Windows

Edit audio files in Windows with these five apps

Audacity 2.0.2

This gallery is also available as an entry in the Five Apps Blog.

 

Whether you have that killer recorded presentation you need to pare down to a succinct and to-the-point minute-long sound-bite, or whether you have more ambitious goals like creating music and voiceover tracks for training videos, website material, and other content, Windows plays host to numerous audio editors that truly get the job done. Out of all of the ones I have tried up to this point, here are a few that stood out as worthy and brought music to my ears.

Five Apps

1. Audacity 2.0.2

When it comes to the open-source realm, you simply can't go wrong with Audacity. In development since 2000, this software is surprisingly powerful and robust, yet doesn't cost a measly dime to use and operate. The special effects and filters library is fairly decent, if not dicey at times from a quality perspective.

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9 comments
edwcarney
edwcarney

Worth the price ($19/year or $49/lifetime; there's a free version, 4.26, that is still obtainable). Loads and modifies even fairly large files quickly. Wide range of file types supported + many acoustic manipulations, including a very nice noise reduction filter function. There is an expression evaluator that permits the user to create all kinds of signals + a batch mode that has saved me hours of effort. These 5 are all decent programs, but I have recommended GoldWave to novices and found that they've had no trouble using it.

tvmuzik
tvmuzik

Wavepad, all hands Down. I use it to edit sound effects and voice-over tracks for my CG animation projects. It gets even better once you've downloaded and installed all of Wavepad's plugins. And, it will also use VST plugins from other audio programs.

NassimJD
NassimJD

Definitely Goldwave is a winner. I've use Goldwave for small projects way since it's early days in the 90's. I used Cakewalk and Sound Forge which are robust and excellent for big projects but are paid software. For smaller budgets I would go with Goldwave.

aidemzo_adanac
aidemzo_adanac

[b]Cakewalk[/b] for the more serious engineer. [b]ProTools[/b] for the home hobbyist engineer. [b]WAVEPAD[/b] - by FAR the best simple home editor for all audio files. SO fast and yet SO robust. IF you just want to tweak, splice, mix etc. WavePad is phenomenal!! AND FREEEEE!!!!

edsfriend
edsfriend

During your review of audio editing apps, did you have an opportunity to look at "Presonus Studio - Free" and if so what was your opinion?

bret.miller
bret.miller

I've been using GoldWave for years and find it very capable. I tried Audacity last year, but it kept crashing on me. There's nothing more frustrating than making a bunch of edits and losing it all. Hadn't heard of Wavosaur, so that'll be worth a look. thanks for the article.

michael
michael

Used it a number of times...intuitive enough that a once a year user does fine with no need to read manuals, and surprisingly good functionality....I can zoom in on the exact point when the music that I recorded begins, edit out mistakes and patch in re-takes.

dyrector
dyrector

I second bret.miller about GoldWave. On their web site they say, "Excellence in sound editing software for over 15 years." I know I've been using it for over 16 years. It has always seemed simple and intuitive to use. I've used Audacity that came on work systems that were overly locked down, and found it wanting compared to GoldWave. My 2 cents.