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7 Best Free Audio Recording and Audio Editing Software in 2022

Last Updated on Aug. 5, 2022 – by David Morgan
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3 Best Free Audio Editing Software

Some artists dish out hundreds or even thousands of dollars to hire a sound engineer and recording studio to get professional-level audio. But what if we told you anyone who has access to a computer can create high-quality audio content from the comfort of their home without paying a dime.

While it is true that high-ticket packages can be worth the price, there are many free audio editing software that are surprisingly feature-packed. They also come with the bonus of being beginner-friendly and much easier to use. 

However, not all free programs are created equal, and there's no shortage of options. That's why we've put together this quick guide to the best free audio editing software today.

Top 3 Free Audio Recording and Audio Editing Software Snapshot

AudioDirector Logo

1. AudioDirector - Best Overall

AudioDirector is the best overall free audio editing software. Record music, audio, or sound effects, then mix, edit, restore, and produce in one high-quality package. AudioDirector is easy enough for a novice audio editor to use but robust enough for more seasoned veterans. Detailed Review >

WavePad Logo

2. WavePad Audio Editing Software - Best for Effects

WavePad is a beginner-friendly free audio editing software with an extensive toolbox of effects and editing features. WavePad also has a royalty-free sound effect library and audio restoration tools. Detailed Review >

VSDC Logo

3. Garageband - Best for Recording Music

Apple’s Garageband is free audio recording software for musicians and music producers. It comes with tons of audio tracks, virtual instruments, and even instrument lessons that are free for Mac users.Detailed Review >

What is Audio Recording and Audio Editing Software?

Audio recording and editing software is also referred to as DAW or Digital Audio Workstation. This refers to software used for recording, editing, and producing audio, be it for music, podcast, audiobook, sound effect, or any other audio file. 

While DAW can refer to a highly complex configuration of components, audio software is a single application found on a laptop or computer. 

Best Free Online Audio Editor

AudioDirector Online Interface

AudioDirector Online is a web-based audio editor that requires no installation. The tool doesn’t leave a footprint on your computer. You only need a web browser like Chrome or Firefox with an internet connection.

When visiting the website, you will be greeted by a user-friendly interface allowing you to perform various basic sound editing tasks. These include a voice changer, BPM finder, audio trimming, and vocal removal. There are also restoration tools like wind removal and noise gate. 

All you have to do is upload your audio file, make your edits and download your altered track. The one drawback to this free tool is its file size limit. You can only upload files smaller than 100MB and shorter than 10 minutes. However, if you only need to make quick edits to short sound files, there isn’t a better option. 

Give it a try now!

AudioDirector Online Secure Link

7 Best Free Audio Recording and Audio Editing Software in 2022

1. AudioDirector - Best Overall

AudioDirector Interface

Compatibility: Windows

Overall Rating: 10/10

Audio Editing Tools: 10/10

Key Features:

  1. AI wind removal
  2. Noise reduction
  3. Pitch adjustment
  4. Punch and roll recording

AudioDirector is a multi-track audio recorder,editor, and mixer for Windows. It's a virtual swiss army knife for audio production, making it our #1 pick for free audio editing software. With AudioDirector, you can record professional quality music, podcasts, and audiobooks. Sound design films with full integration with PowerDirector video editor. Create industry-standard foley sound effects and voiceovers. Plus, restore poorly recorded tracks from noisy video shoots.

Even with little to no experience in audio editing, you won't have trouble recording, cutting, trimming, or applying special effects. This free audio recording software provides various importing options in addition to the ability to record on the spot using microphones, instruments, or other recording devices. You can import one video file and up to a hundred audio files to the editing timeline. Creating a final mix is a straightforward process, and you'll have all the needed formats to choose from when exporting your mastered tracks.

AudioDirector also comes with a vocal balance and removal tool to extract acapellas or intrumentals from any song. It's perfect for creating your own cover, parody, or karaoke tracks for your next house party. This free audio editing software has all the audio tools a professional needs for sound recording, editing, mixing, and restoring in a beginner-friendly package. 

Pros
  • Beginner-friendly
  • Direct soundtrack editing with PowerDirector integration
  • Access to extensive sound clip library
Cons
  • Only available on Windows

Download AudioDirector, our #1 free audio editing software today.


2. WavePad Audio Editing Software - Best for Effects

WavePad Interface

Compatibility: Windows, Mac

Overall Rating: 9/10

Audio Editing Tools: 9/10

Key Features:

  1. Batch processing
  2. Support for all popular audio formats
  3. Spectral analysis
  4. Scrub, search and bookmark audio clips

Based on our testing, WavePad is the best free audio editing software for audio effects. WavePad has a large toolbox of effects, including amplify, normalize, equalize, envelope, echo, reverb, reverse, and more. All the effects are easy to use and quickly applied. WavePad also has a voice changer, text-to-speech options, and audio restoration tools like noise reduction and pop removal.  

WavePad also has many audio editing tools such as cut, copy, paste, delete, insert, silence, auto-trim, compression, and pitch shifting. This is also a free audio recording software where you can record voiceovers for multimedia projects. We like the royalty-free sound effects, music library, and the tool that allows you to create ringtones from your music files and recordings. 

Like AudioDirector, WavePad Audio Editing Software is packed with great features for professionals or home use. It is great for novices who have never used free audio editing software because it is easy to use. However, WavePad has a few drawbacks that keep it in our #2 spot, such as prolonged rendering times and no multitrack recording. 

Pros
  • Lots of advanced audio tools
  • Beginner-friendly
Cons
  • Multitrack recording requires MixPad Multi-Track Audio Mixer purchase
  • Very slow rendering

3. Garageband - Best for Recording Music

GarageBand Interface

Compatibility: Mac

Overall Rating: 8/10

Audio Editing Tools: 8/10

Key Features:

  1. Supports 24-bit recording
  2. Built-in instrument learning lessons
  3. Save track as ringtone
  4. Producer packs

Apple’s Garageband is an excellent free audio recording software for quickly creating and sharing music. It has a large instrument sound library and more than 255 audio tracks so that you can re-create the sounds of a full orchestra with no instruments. Easily record multiple takes and organize them for easy editing.   

We found that you can use the free Logic Remote app on your iPhone or iPad to control the free audio recording software from across the room. Garageband has simple audio editing tools as well as some advanced features, such as Flex Time and Groove Track

Garageband is a quick yet robust free audio editing software. It has tons of music options and third-party plug-in support. However, it lacks the quality sound you would get with more professional software. It’s also slightly harder to learn than our first two offerings.

Pros
  • Streamlined interface
  • Enjoyable instrument lessons
Cons
  • No mixing console view
  • Slight learning curve

4. OcenAudio - Best for Beginners

OcenAudio Interface

Image from Software Advice.

Compatibility: Windows, Mac, Linux

Overall Rating: 7/10

Audio Editing Tools: 8/10

Key Features:

  1. Built-in filters
  2. Background encoding
  3. Batch editing
  4. Spectrogram tool

OcenAudio has a wide range of features for beginner media producers and some options for professionals. We named it the best free audio recording software for beginners because it is incredibly simple to use and has a clean interface. 

A popular feature of OcenAudio is that it allows you to preview your sound effects in real-time. When editing audio, you can adjust the playback parameters from the timeline without modifying your original audio file. That allows you to quickly and easily try out different effects until you find the one that works best for your project.

With the OcenAudio interface, you can import files from cloud servers or your local storage while using keyboard shortcuts to save time when editing. However, the free audio recording software isn't updated regularly, which can be a significant downside for professionals who need to keep up with the latest audio editing features. AudioDirector is a much better free audio editing software because it is updated regularly. OcenAudio also lacks the ability to record a multitrack session. 

Pros
  • Lightweight
  • Clean interface
Cons
  • Long time between updates
  • Only supports single stereo/mono files

5. Ashampoo Music Studio - Best for CD Creation

Ashampoo Interface

Image from Ashampoo Music Studio.

Compatibility: Windows

Overall Rating: 7/10

Audio Editing Tools: 6/10

Key Features:

  1. Large waveform preview window
  2. Flexible cover search
  3. Easy audio trimming
  4. Tempo analysis and smart synchronization

Ashampoo Music Studio is a comprehensive program for managing and editing your audio files. It is the best free audio recording software for making CDs. With Ashampoo, you can design CD labels, rip and burn discs, and create mixtapes or playlists

Unlike the other free audio editing software in this guide, you can also use Ashampoo Music Studio to play and organize audio files. For example, edit file metadata tags, extract audio tracks from a video file andrecord audio using an external microphone, all with this free audio editing software.

Audio producers will mainly use the Modify and Record features, but the other features can also be helpful. If you are a hobbyist or your audio editing needs are relatively straightforward, Ashampoo Music Studio is a viable choice. But for professional-sounding results, something more comprehensive such as our top 4 choices for best free audio editing software, may be necessary.

Pros
  • User-friendly interface
  • Robust file management functionality
Cons
  • Editing features are somewhat lacking
  • No multitrack support

6. Audiotool - Best for Artist Collaboration

Audiotool Interface

Image from Chrome Web Store.

Compatibility: Windows, Mac, Linux

Overall Rating: 6/10

Audio Editing Tools: 7/10

Key Features:

  1. MIDI effects
  2. MP3 export
  3. Powerful mastering tools
  4. Curbed automation shapes

Audiotool is our pick for the best free audio editing software for artist collaboration. This is because Audiotool was built to connect artists and allow collaboration in real-time. Invite other producers to your online studio and work simultaneously on projects. There’s a built-in publishing platform so you can release your work and get instant feedback. If you need inspiration, you can listen to over 1 million songs on Audiotool for free and even reach out to the artists to use their samples in your projects. This free audio recording software also offers video and audio text chat to help whenever you need it.

This online free audio editing software is a good tool for mixing and sampling music tracks. There are more than 200K presets for synthesizers and effects, a library of user-created samples, and tons of virtual instruments. There are also editing tools to chop, route, split, and merge different tracks. 

Audiotool is a fantastic social platform for artist collaboration and creativity. If you are making and producing music on a budget, Audiotool could be the audio tool for you! However, since you can only record 30-second samples, this is not for anyone recording a podcast, audiobook, interview, or other spoken-word projects. If you need a tool for both music and video, check out one of the other free audio recording software on our list. 

Pros
  • Syncs tracks between devices
  • Browser-based so you can access files from any computer
Cons
  • Only records 30-second samples
  • Uses a lot of computer space which causes crashing

7. Acoustica - Best for Professionals on a Budget

Acoustica Interface

Image from acondigital.

Compatibility: Windows

Overall Rating: 5/10

Audio Editing Tools: 7/10

Key Features:

  1. Layer effects
  2. CD ripping support
  3. Scrub tool
  4. Convolution reverb

We found Acoustica to be the best free audio recording software for professionals on a budget. This is mainly due to its highly professional interface.This freeware tool looks just like all the expensive DAW systems used by professional music and sound editors, so you will have no trouble learning how to use Acoustica if you come from that background. It also offers a higher control over edits than most free systems. While the free audio editing software lacks many tools professionals would need, you can pay for the premium version if you find you need specific tools.  

With unlimited undo/redo abilities, support for DirectX plug-ins, and non-destructive edits, Acoustica has a lot to offer. Edits are processed quickly, and the quality is professional level. You can also use this free audio recording software to record from various sources, such as a sound card, analog gear, or line-in. 

You may be wondering why Acoustica is the last free audio editing software on our list. In November 2019, Acoustica 6 became the last free version of their software. Acoustica offers a lot of other Legacy software for free, including Audio Converter, Beatcraft, and DJ Twist and Burn. The problem is that this free audio editing software has not been updated since 2019 and will never be updated. With Acoustica, what you see is what you get. And the software is missing quite a few features, such as pre-set filters, audio restoration tools, and multi-track mixing. You need to pay for a premium subscription to get these features and regular updates.   

Pros
  • Professional interface
  • Fast, high-quality output
Cons
  • No updates
  • No multi-track mixing or restoration tools

Best Free Audio Recording and Audio Editing Software Comparison Chart

Software AudioDirector WavePad Audio Editing Software Garageband OcenAudio Ashampoo Music Studio Audiotool Acoustica
OS Windows Windows, Mac Mac Windows, Mac, Linux Windows Windows, Mac, Linux Windows
Beginner-friendly Yes Yes No Yes Yes Yes Yes
Audio Restoration Tools AI restoration tools like wind removal, reduce noise, plosive removal, hiss and hum removal, distortion removal and contour dialogue Noise reduction and pop/click removal None None None None None
Multi-Track Recording & Editing Yes No Yes No No Yes No
Updates Yes, monthly Yes Yes Infrequent Yes Yes No
Free Download
Free Download
Secure Download
Download Download Download Download Download Download

AudioDirector vs

OS

Windows

-

Beginner-friendly

Yes

-

Audio Restoration Tools

AI restoration tools like wind removal, reduce noise, plosive removal, hiss and hum removal, distortion removal and contour dialogue

-

Multi-Track Recording & Editing

Yes

-

Updates

Yes, monthly

-


How to Record and Edit Audio With AudioDirector

Here’s a step-by-step guide for recording and editing audio with AudioDirector, the #1 free audio editing software.

Download AudioDirector below and follow along:


How to Record Audio 

  1. Connect a microphone or external recording device to your computer. 
  2. Click the Mix tab. 
  3. The default setting will display 3 audio tracks. If you need to add more, click anywhere on the timeline below the 3rd track and choose Add Audio Track

    AudioDirector Interface - Add Audio Track
  4. Add any pre-recorded audio to the audio tracks by clicking Import Media. Choose the audio tracks you want to import and drag them to the timeline. 
  5. You can listen to each individual track at any time by clicking the S Button (for Solo) on the audio track.

  6. For live recording, click the Down Arrow next to the Microphone on the track where you wish to record live audio. This will bring up the Recording Settings menu. Use the drop-down menu to choose the correct microphone, then click OK.
  7. Click the picture of a Microphone to enable live recording. On the bottom of the screen, you will see a red Record Button. Click the Down Arrow next to it to bring up the countdown timer. Type in a number (like 5 seconds) to give yourself time to hit record and get into place. Click the Record Button. The live recording will start after the countdown. 
  8. AudioDirector Interface - Record
  9. Click the Record Button again to stop the recording. 

For more information on using free audio recording software to record audio, click here


How to Edit Audio

Here is a step-by-step guide for removing plosives (the blasts of air/pops when you say B, K, P,  or T sounds) using AudioDirector. 


  1. Choose the Restore Menu from along the top.
  2. Select Plosive Removal.
  3. AudioDirector Interface - Plosive Removal
  4. Choose Presets.
  5. Adjust the Frequency Limit, Sensitivity, and Strength
  6. AudioDirector Interface - Frequency Limit, Sensitivity, and Strength Adjustments
  7. Click Apply.

Click here for more tutorials from the best audio recording software available, AudioDirector. 

Download the Best Audio Recording and Audio Editing Software for Free

If you are looking to record and edit audio files, you have plenty of software options. Expensive audio editing software generally offers high-end features that give you the freedom to edit your tracks to perfection—but so do some free programs.

While free audio editing software may not have quite as many complex bells and whistles, they often offer all the features you need to create podcasts and other professional content while being much easier to use.

If you're looking for the best value and functionality, we recommend AudioDirector. It's hands-down the best free audio recording software for media producers on a budget.

Download AudioDirector today and start producing professional audio content with the best free audio recording software. 

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Free Audio Recording and Audio Editing Software FAQ

1. What Are the Best Audio Recording and Audio Editing Apps?

  1. PowerDirector
  2. Audio Evolution Mobile Studio
  3. BandLab
  4. Garage Band
  5. WavePad Music and Audio Editor

Click here to learn about the best apps that remove audio from video. 

2. What Features Should I Look For in a Free Audio Editing Software?

The top ten features you should look for in free audio recording software are

  1. Live recording ability
  2. Multitrack editing
  3. Audio effects
  4. Audio restoration tools
  5. Audio mixing tools
  6. Royalty-free sounds library
  7. Vocal removal tool
  8. Smart Fit for background tracks
  9. Punch & roll recording
  10. Batch processing

If you’re looking for a free audio editing software that checks all of these boxes, we recommend AudioDirector.

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