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10 Best Free Audio Editing Software for Beginners & Pros (2024)

Looking for free audio editing solutions? Explore our list of the best audio editing software for beginners and pros in 2024.
Stephen Robles
Video & Podcast Creator
Last Updated:
March 5, 2024
12
min
Reviewed by
Ortal Hadad

You don’t need to break the bank to find reliable audio editing software.

Whether you’re editing audio for a podcast, social media, audiobook, or anything else, having the right software at your fingertips makes all the difference. Finding the right software can be challenging, even more so when you’re looking for a free or budget-friendly option. You’ll need a platform suited to your skills and needs.

That’s where we come in. We’ve got you covered with this list of 10 of the best audio editing software. The best part? They don’t cost a cent. 

How can I edit audio for free?

Editing audio for free doesn’t have to feel like an impossible task. In fact, it’s absolutely doable with the right software to hand. All you need to do is find the right toolkit and learn how to use it. Some software has a steeper learning curve than others, so it’s always a good idea to be aware of your skill level. 

A good audio editing platform will offer tools like trimming, background noise reduction, and audio level adjustment. But there are plenty more editing tools to help you achieve a high-quality result. You’ll just need to find the right free editing software to suit you. 

Why should you use free audio editing software?

There are a whole host of reasons to choose free audio editing software. The most obvious is that, of course, it saves you money. Paid software can take a real chunk out of your wallet. This can be particularly annoying for beginner editors. After all, investing in software you don’t fully know how to use can feel like a waste of money.

Both beginner and professional editors can benefit from free software. This is because the quality and capabilities of free software only continue to improve. The features available to you, completely free of charge, are pretty impressive. In fact, some free software even competes with paid versions in terms of the tools available. 

How to choose free audio editing software

 Looking for the best free audio editor can feel challenging. To make your search quicker and easier, focus on the most important features of audio editing software.

You can sort through different editors with more direction by understanding which elements matter most to you. Have a read of the factors listed below to get a sense of your own preferences.

Skill level

It can be pretty demoralizing to open up your new editing software and find it way too complicated for your abilities. Not everyone has the skill set or the time to learn how to use complex software. So if you’re a beginner in audio editing, look out for software you can ease into. A user-friendly interface with a small but useful set of tools could best suit your needs.

On the other hand, if you’re an editing expert, look for software that matches your skill level. You may want access to more advanced editing tools, like a variety of fading and mixing features. This will help you put your knowledge into action.

Compatibility

It’s no use if an audio editor is incompatible with your device. If you’re looking for an audio editing app, remember whether your system is iOS or Android. Not all apps are available on both platforms.

Similarly, not all desktop audio editors are compatible with Windows and Mac devices. Avoid the frustration of choosing an audio editor, only, to find you can’t use it on your device. Check the compatibility of the editor in the first place to ensure you can use it.

Multitrack editing 

If you’ve recorded audio in multiple tracks or you’re looking for software that offers more control in post-production, you’ll need multitrack editing. Software that offers multitrack editing allows you to work on separate tracks and stitch them together.

You can alter sound levels and edit mistakes in the individual tracks, without affecting other tracks. This is great if you’re recording with multiple people. With multitrack editors, you can also choose how and where to combine your tracks. This all gives you more opportunities to create high-quality audio.

File formats

When you’re looking for the best free sound editor, don’t forget to consider file formats. You’ll need to remember the type of format your audio recording is in. You may also want to find software that allows you to download your edited file in multiple formats.

It’s really important to pick audio editing software that supports your preferred file format. The most popular formats include MP3, WAV, VOX and WMA. However, not all audio editors support the same file types. That’s why it’s important to double-check before you download any software.

The best file formats for high quality audio are uncompressed files, such as WAV FLAC and M4A. These files retain their original sound quality. However, they are also larger and so can be harder to store than files such as MP3. 

10 Best Free Audio Editing Software for All Devices

Free software can be just as effective for your project as paid versions. Keep in mind the editing features that matter most to you, and you’ll be sure to pick a platform that supports your needs.

Read on for 10 of the best free audio editing software!

Best Free Audio Editors for Mac & Windows PCs

Riverside

Riverside free audio editing software
Riverside

Compatibility: Windows and Mac

Multitrack editing: No, but the platform offers Multitrack recording

Skill level: All levels

Beyond top-quality audio recordings, Riverside offers an array of automated editing tools to save you time and streamline your workflow. In the Editor, you can trim your content, by simply deleting text in your recording transcript. Then you can brush up the way your audio sounds. We have an Ai tool for removing silences, and you can normalize audio levels or remove background noise,

Riverside is browser-based, making it really convenient for editing wherever you are. The user-friendly interface is ideal for beginner editors learning the ropes.    

        Key Features

  • Automatic AI tool to remove silence from your audio
  • Background noise removal for higher quality audio
  • Audio normalization so you can level all tracks at the tap of a button
  • Quick and easy edits with the text-based trimming tool 
  • Editor automatically stitches audio and video tracks together
  • Automatic AI audio transcription useful for SEO, creating captions and more
  • Intuitive, beginner-friendly editing interface
  • Media board for adding sound effects live while you record
  • Download audio in high quality WAV files with up to 48kHz audio resolution
  • AI Magic Clips tool to repurpose one long recording into multiple shareable short videos
  • Intro/Outro feature to add them in seamlessly into recordings

Best for: All-in-one, seamless audio recording and editing workflow. Particularly good for podcasts.

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Audacity

Free audio editing software
Audacity

Compatibility: Windows, Mac & Linux

Multitrack editing: Yes

Skill level: Professional

Audacity is a powerful audio editing platform offering a range of tools to suit experienced editors. This open-source software is great for making basic edits with professional results. The Audacity interface can initially feel confusing and takes a bit of getting used to. Once you’ve learned to navigate it, you can use the multitrack audio editing tools available.

Key Features

  • Large library of plugins
  • Supports a wide range of filetypes
  • Graft together multiple sound documents
  • Change audio pitch and speed
  • Copy and mix sounds
  • Fade volume up and down

Best for: Professional audio editors

GarageBand

free audio editing software
GarageBand

Compatibility: Mac

Multitrack editing: Yes

Skill level: Beginner

GarageBand is an Apple product designed with musicians and producers in mind. While you can use the software to edit other types of audio, the interface is best suited to musical creations. GarageBand is only available on Mac devices. It includes helpful features such as Live Loops, which allow you to easily insert drum and bass into your songs.

 Key Features

  • Apple Loops (pre-recorded musical clips)
  • Mixing tools including adjusting volume levels
  • Mute and solo tracks 
  • Automation curves to automate the volume of a project
  • Sound effects including compression and reverb

Best for: Musicians and producers

Ocenaudio

Ocenaudio free audio editing software
Ocenaudio

Compatibility: Mac and Windows

Multitrack editing: Yes

Skill level: Beginner

Ocenaudio’s advantage is its simplicity. It offers a small range of basic features, ideal for quick editing by beginners. For a free platform, it helpfully supports files of any length and number. Ocenaudio is not a complete DAW (digital audio workspace) so naturally, it’s limited in tools. You can record, edit and mix with this software. The interface is intuitive and customizable.

Key Features

  • Audio correction and adjustments like pitch control
  • Sound effects
  • VST plugin support
  • Preview audio effects in real-time
  • Batch editing
  • Spectogram tool

Best for: Simple audio editing software

WavePad

WavePad free audio editing software

Compatibility: Windows & Mac

Multitrack editing: No

Skill level: Beginner

WavePad is impressive in the tools it offers. This software is free for non-commercial use but offers a professional experience. Unfortunately, there’s only single-track editing available here. To mix audio, you’ll need a separate app - MixPad Multi-Track Audio Mixer - which can complicate your workflow. There are a wide range of audio effects on offer, ideal for helping editors explore their creativity.

Key Features

  • Audio effects including amplify, echo, and reverb.
  • Editing tools (compression, pitch shifting, silencing, and more)
  • Library of royalty-free sound effects and music
  • Create ringtones from your recordings
  • Voice changer
  • Text-to-speech tool

Best for: Audio effects

Best Free Audio Editing Apps for iOS & Android Devices

iMovie

iMovie free audio editing software
iMovie

Compatibility: iOS

Multitrack editing: Yes

Skill level: Beginner

You might have heard of iMovie as a platform for video editing. But did you know that this built-in app on Apple devices has great audio editing tools too? For example, you can tweak multiple audio tracks in the editor and add sound effects. You can edit audio clips or video clips with audio in iMovie. The process is simple and signposted so you won’t get lost navigating the editing tools. 

Key Features

  • Boost volume levels 
  • Background noise reduction
  • Equalizer presets 
  • Library of audio effects
  • Trim and cut audio clips

Best for: Editing the audio behind video clips 

Lexis Audio Editor 

Free Lexis Audio Editor

Compatibility: iOS & Android

Multitrack editing: No

Skill level: Beginner

Lexis Audio Editor is available as both free and paid software, with the free version having a simple collection of editing tools. You can use Lexis Audio Editor to adjust your recordings and save audio in different formats. The app will show you the waveforms of any tracks you choose to edit. You can then cut, paste and adjust tracks. 

Key Features

  • Alter playback speed and tone
  • Ten-band equalizer
  • Conversion to different file formats (including MP3 & WAV)
  • Editing features such as trim, fade in and out 
  • Normalizing and noise reduction

 Best for: Simple song editing 

MixPad

MixPad free audio editing software

Compatibility: iOS & Android

Multitrack editing: Yes

Skill level: Professional

MixPad is a recording and mixing app with multitrack capabilities. You can professionally mix your music and audio files with this app, and it’s totally free to use. Easily drag and drop the files you want to work on. If you’re editing a song, you can build your own drum kit and make use of a library of beats. MixPad offers a range of tools that experienced editors can make the most of.

Key Features

  • Edit audio clips: delete, copy, split, merge and more
  • MixPad Beat Maker for musicians
  • Mix music, video and voice recordings
  • Change audio speed and volume
  • Loop tracks

 Best for: Multitrack editing on mobile 

SoundLab

SoundLab free audio editing software

Compatibility: iOS

Multitrack editing: Yes

Skill level: Professional

SoundLab is a powerful app for editing music, podcasts, and audio for social media platforms like YouTube. It’s a great place to find a library of sound effects and audio editing tools. There is an AI vocal remover, video dubbing tools, pitch and tempo changer, and more. Given the many features available, beginners may find this app to be a learning curve. Professional editors can enjoy the full toolkit of this multitrack editing app.

Key Features

  • Add sound effects and change tone of audio files
  • Vocal remover to erase specific vocals
  • Audio tuner to change pitch
  • Audio fix – a noise reduction tool
  • Non-linear editing
  • Global effects
  • Video dubbing

 Best for: Editing audio for social media

Dolby On

Dolby On free audio editing software

Compatibility: iOS & Android

Multitrack editing: No

Skill level: Beginner

You can both edit and record audio using the Dolby On app. The straightforward interface is easy to master. You can use this app for editing YouTube audio, songs, podcasts, and more. The studio effects on offer cover the basics when it comes to making clear audio. You can export lossless files and easily share your creations. The app is well-designed to be usable on the go, which is ideal for anyone with a busy schedule.

Key Features

  • Noise reduction, fade in and out
  • Dynamic EQ and spatial audio to shape your voice
  • Sound optimization for social media platforms
  • VoiceOver support for visually impaired users
  • Animated cover art for your audio clips

 Best for: Editing audio on the go

Riverside: Audio recording & editing on one-platform

Riverside audio and editing software

Riverside is a one-stop shop for your recording and editing needs. Our software supports local recording. This means your content is recorded locally to a computer, and doesn’t rely on the internet. So you can achieve crystal clear audio and video quality even if your internet connection flags. 

As well as the recording capabilities on offer, our editing toolkit is here to help you easily polish and perfect your content. Riverside has a beginner-friendly text-based editor. By making changes to a highly accurate, AI generated transcription, you can edit your video. Deleting sections of your transcript will cut the same parts of your video for easy editing.

There are no downloads required - simply access Riverside from your browser. Create your own professional virtual studio where you can invite guests and record high-quality footage. Our editor tool is on hand to get your content ready for distribution. You can tweak and repurpose content with just a few clicks!

Key Features:

  • Top-quality audio with up to 48kHz WAV recordings
  • Record separate audio and video tracks to give you greater post-production control
  • Automated tools to fine-tune your audio, including background noise removal and audio normalization 
  • Ai tool for automatically removing unwanted silences
  • Remove sections easily with the text-based editing tool 
  • Highly accurate AI transcriptions available in over 100 languages
  • Media board to add live sound effects while you record
  • AI Magic Clips tool which repurposes your recordings’ key moments into short shareable content
  • Logo and background customization to make your brand stand out

FAQs on Free audio Editing Software

Which free app is best for audio editing?

There are plenty of free apps you can use to edit audio. Some are better than others so it’s always good to do your research. We can help you find a great audio editing app with the suggestions above. Some of our top picks include Dolby On and Lexis Audio Editor, which offer sound effects, cutting, noise reduction tools and more.

Which is better GarageBand or Audacity? 

Both GarageBand and Audacity feature on our list of the best free audio recording software. This is because both platforms offer an impressive range of editing tools, as well as multitrack editing. Which one is better will depend on your personal needs. For example, Audacity is more suited to editors with some experience, while GarageBand is beginner-friendly, better for editing music and only available on Mac and iOS.

Is Audacity fully free? 

Audacity is 100% free. This open source software is available on your mobile and desktop and requires no payments. 

Is there a free audio editing software?

There are plenty of free audio editing platforms out there. Some, like Riverside, even offer recording tools as well. You can find free software to edit your audio files by checking out our recommendations above. There is software to fit all kinds of devices and needs so you’re sure to find something useful.

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