Everybody needs a good audio editor.
and you can get it for free !
Here, in the Wavosaur team we know what we are talking about ! If you need a freeware for audio editing, here’s a selection of the best free audio editors available in 2014 :
We created Wavosaur in 2006 because we needed a light / portable / VST compatible audio editor, with the same professional workflow you can find on Soundforge (this one wasn’t portable) or Wavelab.
By the years we added a lot of features, suggested by our users, and we’ll continue to improve the software !
- full VST support
- VST effect chaining
- batch processing
- loop point support
- can be controled with MIDI surface control (BCR 2000 or UC 33e, etc..)
- memory problems with very large file on “old” or small configurations
- redo is not yet implemented
download : http://audacity.sourceforge.net/download/
Audacity exist since always. It’s not really the same philosophy as Soundforge / Wavelab etc.. => Audacity is multi track : you can play multiple audio files at a time : so it’s nice for basic sequencing.
- cross platform
- open many audio formats
- VST plugins are nearly unusable : you can just preview 5 seconds, and you can’t change the parameters while it’s running
- no support for loop points
- can’t zoom with mouse wheel
Info & DL : http://www.ocenaudio.com.br/
Ocenaudio is available for Windows, Mac OS X & Linux, it supports VST plugins.
Some may prefer its look over the more “classic” audio editors.
It’s one of the most featured audio editor, and has many configuration options.
- cross platform
- full VST support
- VST effects available from the Effects menu (we have to add this to Wavosaur when you don’t need to chain effects, and just want to load a single VST effect)
- loop points support !
- can’t have two (or more) waveforms view at the same time, the navigator windows is easy and fast to use but sometimes we need to have two or more files (old school MDI style !)
- i experimented some recurrent bug ( like a playing problem when hitting “play”)
- bugs with many VST plugins we tested (the magic of VST…)
4. TWE by Yamaha
direct download : TWE for Windows
In the last century, Yamaha was giving this useful tool for free.
It works on Windows XP, Vista and Windows 7.
The workflow and the philosophy of the software make it suited for small samples. The program is MDI, you can work on more than one file at a time. It doesn’t have many effects and of course is not VST compatible, but it has all you need for working on sample.
- light & efficient
- support for loop points !
- the time compress / expand is nice ! it has the good old school speed garage style (you have to apply many time the effect, as the max is set to 125%)
- development has stopped for a looong time
- no plugin support
- experienced some crash when using the effects on samples with duration > 1 ~2 minutes
download and test it : http://waveshop.sourceforge.net/
One of the latest audio editor, first alpha was releaded in 2013. It already has all the basics you need for audio editing. It’s open source, so the development should continue.
- you can work with multiple files (application is MDI) at once
- can zoom with mouse wheel ! (CTRL + mousewheel)
- many audio format are supported
- no VST plugins support
- no loop points support
- it has less features than the others (but the development is still active !)
What free audio editor do i need ?
1) You are working with samplers (software or hardware), you make sound banks, you work on one-shot samples, you record small samples:
- Yamaha TWE
Loop points support is important, fast workflow and some basic effects (like pitch shift).
2) You want to record very long piece of audio : a DJ mix, a radio broadcast, and just do basic editing (cut at start / end, fade in / out or split in 2 or more) :
3) You want to do sound design, mastering or pre mastering, FX creation:
VST support is important, so you can use effects as compression / equalization / reverb / echo / distorsion / phaser / flanger / etc..
4) You just need basic editing : cut / copy / paste / fade out for your songs / samples :
5) you want to do analysis (statiistics, spectrum, sonogram) :
You need FFT / stats but also a good VST support for using more analysis tools
6) you want to work with multichannel wav files :
Audacity can import multichannel wav files but can’t export as multichannel, it mixes all channels into a stereo file. More info on multichannel wav files : http://acousmodules.free.fr/infos.htm
7) if you want to edit mp3 files without re-encoding :
You don’t need any of these audio editors ! you want : mp3DirectCut
Of course if you save your mp3′s in wav or any loosless format, you can use Wavosaur / Audacity / Ocenaudio / etc.. for editing.
If you just need very basic audio editing, there are also some free audio editors that are worth mentioning, unfortunaly, some of these softwares are discontinued and sometimes buggy. Anyway, here’s the selection :
6. Acoustic Cutter by Digilogue
About & dl : http://www.digilogue.de/
By the maker of the fantastic Blueline plugins, this Audio editor is promising, still in beta / dev, but already usable for basic editing. Let’s hope the development will continue.
7. Quickaudio editor by Sion Software
download for free : http://www.sionsoft.com/qaudio.html
This one could have been nice but the workflow is ruined by a very annoying feature : as soon as you make a selection, a drop down context menu appears, and the selection disappears with the menu. Quickaudio can use VST plugins : i wasn’t able to have any VSt plugins recognized, but i remember it was working in a old test (but with many bugs on VST host)
8. SoundEngine Free
download here : http://soundengine.jp/software/soundengine/
Warning : when installing, don’t forget to uncheck the crappy toolbars that want to be installed with the software.
This one look nice, but i admit i haven’t understand all of the features, and many options seems cryptic.
The last version doesn’t work with Windows XP, it’s ok with Windows 7.
I had some crashes (when doing some basic operations)
8. Audioblast by Moor software
download on archive.org : here
It’s 100% free, you just can work on one file at a time.
Very limited but can be helpful.
9. Sound Editor free
info and dl : http://www.freesoundeditor.com/accueileng.html
This one looks nice, can work on multiple files. Unfortunaly it seems to be discontinued : it’s quite unstable. And it only displays one channel.