorder’s integration with VST plugins. Setting up audio effects in Ocenaudio is made easier by the real-time preview feature. The Ocenaudio recorder works with all of the popular operating systems, including Linux, Mac OS X, and Microsoft Windows.
Moreover, a multi-selection is included, which facilitates complex audio file editing. As a result, you can instantaneously hear, edit, or even add effects to various audio clip segments. You are not limited in how many audio files you can modify with Ocenaudio.
Ocenaudio offers both an outstanding waveform view of your audio files and a robust and thorough spectrogram view. The Ocenaudio recorder should be the person’s go-to piece of software for everyone who needs to readily change and analyze audio recordings.
|➕ Lightweight app||➖ No auto-save option|
|➕ Free and simple to use|
|➕ Suitable for beginners|
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the best audio editing software overall?
Adobe Audition is the best audio editing software overall. Although a bit pricey, this audio editing software from Adobe is both versatile and works well when it comes to more technical details. Other than this, using Adobe software is convenient when integrating with other Adobe creative software.
What does DAW stand for?
DAW stands for Digital Audio Workspace and is typically what both amateur and professionals in the audio editing field use to refer to audio editing and producing software.
What is the best music editing software for Macs?
The best audio editing software for Macs would be Logic Pro X. That said, if you’re working with a limited budget, GarageBand can do a solid job editing music, audio files, and podcasts.
What is the best podcast editing software?
The best podcast editing software would be Descript Pro. Decrypt Pro comes with an automatic transcribing feature that makes editing the audio file simpler and quicker to do. And when it comes to free alternatives, Audacity is a great go-to choice.
What is the best free audio editing software?
For editing software at a professional level, Audacity is the best free choice. Audacity comes with multi-track editing and is also functional across Windows, Linux, and Mac operating systems, making it accessible to anyone.
What is an alternative software like Audacity for Android?
Audio Lab is great free-to-use software that makes for a great alternative for Audacity. With this software, you can trim, remove pauses, compress, mix and merge audio using your mobile device.
Name some free audio editing software available.
Audacity, Audio Lab and Garage Band are some of the free audio editing software available.
Name the software that is best for podcast editing.
Descript Pro is the best software for podcast editing.
10 Audio Editing Software in 2022
When it comes to audio editing software, or as it’s popularly termed in the industry, DAWs (Digital Audio Workstations), it mostly comes down to the kind of editing you aim to accomplish and how much you’re willing to invest in the software.
That said, we’ve covered quite a few options here to help guide you in selecting an audio software for editing that suits you best.