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7 Best Audio Editing Software for Windows & Mac in 2022

Last Updated on May. 6, 2022 – by David Morgan
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Best Audio Editing Software for Beginners & Pros

Quality audio is necessary for nearly every kind of media. Audiobooks, podcasts, radio, and music rely solely on audio and can't afford to have sub-par production. As a filmmaker or content creator in a visual medium, you may be wondering if you need an audio editor. After all, most video editing software come with at least rudimentary audio tools. But if you've ever watched a movie where the sound was slightly off, too low, too loud, or mixed unevenly, you know how distracting that can be as a viewer.

If you're looking to start polishing your audio recordings, we've done the legwork and compiled a list of the best audio editing software in 2022. We know that selecting the right audio editor can be tricky. Among the many choices on the market, each has its own set of features to offer. Since your needs and budget vary, we've included a mix of the best audio editing software in our review, from basic editors to professional solutions. 

Top 3 Audio Editing Software Snapshot

AudioDirector Logo

1. AudioDirector - Best Overall

AudioDirector is filled with advanced AI-powered audio correction tools and covers a broad range of audio needs, from recording and editing to mixing and mastering. It does all this in a beginner-friendly, easy-to-use package at an affordable price, making it the best audio editing software on our list. Detailed Review >

Logic Pro Logo

2. Logic Pro - Best for Music Production

Logic Pro is Apple’s professional music production and creation software. It is one of the best audio editing software available because it has a vast library of sounds, instruments, samples, and unlimited audio tracks.

Steinberg Cubase Pro Logo

3. Steinberg Cubase Pro - Best for Composers

Steinberg Cubase Pro is another professional music production software with all the tools you need to create a song - from writing to export. Cubase has advanced and easy versions of many of its tools.

What is an Audio Editing Software?

Audio editing software is a computer program that generates and edits audio data. There are all kinds of audio editors; some focus on music, while others on the spoken word. There is a broad range of jobs that would require an audio editor, including sound mixers and editors for films, voice-over artists, musicians, music producers, radio producers, audiobook producers, journalists, podcasters, content creators, and more! 

No matter the specialty, the best audio editing software should render support for a wide range of audio formats and adhere to common broadcast standards. An excellent audio editor will enable users to produce high-quality audio tracks for whatever kind of project they are working on. 

Best Audio Editing Software for Beginners & Pros

1. AudioDirector: Best Overall

Compatibility: Windows

Overall Rating: 10/10

Audio Editing Tools: 10/10

Key Features:

  1. Built-in sound effects library
  2. Transformer and vocal contouring
  3. Smart Fit for background tracks
  4. Punch and roll recording

Are you looking for an all-in-one audio editing solution? If so, look no further than AudioDirector, the best audio editing software available. AudioDirector will aid your sound creation with various editing, mixing, and audio restoration methods. It can help you record and mix every sound seamlessly. In addition, the audio editor works smoothly with its video editing counterpart, PowerDirector, allowing you to shift quickly between projects.

Clean Feature Layout and Easy Recording

Have you ever had difficulty navigating software? AudioDirector presents a clean feature layout that makes it easy and intuitive to navigate. This makes recording multiple tracks or rearranging and trimming clips a breeze. As a result, AudioDirector is the most beginner-friendly audio editor on this list.

Robust AI Tools

Logic Pro Interface

AudioDirector's AI tools, such as AI Wind Removal and AI DeReverb, make it easy to create pristine audio tracks distraction-free no matter your recording environment. You can even adjust the volume or remove vocals from produced music tracks with Vocal Balance and Removal.

Effect Combos

Effect combos are another cool feature that makes AudioDirector the best audio editing software. There's an extensive range of effects, including chorus, echo, radio, and even delays you can combine. You can easily create effect combos to apply multiple effects side-by-side and get that specific blend of sound you're seeking.

Restoration Tools

Various restoration tools are available in AudioDirector, such as Noise Reduction and Hiss/Hum/Plosive Removal. You can use these tools to create clean, distraction-free audio tracks.

Integration With PowerDirector

It is worth mentioning that the same award-winning team developed AudioDirector and PowerDirector, which is why the two programs work seamlessly together. You can easily import and export changes to projects between programs. In addition, both are available in Director Suite 365 - the complete editing suite for content creators. It's the best solution for all your video, photo, color, and audio editing needs.

With all these unique features, it is safe to say that AudioDirector is a superior offering and the best audio editing software for aspiring sound designers. The performance it delivers is worth its affordable price, and if you're a podcaster, it's the best podcast software in town.

Reasons to recommend:

  • Beginner-friendly
  • Clean layout
  • Unmatched clarity

Download the best audio editing software for both beginners and pros today.


2. Logic Pro: Best for Music Production

Logic Pro Interface

Compatibility: Mac

Overall Rating: 9/10

Audio Editing Tools: 9/10

Key Features:

  1. Synthesized reverbs
  2. Modulation effects
  3. Unlimited audio tracks
  4. Spatial authoring tool

Logic Pro is Apple’s professional step-up from its popular Garage Band app. It is used for multi-track recording, film scoring, and sound design, but we found it to be the best audio editing software for music producers. Logic Pro has a vast sound library with around 6,000 instruments and effect patches and 1,200 sample instruments. Drum Machine Designer helps make drum production and beat-making a breeze. There’s also a Sampler tool to help create and edit multi-sampled instruments.   

This audio editor has full macOS integration and shares quickly with Sound Cloud and Garage Band. You can also turn your iPad or iPhone into a Logic remote control for music producers who don’t like to be chained to their desktops. Other exciting features include Smart Tempo (automatically conform to your project’s BPM), Flex Time (manipulate the timing and tempo of any recording), and Flex Pitch (fix out-of-tune vocals and change melodies of recorded audio). 

Logic Pro is a professional sound editor best suited for music. It is second on our list because of its vast advanced toolset for a range of audio editing jobs and relatively affordable price tag. However, despite all its features, it becomes a limited tool for those without background knowledge of sound mixing and music production. Someone wanting to sound mix audio for a video or podcast will find this tool too much for the task.

Pros
  • Free upgrades with one-time purchase
  • Comes with thousands of pre-recorded samples you can use free of charge
Cons
  • Not beginner-friendly
  • Faders and meters are not customizable

3. Steinberg Cubase Pro: Best for Composers

Steinberg Cubase Pro Interface

Compatibility: Windows, Mac

Overall Rating: 9/10

Audio Editing Tools: 7/10

Key Features:

  1. MIDI remote integration
  2. Audio warp improvements
  3. Dolby Atmos music creation
  4. True surround capability

We found Steinberg Cubase Pro to be the best audio editing software for composers through our research. Cubase is a music production software used by Hollywood blockbuster composers to create and produce tracks from start to finish. Composers with writer’s block can get fresh inspiration with Chord Pads, which allow them to jam with chords and patterns in real-time. The Score Editor comes in both an advanced and basic version, so beginners and professional composers can create music at their skill level.

Score Editor provides professional notation with support for lyrics, comments, drum notes, and more than 100 professional notation symbols. Expression Maps allow you to audition a composition and specify the sound mapping. This audio editor will also import and export music XML files.

With Cubase, you can adjust multiple tracks with group editing tools and modulate up to 6 integrated effect modules. We enjoyed the Scale Assistant tool for pitch editing, which allows you to set the scale and follow the chord track. The most recent update did away with the eLicenser hardware dongle - an annoying feature that kept Cubase from being one of the best audio editing software.

Though not as feature-rich as other audio editors on our list, Steinberg Cubase Pro retains the 3rd spot because it caters to many users like composers, music producers, and sound mixers of all skill levels. However, while the tools are suitable for all skill levels, the price is not, coming in at one of the most expensive on our list. Also, it is often last to the party to introduce new technology and features. 

Pros
  • Suitable for all levels
  • Flexible intuitive workflow
Cons
  • Expensive
  • Lags behind when it comes to consistent updates

4. Adobe Audition: Best for Professional Video Editors

Adobe Audition interface

Compatibility: Windows, Mac

Overall Rating: 8/10

Audio Editing Tools: 9/10

Key Features:

  1. 128 Audio tracks
  2. Thousands of royalty-free loops
  3. Multitrack, Waveform, and Spectral displays
  4. Essential Sound and Diagnostics panels

As part of the Adobe Creative Cloud, Audition is the perfect tool for professional video editors who need to sound mix their projects. Adobe Audition is used for cleanup, restoration, and precision editing for videos and podcasts. It comes with plenty of audio editing tools like ducking music for voice-over, dereverb and denoise tools, and a sound remover tool. There’s also a Remix feature which auto-fits music to match your video length, and a Strip Silence feature to clean up the sound in interviews and podcasts and compensate for uneven volume. Adobe Audition has a Loudness Meter to make sure all media complies with loudness standards worldwide.   

Audition is also one of the best audio editing software for sound effect design. Sound designers can craft sound effects for video games, films, or television shows, or they can choose sound effects from the 10,000+ sound effects library.

We like that video editors can easily use this audio editor to sound mix projects alongside other Creative Cloud software, making this one of the best audio editing software for Adobe Premiere users. Adobe Audition lands in the middle of our list because it has an extensive list of advanced audio editing tools but lacks music composition tools. Also, it is not appropriate for beginners. 

Pros
  • Single and multitrack recording
  • Option to save frequently-used actions and keep them a click away
Cons
  • Lack of music functionality makes it unsuitable for music producers
  • Too complex for beginners

5. Samplitude Pro: Best for Music Recording

Samplitude Pro Interface

Compatibility: Windows

Overall Rating: 8/10

Audio Editing Tools: 8/10

Key Features:

  1. 999 Audio tracks
  2. 256 physical inputs and outputs
  3. Time stretching and pitch shifting
  4. Non-destructive edits

Samplitude Pro is a digital audio workstation (DAW), meaning you can record audio on your personal computer. We found Samplitude Pro to be the best audio editing software for recording music. Floating-point calculations ensure high-quality sound after digital processing, and full bit transparency means absolute sound neutrality. With Samplitude Pro, you can edit and cut while still recording - one of our favorite features for saving valuable time. The Take Composer displays all the recordings of a passage and has a cutting tool to combine takes and create the perfect arrangement. 

This audio editor has a completely customizable interface, curves, and meters, with custom modifications available throughout. An audio search function helps you find familiar sounds in a hurry, and a dockable track editor.

Samplitude Pro is a wonderful tool for recording and mastering if you are a professional musician or music producer. However, the audio editor has a steep learning curve and is not as beginner-friendly as the other professional music software on our list, Cubase. Samplitude is also too cost-prohibitive for beginners or hobbyists. It is best for music production, so video editors, ADR engineers, and voiceover artists should try something better suited to their needs, like AudioDirector or Adobe Audition. 

Pros
  • Ultra-precise editing tools
  • Fully customizable
Cons
  • Expensive
  • Becomes sluggish and unresponsive if working with multiple tracks and options
  • Steep learning curve

6. Hindenburg Pro: Best for Interviews

Hindenburg Pro Interface

Compatibility: Windows, Mac

Overall Rating: 7/10

Audio Editing Tools: 7/10

Key Features:

  1. Noise reduction
  2. Loudness normalizer for different media specifications
  3. Cross-compatible with other DAWs
  4. One-click upload to popular Podcast hosts

Hindenburg Pro is an audio recording and editing tool for journalists and podcasters. We named it the best audio editing software for interviews because it is a DAW designed explicitly for recording interviews instead of music. Hindenburg has multitrack recording so you can interview multiple guests at once and remote recording for interviewing people who aren’t in the room. Instead of using Zoom, Skype, or your phone, Hindenburg has its own audio device so that you can record directly into the software for optimum quality. Record your voice on a different track so it can be edited separately. 

If you don’t have the budget to travel with a professional audio engineer with you for interviews, not a problem with Hindenburg Pro. Magic Levels will fix bleed after recording. It will also automatically utilize adaptive leveling, mix music, and add ducks. Voice Profile will learn your voice and automatically make appropriate changes. Perfect for when you have two hosts, and one regularly speaks much louder than the other. Another feature we found helpful was the Music Report. One click will bring up all the music you used in an episode so you can get any paperwork required done quickly. 

Hindenburg Pro is an excellent software for podcasters, journalists, and radio producers. Unfortunately, it is a tool purely for the spoken word - no features for music recording or audio from video. But the one thing it does do, it does well, which is why it is on our list of best audio editing software but ranked below software with a broader range.

Pros
  • Support for all types of sound files
  • Uncomplicated and easy-to-use
Cons
  • Very niche usage
  • Waveform shows half of what other audio editors show, increasing scrolling time

7. Audacity: Best for Beginners

Audacity Interface

Image from Audaity.

Compatibility: Windows

Overall Rating: 6/10

Audio Editing Tools: 7/10

Key Features:

  1. Auto ducking
  2. Punch-in recording
  3. Scrubbing and seeking
  4. Automatic crash recovery

Audacity is the best audio editing software for beginners because it is entirely free and easy to learn. It lacks advanced features but has all the essential tools a new audio editor needs to learn the craft. Record and edit audio with simple, easy-to-use tools and effects without being bogged down by extraneous features. 

Audacity has a good amount of audio editing and recording tools for a free audio editor. Copy, paste and delete multiple clips per track and change pitch without altering tempo. Record live audio or digitize and edit audio from other media. Level meters will monitor volume levels before, during, and after recording. Clean up audio with noise reduction and reduce or isolate vocals. Audacity also comes with a library of effects such as distortion, echo, phaser, reverb, etc.

We found that multi-track recording was more complicated than it needed to be, and the program was missing stock music, sound effects, and instrument sounds. But as a simple audio editor, it is hard to find fault, especially considering the price. 

Pros
  • Beginner-friendly and easy-to-use
  • Good amount of audio editing tools for free software
Cons
  • No stock music or sound effects
  • Destructive editing

Best Audio Editing Software Comparison Chart

Software AudioDirector Logic Pro Steinberg Cubase Pro Adobe Audition Samplitude Pro Hindenburg Pro Audacity
OS Windows, Mac Mac Windows, Mac Windows, Mac Windows Windows, Mac Windows, Mac, Linux
Beginner-friendly Yes No Yes No No Yes Yes
Sound Restoration Tools AI tools for wind removal, DeReverb and speech enhancement, restoration tools like contour, plosive removal, noise reduction, remove clicks, pops and crackles, distortion removal, hiss and hum removal Minimal Minimal Noise reduction tools including sound remover, phase correction, click/pop eliminator, dehummer, hiss reduction Only included in the Pro X6 Suite Noise reduction, fix bleed Noise reduction
Free Version Yes Yes Yes No No Yes Yes
Batch Editing/Export Yes No Yes Yes Yes No Yes

AudioDirector vs

OS

Windows, Mac

-

Beginner-friendly

Yes

-

Sound Restoration Tools

AI tools for wind removal, DeReverb and speech enhancement, restoration tools like contour, plosive removal, noise reduction, remove clicks, pops and crackles, distortion removal, hiss and hum removal

-

Free Version

Yes

-

Batch Editing/Export

Yes

-


How to Edit Audio With AudioDirector

Here is a step-by-step guide for using the Speech Enhancement tool in AudioDirector, the best audio editing software.

Download it below and follow along:


  1. Import your audio file into AudioDirector. 
  2. Click on the Restore Menu, then click Speech Enhancement
  3. AudioDirector - Speech Enhancement
  4. Choose a Preset.
  5. Set the Removal Strength and Speech Compensation with the sliders provided. 
  6. AudioDirector - Removal strength
  7. Click Preview to hear the clip back with the changes applied. 
  8. If you are happy with the way your clip sounds, click Apply to save your changes. 

Check out more AudioDirector tutorials by clicking here

Download the Best Audio Editing Software for Free

While every audio editor we mentioned works well and delivers professional-level results, AudioDirector edges out the competition as the best audio editing software because of its wide range of robust tools, features, and effects. From its AI and vocal contouring features to its extensive sound library and restoration tools, AudioDirector is a standout choice. Whether creating a musical score for videos or sound effects for video games, AudioDirector can handle everything. It's a top-notch digital audio workstation you should try if you're looking for unbeatable value.

In conjunction with PowerDirector video editing software, AudioDirector would serve you well with your audio and video editing needs from your beginning weeks as a YouTuber through your growth into a professional sound mixer and editor. This product possesses the tools you need for the long term, and we believe it can prove to be a great stepping stone on your way to the big leagues.

You can download it here, learn its secrets, and get to work right away developing, improving, and editing some fantastic music with the best audio editing software available.

Best Audio Editing Software FAQ

1. What Features Should I Look For in the Best Audio Editing Software?

The top ten features you should look for in the best audio editing software are:

  1. Speech enhancement tools
  2. Restoration tools
  3. Background music and sound effects royalty-free library
  4. Audio ducking
  5. Noise reduction
  6. Audio effects
  7. Multi-track editing
  8. Batch processing
  9. Vocal removal
  10. Smart Fit for background music

If you’re looking for an audio editor that checks all of these boxes, we recommend AudioDirector.

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