Audio editing is a notoriously difficult task, and one which, prior to recent advances in technology, has been left only to those with professional setups. Even the simplest audio editing tasks, such as splicing tracks, had to be delegated to the professionals.
Fortunately, thanks to a recent influx of free (and powerful!) audio editing software, it has never been easier to perform audio editing tasks, from the simplest track-splicing to the most difficult audio processing. Keep in mind, though, that the more difficult the audio editing task you undertake, the more limited you will be by your hardware (particularly your CPU and RAM).
Note: all information contained in this article was approximate at the time of this writing. It is possible that some of the details included in this article have changed.
Audacity is known across the audio editing and recording industry as not just a good free audio editing program, but a good audio editing program period. Professional editors on a budget, podcasters, and amateur musicians alike almost universally prefer audacity.
Audacity is open-source, which means that a community of developers is continually improving it in their spare time. Like Firefox and Wordpress, Audacity is free and powerful — oftentimes, more powerful than its paid counterparts.
Of particular note, Audacity allows users to:
* Record audio directly into the soundboard.
* Change the pitch or speed of recordings.
* Convert tapes from LPs or audio tapes into MP3s.
For users interested in getting involved with audio editing, Audacity is not just an excellent first stop, but also, for many users, an adequate final stop.
For those who find Audacity’s features to be too complex or complicated for their uses, or for those who simply want a more compact application, Wavosaur may fit the bill. Wavosaur cannot do as much as Audacity can, but it is more feature-rich than the standard editors that come with most operating systems. Unfortunately for Mac users, though, Wavosaur is only available on Windows.
Wavosaur is not open source, however, which means that Audacity has a leg up on it in that sense. There is no guarantee that the current developers of Wavosaur will continue to develop for it. With Audacity, you are all but guaranteed that the software will continue to be developed by the open source community.
DJ Audio Editor
The simplest of the most popular audio editing applications, DJ Audio Editor is perfect for those who just want the bare bones, essential features. If you’re just going to be performing light editing of audio files, the occasional file conversion, or CD burning, then DJ Audio Editor may be right up your alley. It performs many of the same features as the other applications do, but in a much simpler and cleaner package.
All of the free audio applications mentioned are worth a try. If, like many, you enjoy Audacity the first time you use it, you may end up only ever using one audio application. If, like others, you prefer trying all of the options before you first, then you have many options to choose from.