Soda PDF Presents: Best Audio Editing Softwares for 2020
Looking for the best audio editing software on the market in 2020?
We’ve tested nearly two dozen audio editing programs and analyzed their quality for music, podcasts, and even video audio editing.
The following is a collection of our recommended audio editing softwares for 2020. Remember, there is no “one size fits all” editing software, so don’t drop hundreds of dollars until you find one that sounds like what you’re after.
So be sure to read our reviews and choose the audio editor that is best for you and your budget!
The Two Best Audio Editing Software of 2020 (Studio and Budget)
#1) Pro Tools – The Best of the Best
Pro Tools is the best audio editing software for high-end pros, aspiring musicians, professional studios, and anyone with heavy editing needs, and it’s not even close. There’s a reason it’s known simply as “the industry standard”.
It’s the type of software you’ll find in major studios like Abbey Road, Muscle Shoals, and Skywalker Sound.
Most studio-quality editing tools come with features, but Pro Tools comes with FEATURES:
- Create a stunning magnum opus: 128 voice tracks, 512 instrument tracks, and 1,024 midi tracks. Your audio will sound like it was mixed at Abbey Road, not your mom’s basement!
- World-renowned sound quality: Pro Tools sounds like a dream whether you’re plugged directly into your computer or running things through a FocusRite.
- Unrivalled mixing: VCA masters, track freeze, pro-level metering_Pro Tools can help unlock creativity you didn’t know you had.
But what you’ll love most as a serious musician, podcaster, sound engineer, or whoever you are, is the support from Avid. They’ve got their pulse on the industry like no other.
And don’t be intimidated by the price or interface – it’s actually really intuitive. You’ll be able to lay down complex, studio-quality tracks with just a bit of practice.
The only downside in our opinion – other than price – is the new subscription model. Now you have to pay either monthly or annually. And then you have to renew and pay again. It’s the best, but you pay for what you get.
BONUS: Pro Tools even comes with 5GB of sound content to give you an edge and wake up dormant creativity.
#2) Reaper – The Best Cheap Audio Editing Software
Reaper is audio production without limits at a price that doesn’t make you shake your head and say “WHAT?!!? HOW MUCH??”. We’re talking Abbey Road quality at mom’s basement prices.
And it’s DRM-free, meaning you can use it for 60 days without paying before making your decision (And even then, they don’t force you to buy!).
Reaper is an awesome audio editing software used everywhere from the classroom and science institutions to home studios and pro music recording venues.
It doesn’t come with all of the super high-end features of Pro Tools, and the support isn’t nearly as good. But it gives you high-quality recording, fast loading times, a full audio mastering tool set, and high-quality studio effects all at 1/10th the price.
If you’re just looking for a professional grade audio editing software for creating studio-quality sound, Reaper is it. And unlike Pro Tools, one price gives you lifetime access to Reaper and every new version of Reaper in the future (We hate subscription models).
What We Like the Most
The UX is unrivaled on Reaper. It’s easy to use and easy on the eyes. Everything revolves around the intuitive drag-and-drop editor. It’s so easy to move, split, glue, resize, trim, loop….OK, you get the point.
Check out some of the controls:
And the simple track recording interface:
Reaper is so tightly coded that it loads in seconds. That makes it easy to use on any device, phones and tablets included. Not something we can say for Pro Tools.
NOTE: Reaper is available at two prices: Discounted and Commercial. Discounted is for personal use or educational use only.
The Best of the Rest
#3) Ableton Live – The Easiest DAW on Earth
Ableton Live is a godsend for the non-tech savvy musicians among us. And succeeds with flying colors where so many other DAWs fail: Simplicity and usability.
It is designed for “live”, so everything you need is available in a single window. And instead of tiny buttons, more clutter than a Dali painting circa 1940, and confusing feature delineation, Ablelton’s buttons are perfectly sized, the interface is clean and straightforward, and everything is clearly marked.
This is the best program out there for quickly improvising, tracking, and recording.
Musicians love Ableton because the “clips” arranger is ideal for live music and improv, but it’s still high-quality for traditional track-based recordings. This is the ideal software for a solo artist that just needs to get some tracks laid down.
Our Favorite Feature – Wavetable
Wavetable is a proprietary synthesizer built by Ableton that lets you instantly shape sounds using synths, instruments, or sounds from a library. Use it to sculpt deep, detailed sounds from scratch. You can even shape sounds with effects.
The biggest downsides to Ableton are the price and the fact that there’s no destructive audio editing. You’ll need a 3rd-party tool for that.
#4) Apple Logic Pro X – The Best for Mac
Apple’s audio editing software Logic Pro X creates professional quality sound at 1/3rd the price of Pro Tools or Ableton Live.
One thing that instantly stuck out to us is just how familiar and comfortable it felt. As lifelong Mac users, it felt like being home wrapped in a warm blanket on the couch. Is that too much info?
The audio editing is flexible on both ends: You can use smart tempo to automatically quantize the sound or flex time/flex pitch to do the dirty work yourself.
Our Favorite Feature
The best part of Logic Pro X is the instrument library. No other program comes close to the level of authenticity and choice. Choose from any instrument imaginable (And maybe some made up ones too), and you’ll get clean, natural-sounding audio for your tracks.
Best FREE Audio Editing Software
It’s open-source. It works on all platforms. It produces high-quality sound.
And, best of all, it’s 100% FREE!
Audacity has to make this list so we added it in as a bonus.
It’s got everything you need to create studio-quality sound for music, podcasts, or videos, and editing is seamless.
Set up is easy – just record through a live mic or mixer – and from there you can edit, add effects, and even analyze sound frequency using spectrogram analysis.
The interface definitely IS NOT as friendly as some of the other programs. And the nav bar is cluttered with features that most beginners won’t even understand. But if you have the right hardware, and know what you’re doing, you can get great sound out of Audacity WITHOUT paying a dime. Can’t argue with that.
Audio editing software is a major investment, so we highly recommend getting the best software you can afford so long as it’s for your end goals.
If you’re an aspiring musician or need studio-quality sound with professional-grade support, definitely choose Pro Tools.
If you don’t need to sound like Abbey Road, or just want to have fun recording podcasts, then consider something cheaper or easier to use. Each music creation software has its drawbacks.
In the end, you can’t go wrong with any on this list. Let us know which one you chose, and which ones you want to see on the next list!
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What is the best audio editing software?
A: The best audio editing software depends on your budget and needs, but if you’re looking to get the absolute best audio sound, then it’s Pro Tools.
Q: What is the best FREE music editing software?
A: Audacity is by far the best free music editing software on the market. No other tool rivals its level of quality and features.
Q: What audio software do pros use?
A: Most professional musicians and music studios use either Pro Tools or Ableton Live.
Q: What is the best music mixing software?
A: It’s hard to pinpoint it and say exactly which software provides the best music mixing, but it’s definitely one of the following: Pro Tools, Ableton Live, or Reaper.
Q: Is Audition better than Audacity?
A: No, Audition is superior but you have to pay monthly.
Q: Is Audacity a DAW?
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