Let us try to understand what is audio editing before delving into the finer details of software available for the same. Also known as sound editing, it is an industry in itself, with larger applications in theatrics whether it is the stage or the film industry involving both dialogues and music editing.
Audio editing can be defined as the art of producing quality sound. You can alter different sounds by changing the volume, speed, or length of any sound to generate different new versions of the same sound. In other words, it is the tedious task of editing noisy and lousy hearing sounds or recordings to make them feel good to the ears.
Having understood what is audio editing, a lot of creative process goes into editing audio through a computer using audio editing software—before the computer era, editing used to be done by cutting/splicing and taping the audiotapes, which was a very tiring and time-consuming process. The audio editing software available today has made life comfortable but choosing good audio editing software remains a challenging and daunting task.
There are so many kinds of software offering specific features, some applicable to a certain type of operating system others just being offered for free, that has made their selection more difficult. In this article to cut-out any confusion, we will limit our discussion to the best audio editing software for Mac OS only.
11 Best Audio Editing Software for Mac
1. Adobe Audition
It is one of the best audio editing software available in the market today. It offers one of the best audio clean-up and restoration tools in addition to the multi-track recording and editing features, which helps make audio editing easier.
The “Auto Ducking” feature, a proprietary AI-based ‘Adobe Sensei’ technology helps lower the volume of the background track making vocals and speeches audible, simplifying the job of an audio editor greatly.
The iXML metadata support, synthesized speech, and auto speech alignment are some other good features that help make this software one of the best in the market.
2. Logic Pro X
The Logic Pro X software, a costly software, is considered to be one of the best Digital Audio Workstation (DAW) for Mac OS which works even on the older generations of MacBook Pros. With DAW every virtual instrument musical sound matches with its real instruments sound making it one of the best audio editing software. So with DAW Logic Pro X can be considered as a library of musical instruments that can produce any kind of music of any instrument.
The audio editing software with its ‘Smart Tempo’ function can automatically match the timing of different tracks. Using the ‘Flex Time’ feature, you can edit the timing of a single note individually in a musical waveform without disturbing the waveform. This feature helps fix a single mistimed beat with the least effort.
The ‘Flex Pitch’ feature edits the pitch of a single note individually, as it happens in Flextime feature, except here it adjusts the pitch and not the timing of the single note in a waveform.
To give the music a more complex feel, Logic Pro X automatically converts chords into arpeggios using an ‘arpeggiator’, which is a feature available on some hardware synthesizers and software instruments.
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It is one of the best audio editing software/tools for Mac users. Podcasting is a free service that allows users of the internet to pull audio files from podcasting websites to listen to on their computers or personal digital audio players. Besides availability on Mac OS, it is also available on Linux and Windows OS.
Audacity is free and open-source, beginner-friendly, software for anyone looking to start audio editing for home use. It has a simple and friendly user interface for users who don’t want to spend too much time for months learning an audio editing software.
It is a feature-rich cross-platform free app with lots of effects like treble, bass, distortion, noise removal, trimming, voice modulation, background score addition, and many more. It has a lot of analysis tools like beat finder, sound finder, silencer finder, etc. etc.
4. Avid Pro Tool
This tool is a feature-packed audio editing tool in three variants, as indicated below:
- First or Free Version,
- Standard Version: Is available at an annual subscription of $ 29.99 (paid Monthly),
- Ultimate Version: Is available at an annual subscription of $ 79.99 (paid Monthly).
This tool comes with a 64-Bit audio recording and a music mixing tool to start with. It is a tool for professional audio editors for the use of filmmakers and TV producers to make music for movies and TV serials. The first or free version is more than sufficient for most users, but the higher versions available at a cost can be used by professionals who want to go in for improvised sound effects.
Avid Pro tool offers great flexibility in organizing soundtracks in collapsible folders with the ability to group folders in folders and do color coding to easily access the soundtrack when required.
Also Read: 13 Best Audio Recording Software for Mac
The Avid Pro tool also has an instrumental tracker UVI Falcon 2 a highly effective and efficient virtual instrument that can create incredibly fascinating sounds.
Another interesting feature of the Avid Pro tool is that it has a huge collection of more than 750 voice audio tracks, making it easier to make interesting sound mix without the use of HDX hardware.
Using this tool, your music can also be heard on music streaming services like Spotify, Apple Music, Pandora, etc. etc.
This is an entirely free and open-source audio editing cum recording tool from Brazil with a very simple User Interface. With clean audio editing software, it is one of the best tools for beginners. As an editing software, you can access all editing features like track selection, track cutting, and splitting, copy and paste, multi-track editing etc.etc. It supports a large number of files like MP3, WMA, and FLAK.
It provides a real-time preview for applied effects. In addition, this audio editing software also uses VST, the virtual Studio technology plug-ins, to consider the effects which are not included in the software. This audio plug-in is an add-on software component that adds a specific feature to an existing computer program enabling customization. Two plug-in examples can be Adobe Flash Player for playing Adobe Flash contents or a Java Virtual machine for running applets (an applet is a Java Program that runs in a web browser).
These VST audio plug-ins combine software synthesizers and effects through digital signal processing and reproduce traditional recording studio hardware like guitars, drums, etc. in the software at digital audio workstations.
OcenAudio also supports a spectrogram view to analyze the spectral content of the audio signal for a better understanding of the highs and lows in the audio.
Having almost similar features to Audacity it is considered as an alternative to it, but better interface accessibility gives it an edge over Audacity.
Fission audio editor is made by a company called Rogue Ameba, a company well known for its splendid audio editing products for Mac OS. The fission audio editor is simple, neat, and stylish audio editing software with emphasis on fast and lossless audio editing.
It has quick access to various audio editing tools using which you can cut, join or trim audio and edit it as per requirement.
With the help of this tool, you can also edit metadata. You can do batch editing and instantly convert in one go, multiple audio files using batch converters. It helps to do waveform editing.
It has another smart feature known as Fission’s smart split feature which does quick editing by automatically cutting audio files based on silence.
The list of other features supported by this audio editor is features like gain adjustment, volume normalization, Cue sheet support and a host of others.
If you do not have the time and the patience to invest in learning audio editing and want a quick and easy to use the tool, then Fission is the best and right choice.
This audio editing tool is used for Mac OS and is a highly competent audio editor available free of cost as long it is being used for non-commercial purposes. WavePad can cut, copy, paste, delete, silence, compress, auto-trim, shift pitch recordings in parts adding special effects like echo, amplification, normalize, equalize, envelope, reverse, and many more.
The Virtual studio technology – VST plug-ins combine software synthesizer and effects help audio editing to produce special effects and help in movies and theatres.
WavePad also allows batch processing besides bookmarking audios for precise editing, quickly find and recall and assemble parts of long audio files. WavePads’ audio restoration feature takes care of noise reduction.
With advanced features, wavePad does spectrum analysis, speech synthesis performing the text to speech coordination and voice changing. It also helps the editing of audio from the video file.
WavePad supports a large number and types of audio and music files like MP3, WAV, GSM, real audio and many more.
8. iZotope RX post-production Suite 4
This tool has kept itself ranked as one of the best post-production tools available for audio editors. iZotope is the leading audio refining tool in the industry as of date with no one coming near it. The latest version 4 has made it all the more powerful in audio editing. This latest version Suite 4 is a combination of multiple formidable tools like:
a) RX7 Advanced: automatically recognizes noises, clippings, clicks, hums, etc. etc. and removes these disturbances with a single click.
b) Dialogue match: learns and matches the dialogue to a single scene, even when captured using different microphones and in different spaces, reducing hours of cumbersome audio editing to a few seconds.
c) Neutron3: It is a mix assistant, which builds great mixes after listening to all the tracks in the mix.
This feature, with a set of multiple tools, is one of the best audio editing tools. This feature can repair and recover any lost audio.
9. Ableton Live
It is a digital audio workstation available for Mac Os as well as Windows. It supports unlimited audio and MIDI tracks. It analyses the beat sample for their meter, a number of bars, and the number of beats per minute enabling Ableton live to shift these samples to fit in the loops tied into the piece’s global tempo.
For Midi Capture it supports 256 mono input channels and 256 mono output channels.
It has a huge library of 70GB data of pre-recorded sounds in addition to 46 audio effects and 15 software instruments.
With its Time Warp feature, it can be either correct or adjust beat positions in the sample. For example, a drumbeat that fell 250 ms after the midpoint in the measure may be adjusted so that it will be played back precisely at the midpoint.
The common drawback with Ableton live is it does not have a pitch correction and effects such as fades.
10. FL Studio
It is a good audio editing software and is also helpful in EDM or Electronic Dance Music. Furthermore, FL Studio supports multi-track recording, pitch shifting, and time stretching and comes with a mixed pack of features like effect chains, automation, delay compensation, and many more.
It comes with over 80 ready to use plug-ins like sample manipulation, compression, synthesis, and many more in a huge list. VST standards provide support to add-on more instrument sounds.
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It comes with a specified free trial period and if found satisfactory, can be procured at a cost for self-use. The only problem it has is not a very good user interface.
This audio editing tool is initially available with a free trial function, but after sometimes if suitable, you can use at a nominal cost.
This Audio editing software from Steinberg is not meant for beginners. It comes with a feature called Audio-ins which uses the filters and effect, separately for audio editing. If plug-ins are used on Cubase, it first uses its own software Cubase plug-in sentinel, which scans them automatically when started to make sure of their validity and that they do not harm the system.
Cubase has another feature called the frequency equalizer feature which conducts extremely delicate frequency edits on your audio and an Auto Pan Feature which allows you to pan through the audio edit quickly.
There are many other audio editing software available for Mac OS like Presonus Studio one, Hindenburg Pro, Ardour, Reaper, etc. etc. However, we have limited our research to some of the best audio editing software for Mac OS. Just as an added input most of this software can also be used on Windows OS and a few of them on Linux OS.