Audio editing software

All material copyright Inquit Publishing Ltd 2001-2015

To edit or re-purpose recordings you need an audio editing program; they can usually record too.

There are two or three main types of program:

    There are several big name commercial programs, and perhaps Pro Tools is the best. You can use them to edit real, commercial CDs or radio programmes but they are likely to be too complicated for beginners.

    is software developed by small companies or individuals, who usually have a driving passion for what they are doing. They really want it to work, they want people to use it, and they like to hear its good and bad points from users so it can be further improved. Often it's free to try for 30 days or so, then it closes down until you buy a code to activate it again, but shareware can be quite modestly priced at $20-$50 and is usually worth every cent. Typically, updates will be free until the next major revision, it will have to be downloaded over the internet, paid for by credit card after the trial period, and will have an online manual; there may be email support but nothing by telephone. 

Here are two suggestions for audio editing shareware shareware, one for Windows and one for Mac, though many others are available. Try searching online for audio editing program.

For Windows try 

Acoustica (Standard Edition) from Germany. It's a two-channel recording and editing package which will record your audio at up to 96KHz, 24 bit DAT mastering quality, save it to the hard disk, then allow you to edit and manipulate the sound to create your own packages. You can have two or more windows open at once, so you can copy and paste audio from one to the other just like text in Word! It costs $40 after the 30 day evaluation period and works well. (NB: there is a different program called Accoustica (with two C’s) which is not what I am suggesting.)

If you want to create more complex packages with music, more than one clip fading into another, maybe a voice-over, etc, you need a multi-track editor where you can add many different tracks together. A multi-track editor strangely from a different company called Acoustica with no apparent link, and called 
Mixcraft is available at $39.95.

For Macs try 
Amadeus which I have used for many years. It's written by Martin Hairer, a maths lecturer at Warwick University who's very committed to his software baby. If you email with a query, the response is from Martin himself. Amadeus Pro is now multi-track, so you can build up elaborate sound pieces; it costs $25 - $60 and now consists of two versions, Lite and Pro.

    is the level below shareware, developed as an empowering tool by volunteers around the world, and is free to use and own. Freeware may be good and useful, but may be limited in its capability, or with flaws or bugs. If something is really good or useful the author will usually want to get something back for their time and trouble, and will make it shareware. 

     is a global open source program providing free audio editing software. It has many adherents and can be a good way to test the water, but can also be awkward and frustrating to use (in my opinion). 

And that's all you need!

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