Today we’re going to be checking out the top 3 best free audio editing and recording software.
You can use these programs to record audio with your microphone, cut and trim audio clips and apply effects. It’s also possible to create music with some of these apps.
Software in this list is available for Windows, Mac and Linux.
|#||Name||Multiple Tracks||Recording||Effects||Plugins||Best Used For||Platforms Rating|
|1||Audacity||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Voice recording, basic audio editing||Windows, Mac, Linux||9/10|
|2||LMMS||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Music production||Windows, Mac, Linux||8/10|
|3||Ocenaudio||No||Yes||Yes||Yes||Voice recording, basic audio editing||Windows, Mac, Linux||7.5/10|
The first free audio editor I would recommend is Audacity. It’s a good basic audio editor and recorder, that I use on a regular basis myself. In fact I’m recording this right now, with Audacity.
Audacity is best for things such as recording and editing podcasts and speech for YouTube videos. It is not good for creating music or mixing beats. If you’re looking for that type of software, then check out the other apps on this list.
Audacity has multiple tracks, so you can mix speech, music, sound effects and other audio clips. It also has editing tools for cutting, removing, copying and pasting audio. Additionally there’s a selection of effects such as fade in, fade out, noise reduction and many more. Audacity also supports VST plugins, so you can expand its features.
Audacity is free open source software, and it’s available for Windows, Mac and Linux. But there is one downside with Audacity, and that’s the fact that it has limited format support out of the box. You have to install plugins such as the LAME encoder to be able to export in formats such as MP3 or OGG.
Next on the list we have LMMS. It is a digital audio workstation, closer related to professional commercial audio software, such as FL Studio.
LMMS is meant for creating music, making beats and even some sound effects. It has much more advanced features than Audacity. But is also more complicated to use and not ideal for the same purposes as Audacity.
With LMMS it’s possible to sequence, compose and mix music in one interface. It has several built-in editors and synthesizers, as well as support for a variety of plugins and files. These include VST and LADSPA plugins, MIDI files and soundfonts. Included with the software, is also a collection of beats and other sound effects that you can use to make music.
You can download LMMS for Windows, Mac and Linux.
LMMS can be a bit confusing for a beginner, but instruction manuals can be found on their website and there are plenty of good tutorials on YouTube.
My last recommendation would be the Ocenaudio free sound editor. It’s like a more simple version of Audacity.
Ocenaudio has a few advantages over Audacity, but also some drawbacks.
The advantages include a more simple and user friendly interface. But more importantly, Ocenaudio has built-in format support. So you can export to MP3 files and other formats right out of the box. There’s no need to install a plugin.
Additionally, Ocenaudio has a spectrogram view, which can show you the so called fingerprint of a soundfile. This might be useful for some people.
The main drawback is that Ocenaudio does not support multiple tracks. So you can’t mix for example music and speech for a podcast. Furthermore it does not have volume controls for your microphone, so you have to go to the volume mixer on your computer to adjust it. You also cannot quickly change microphones or audio outputs, like you can in Audacity.
Ocenaudio is not open source, but it is entirely free software with no ads or unwanted surprises. You can get it for Windows, Mac and Linux.