Making music is among the simplest things a man can do now that we have apps like Garageband. They’re free to get online and easy to learn and employ. You can produce a pretty decent track by arranging different instruments and playing beats and chords on your own will and making. Eventually, some part of what you play back will sound impressive, and you can extend that bit to make your very own song. The real challenge is to master the art of music editing. What pitch the song works for the song, what tempo will convey the musicality in the best way and more cannot be learned in a day, since it is so much of work. So, we’ve compiled the best Audio Editing Software to help you sort through that work and get your work done quickly and efficiently.
1. FL Studio
I had no choice but to place FL Studio at the very top of this list because of how expansive the sound library is. There is a sound effect for basically every sound you come across, and I imagine someone animating a movie or editing a YouTube video should find it just as useful as someone designing their music tracks in a professional frame of mind. The software allows you to modify your sounds with all their parameters independent, so you will find beats that can be tweaked independently of the tempo as well as a superior pitch modulation. Apart from that, the app bears the familiar features of the genre; the MIDI, the button-based interface and the dark, matt finished layout that makes you think you’re working on an actual studio machine. There are a lot of free and paid tutorials available online by independent content creators, so that’s a plus.
Price: $99-$899 (depends upon the version)
OS: Windows XP, Vista, 7, 8, 8.1, 10
It is important to note here that we reviewed the Premium version of the app. Bad reviews you might find online are usually for the free version, which is naturally less equipped.
The reason Magix Music Maker fared inferior to FL Studio is because it requires you to download instruments after you’ve installed the core program, which can be a bit inconvenient especially if your internet connection isn’t all that speedy. But once downloaded, each instrument is quite a suite of sound, with many sounds to choose from that can be further diversified and made unique using all the tweaks the software affords you. You can make your music using one of these instruments, or use loops like many popular software do. Magix Music Maker is among the most superior options available for PC users. It is certainly better than Sony Music Maker which was incidentally acquired by the same company not long ago. The price might discourage some though. There are free options in the list though. Read on to find which.
OS: Windows 7, 8, 10
Among the best options as an Audio Editor for iOS (especially iPad) is Amplify’s Groovebox. The simplicity of the app’s methodology for making music is its USP. The drumbox has some pretty cool loops that can be enjoyed independently just as much as with a synthesiser track you can get from the Poly tab. You can make your own beat arrangement using the standard keyboard interface as well, or by tapping the screen to mark the placement of a particular instrument sound at any place in a loop. Things can be hard to grasp at first since things in the UI are based on buttons as well as options you can find under menus. But once you get the hang of the software, making a pretty sounding track is child’s play. In fact, it is a good music maker and the best audio editor for beginners and learners.
Price: Free with in-app purchases
OS: iOS 10+
In terms of number of options for editing a given audio file in any single software, I say Adobe Audition is the most exhaustive software in the market currently. The primary focus on the software is more appropriately placed on the audio modulation than of adding tracks. The voice tuning is superior yet simple. Abode is not particularly known to be beginner friendly, so we’re glad this app breaks the mould. Adobe Audition is a good audio editor for PC and Mac users, since the interface is largely click based. The filters could have been more detailed; many other apps offer a greater variety in that sphere. But with the degree of tweaking and adjustment afforded by the app, I don’t think it becomes particularly restrictive.
Price: $240 per year
OS: Windows 7+, Mac
5. Pro tools
Avid Pro Tools is certainly impressive. It is virtually like using a real studio tuning machine, but while that affords a lot of audio editing functionalities, it pushes up the learning curve. There are quite a few dials and buttons in Pro Tools that might scare off a newbie. The app is almost exclusively built for experienced music editors. The drums are well arranged, and the beats and notes are easy to follow in their respective tracks along with audio tracks. Avid’s Pro Tools is almost like an amalgamation of AutoTune and Garageband. It is among the best Digital Audio Workstations available online, and it is openly aimed for the professional audience, going by the steep price. Don’t opt for this software if you’re only looking for a tool to learn and practice your music on. However, if you’re in the music industry with some editing experience in the past, you might find the software quite sufficient to do virtually anything you might want your music to do.
Price: $24.99 per month
OS: Mac, Windows 7+
LMMS began as Linux MultiMedia Studio, which became sort of inconvenient to say as you can imagine. From the initial release back in 2004, the app has come a long way, being now available in as many as 20 languages. The app was among the very first DAWs (Digital Audio Workstations) to get this popular, and the appeal is understandable. The fact that LMMS is free just blows all competition out of the water.
Speaking of performance, LMMS doesn’t disappoint. The most recent release, LMMS 1.1.3 is pretty sweet to use. There is not a lot of frill. The interface is easier to get comfortable with, especially from the point of view of beginners. Editing is simple and straightforward. Not a lot to complain about, really. A little bit of customisability could have helped the software, or perhaps buttons to perform repetitive actions you want to use manually applying your discretion in each case.
OS: Windows, Mac, Linux
7. Sound Forge
Sound Forge Audio Studio 12 came out in August 2017, so a lot of the latest features still feel fresh out of the oven. The buttons are thankfully larger than most other apps and softwares, and the pastel touch to the color scheme makes it a lot easier to the eyes. Everything is customisable though, so you can change appearances if you aren’t comfortable with them. The explorer tab helps you quickly load the file you want to add to your project, without needing to tolerate pop-ups. The Regions list tab lets you mark your tracks to quickly figure out where a music track ends, for example, so you can quickly jump to that section and make any required edits. It saves a lot of time when you’re editing a long music file. Sound Forge is easily the best Audio Editing Software for long music tracks. You can record audio using a microphone straight through the app, and add marker right then to indicate a point you might want to make edits later. The DAW is also comfortable to use for beginners. A good option for people looking to record and upload high quality podcasts.
OS: Windows 7, 8, 10
Everyone’s heard of Audacity I’m sure. The software is perhaps the most recommended across the internet, and it is not hard to see why. It is an excellent open-source audio editor and can also help you record. In fact, Audacity has been surfacing as the choice recording software for a big segment of creators. Audacity does not limit the number on undos you can perform on your project. The effects and filters aren’t the best, but they’re certainly pro-level. The noise reduction feature is a bit weak in the original, and you might need to look for a good mod to find one that fits your purpose. But all of that said and acknowledged, Audacity is perhaps the best free Audio Editing Software for Windows PC and Mac. It will certainly be the main competition Windows Groove Music Maker will have to face whenever it comes out.
OS: Windows, Mac, Linux
9. Logic Pro X
Logic Pro X came out quite a few years ago, but it remains a pretty great Audio Mixer Software that works for most users. The buttons and the LCD-esque digital screen is pretty helpful. You have options available with just a single click, and you can also switch screens with the same ease. The interface and sample library were pretty big improvements from Logic Pro 9. New tracks and interface optimisation have been introduced since, with not as much increment in ease, but I don’t want to be pedantic. The app costs a bundle, but it is still a good option given it is owned and operated by Apple; company support is always a good thing to have, especially with Apple’s superior customer care.
OS: Mac OS
Care to know my personal favorites? I love LMMS and Logic Pro X, and Audacity when I’m working on a Windows PC. I’m excited to try out Windows’ very own Groove Music Maker which Demo-ed recently. I didn’t expect it to come out in the Fall Creator’s Update, and I don’t expect it in the next, say, 2 updates, since making a truly exhaustive DAW should take a good amount of time. What are your thoughts on DAWs? Let me know in the comments.
It was tough to compile this post and judge all professional Audio Editing Software without biases. I must thank reddit’s Audio Engineering Community and the forums on MIDI Association which I cruised for a bit. If you think I got something wrong, you’re welcome to shoot me a message on the page’s contact page so I can edit the information.