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Digital Audio Editing Tools

Last Update: April 2015. Checked all links; Added Naturpic Software; WaveShop, OcenAudio; Digilogue Acoustic Cutter; CoolEditRecordPro; SionSoft's QuickAudio;;; GFSoftware Easy Audio Mixer; DVDVideoSoft Audio Editor; removed Digtal Sound Planet (gone); J. Hepple's, Fx, Sound & Magic still has a website, but the software seems to be gone; removed Minnetonka's Fast Edit (not available)

This page provides a set of links to some of the more popular software programs available for working with Digital Audio. Tools to capture audio from multiple sources (cassettes, Internet broadcasts, CDs, etc.), split albums into individual tracks, clean up scratchy audio, and encoding into MP3 or other formats are included.

Above is a screen grab of Acon Digital's Acoustica Editor


The focus of these analog to digital articles is on converting existing sources such as cassettes and records (LPs) to CD or MP3 formats. Many of the sound editors available on the commercial market are designed for professionals, where the main use is for Mastering a CD for production. These tools will support 24 bit processing with high samping rates, and will include parametric equalizers, compression tools, and will typically require the ability to use VST or DirectX plug-ins to allow the user to obtain the latest technologies in sound processing. The professional tools cost anywhere from $200 - $1500, and likely more, so are not in the reach of the average consumer.

For the audio layman, however, many of these tools are overkill. Our purpose is to play a record or tape, convert that signal into digital form, perhaps clean up that file a little, and then burn a CD or perhaps convert the format into MP3 or other digital format for use with players like the popular Apple iPod. A few other editing functions like fading, normalization, and DC offset are useful. For a basic overview of the LP/Tape to MP3 process, see the article Transferring Cassettes to MP3 or CDR.

Three top editors (based on perceived popularity) are Adobe's Audition, Sony's Sound Forge, and Steinberg's WaveLab. These are fairly high-end, professional editors with prices to match (about $400 and up). However, Sony and Steinberg also offer "entry level" versions that are all worthy of your consideration. These stripped down versions don't have all the bells and whistles, but likely have most of the features the hobbyist will need, and the costs are much lower at around $70-$150 or so. 

In my Internet searching, I also found a few other professional level programs that seem to be lesser well known. These include Diamond Cut's DC6 and DCLive/6 Forensics products, as well as Dartech Inc.'s DartPro series, for example.

There are also quite a few less expensive commercial and shareware WAV editor products. I have seen some shareware offerings disappear after a few years, and your mileage will vary, so I suggest you download and try before you buy. Some of the products that looked worthy of note include: Acon's Acoustica and Goldwave's shareware GoldWave. The listing below will provide you many more links to check out.

Finally, there are also several free offerings. Audacity is a free, open source editor that can use VST plug-ins, has a recorder, and a decent set of features. Wavosaur is a nice free editor that also supports VST plugins. Yamaha provides the Tiny Wave Editor (TWE) free on their websites, as well as a decent manual (not for Windows Vista, however). EXPStudio offers both a free and professional version, and NCH Swift Sound also has both a pro and free version of thier WavePad audio editing software.

If you just want to do raw recording to disk, Wave Repair is a shareware click & pop cleaner, but you can use the recording and Cuesheet functions for free. High Criteria's shareware Total Recorder allows you to record anything playing on your computer, including streaming audio, and reportedly provides very high quality recordings through the use of a virtual soundcard. The folks who make Wavosaur also make a free streaming recorder, Streamosaur.

If you are looking for an inexpensive cleaning package to remove record album clicks and pops, there are quite a few inexpensive solutions that may work for you, including: Acoustica's Spin It Again, Algorithmix Easy Tools PowerPak, Blaze Audio Wave Creator with Record Cleaner, DART CD Recorder, Diamond Cut Millennium, Ganymede's Wave Corrector, Coyote's Groove Mechanic, and Magix Audio Cleaning Lab.

Acon Digital Media:
Acoustica Premium 6: Professional level; supports multichannel (8) plus 5.1 & 7.1 surround sound, includes Studio Clean/Time/Necessities, VST/DirectX, up to 32bit/384kHz. Full CD Burner support. $119.90
Acoustica Standard 6: Well featured 2-channel edtior with recording, DirectX and VST Plugin support, and much more. $39.90
Acoustica Standard Free: limited free version
AudioLava (Premium and Standard Versions): Designed to convert LPs to digital audio with ease. $24.90 and $59.90
Studio Plugin-Suites:  Studio Time; Studio Clean; Studio Necessities
Comments: I purchased Acoustica and have been pleased with it, although I haven't used it as much as my older Wavelab Lite yet, so can't provide a thorough review.

Spin It Again 2.5 (May 2009).Record 45's and 33's to CD or to MP3 player. The demo is great! Easy to use, Wizard type recorder, track splitting, and pretty good noise reduction. $34.95
MixCraft 7 (Apr 2015): Multi-track recording studio, with time stretching; VST/DirectX Plug In support; Built-In effects; and more. Home Studio $49.95; Mixcraft 7 $89.95, Pro Studio $164.95
Comments: Acoustica offers downloadable demos of all their programs. Acostica software seems to be well done, from the demos that I've tried

Acoustic Labs Software:
Audio Editor. Record; basic editing (cut, copy, fade, etc.); Echo, Delay, Reverb, Multi-voice effects; WAV/MP3/WMA/OGG/PCM support. Looks fairly simple. $24.95
Multitrack Recorder and Multitrack Plus: 8 or 24 track recorder with mixing, track bouncing, punch in/out recording, and more. $24.95 or $44.95 (plus)
Comments: Acoustic Labs offers downloadable demos of their products.  No information on their site about version numbers or dates of release.

Audition (2014)
: (successor to Syntrillium's CoolEdit): Professional level multi-track audio editor with video functions. Part of Adobe's Creative Cloud offerings.
Comments: Very expensive, but professional level tool.

Sound Rescue 3.0: Record and Tapes to digital tool with noise reduction tools. $79.90
reNOVAtor 2.5: High resolution audio repair processor to eliminate disturbing audio events. EUR 2490
easyNOVA 2.10: Slimmed down (and less expensive) version of reNOVAtor with pre-set EUR 990
ScratchFree DirectX/VST Plug-In v1.3: Click and crackle elimination 1490
NoiseFree DirectX/VST Plug-In v1.3: Constant noise elimination (hiss, hum, etc.) 1490
SoundLaundry v2.5: set of modules for cleaning and restoring record & cassette recordings with recorder. Modules $19 - 99 each; Compact Edition $149; Classic Suite $229; Advanced Suite $299
Easy Tools v1.1: set of modules for AudioGrabber or as standalone. DeClicker, DeNoiser,  Equalizer, Enhancer. $19 - $59
Comments: The professional tools are quite expensive. Demos are available. See website for latest versions.

Audacity 2.1.0 March 2015. F
ree, Open Source audio editor. It is available in Windows, MAC OSX and GNU/Linux versions. It features record, OGG/MP3/WAV support, basic editing, speed/pitch change, and support VST plug-ins through a separate module. $0.00
Comments: Used by many and the price is certainly right!

Audiodope 026 Beta: Audio editor supports Ogg, MP3, etc; with VST Plugins.
Comments: Free

Backham, Clive
Wave Repair v4.9.4
(Jan 2013) Editor designed specifically for restoration of WAV files recorded from vinyl records, with an emphasis on manual click repair. $30
Comments: Incudes recording capability, track splitting, and cue sheet generation that can be used in freeware mode.

Blaze Audio:
Rip Edit Burn and Rip Edit Burn Plus: (record, rip, mix, burn, etc) $55.95 and $97.95
Power Record: record internet programs $39.95
Record Cleaner: Add-on for Wave Creator or Rip Edit Burn $34.95
LP/Tape to Conversion Suite and Conversion Suite Plus: $116.76 or $152.56 (plus)
Comments: Blaze Audio carries many audio related products and hardware. Package deals with hardware are available. Beware if you register with their site that they send quite a bit of advertising (at least they used to!)

Sonar Artist, Professional, Platimum. Multitrack editor ranging from a home use version to a full digital audio workstation (DAW) $99, $199, or $499
Music Creator 7: record audio/MIDI tracks, arrange, edit, mix, write music, rip/burn CDs, DirectX Audio-plugin support $49.99
Comments: A demo of Sonar is available for download. Some of the products are available as a download purchase.

CFB Software (Australia):
LP Recorder
(V11.1 Dec 2013): recorder with auto start/stop and auto level capabilities $39.95 (US)
LP Ripper (V11 Mar 2013): split tracks from a recording, insert silence, store MP3 tags $39.95 (US)
LP Burner (V3.1 Jul 2010): Burn WAV files to Audio CD (does not support other formats) $19.95
WAV Joiner (V4.0.1 Dec 2009): combine WAV files into a single file $29.95
Comments: Combo with LP Ripper & Recorder $69.95; 3 Pack with Burner $79.95. Feature limited demos available; Pricing point seems rather high to me given the competition.

CoolEditRecordpro 7: record, edit, effects. Pro $19.95 and Deluxe (adds CD Rip/Burn) $29.95
Comments: site features a few other audio tools as well.

Coyote Electronics:
Groove Mechanic v2.6 (last update June 2008): Click, pop, and hiss removal software. $39
Comments: Free Trial version available. I've seem several positive recommendations for Groove Mechanic. I would test a demo before buying as it doesn't seem to have been updated since 2008.

Dartech, Inc.:
Dart Pro MT: Top end product. Supports 24 Bit/96kHz. Audio restoration functions, audio capture. Vista. $299.95
Dart Pro 24: supports 24 bit, 96kHz, DeCrackel Music/Speech, MaskNoise, more $149.95
Dart XP Pro: Record, Rip, Edit, DirectX plug-in support, DeHiss/DeNoise Plus FFT/AR, DeClick Plus, Retouch, DeHum, more $79.95
Dart CD Recorder 4.1: Record with timer, DeClick & DeHiss, Equalizer, Fade In/Out, Normalize, DirectX plug-in support, CDDB, WAV/WMA/MP3 support, convert MIDI to WAV, and CD Burner $29.95
Comments: I have CD Recorder 4.1. I'm not crazy about the interface, but it works pretty well and it has done a good job removing tape hiss from some tape to MP3 conversions I've performed. Demo versions are available. I would check wiith DartPro on versions, as the software doesn't appear to have been updated in some time, but the website isn't real clear on version numbers or release dates.

Diamond Cut Productions:
DC Live Forensics8 (May 2014): Diamond Cut's flagship product adds extensive forensics capabilities $1,499
DC 8.5 (May 2014) Compete Audio editing , restoration, and ehnancement. Direct-X plugins support, AVI, Live feedthrough mode,  more. $199 ($159 download)
DC Millenium 4.80 (Aug 2001): Audio editing, restoration and CD mastering w/24bit/96kHz support, Noise Reduction (impulse, continuous, harmonic) $59 download only
Comments: Downloadable demos are available. A longtime producer of audio Forensics software and professional editing.

Acoutsic Cutter 0.41 Preview edition - early phase of this audio editor
Comments: I'm not sure if this is still in development, last update was 2011

Sample Wrench 24/96 (V5.4 Feb 2010) 24-bit / 96kHz capable, Effects, Click & Pop removal, MIDI and Sampler support, etc. $149
Sample Wrench Classic (V5.4 Feb 2010): 16 bit version of above $99
Sample Wrench XE (V5.4 Feb 2010): Cut down version, no noise reduction $49
Comments: Downloadable demos available.

Free Audio Editor Simple audio editor.
Comments: Freeware, but installers will add a lot of junk if you don't opt-out.

E-Soft (U.K.)
V10.8.1.2 Audio Editor, CD Ripper, converter, manager; with VST plugin support and some DirectX effects. 64.95
MP3 Workstation V9. 8 in One - Audio Editor, converter, CD grabber, etc. $19.95
Audio Editor/Recorder/Splitter v6.1.2.1: Edit, normalize, record w/Stop timer, some MIDI support. 9.95 GB
Comments: Downloadable demo. E-Soft also has other audio and video related software

EXPStudio Audio Editor Pro (V4.32 Jan2010): Edit, effects, filters, voice convert (such as male to female), recording functions. $34.95
Comments: Downloadable demo. EXPStudio Free is also available at no cost, supports WAV format only. Does not seem to have been updated since 2009.

FAE Distribution:
Free Audio Editor 2015: available in Deluxe version ($29.95) or free version
Comments: I haven't tried this

n-Track Studio
(V7, Mar 2015): 24 bit Audio & MIDI multi-track recorder. Record, edit, mix, with DirectX, VST, and ReWire plug-in support. $49; n-Track Studio EX $89
Comments: An evaluation version is available for download. Now has iOS and Android versions as well!
FlexiMusic Audio Editor Last update: 2011: 16bit/44kHz, Edit, record with timer and silence detection, effects, and unique waveform drawing tool. $40
Comments: Downloadable demo is available. (Audio Editor replaced Wave Editor)

Awave Studio (V11): Convert, Simple Editor, MIDI Play, MIDI to WAV, with a focus on Instrument sound files. $99
Awave Audio (V11.1): Audio batch file Converter with Record function and CD ripper. $49
Awave ACDR (V5): CD-ripper with external encoder support, CDDB, etc. $donation-ware
Comments: Downloadable demos area available.  

Ganymede Test & Measurement:
Wave Corrector Professional (V3.7 2011): WYSIWYG Wave editor with manual or auto declick, dehiss, and audio filters for cleanup. Also has recording, track splitting, fade in/out, and normalize functions. $59.
Wave Corrector Standard (V1.4 Oct 2011): Standard edition without granular click correction, hum, normalize, and a few other functions is $39
Comments: Limited demo available. These programs provide all the basic functions for LP or tape to WAV, and they have good tutorials on their website. Haven't been updated in some time, so try a demo to make sure it works in your environment.

Easy Audio Mixer: record, mix, edit. $19.50
Comments: also has a few other music apps.

GoldWave Inc.:
GoldWave Digital Audio Editor (V6.10 Jan 2015): Record, edit, rip with clean functions (noise reduction, pop/click removal), supports WAV/MP3/OGG/FLAC and more, DirectX Audio Plug-in support. $59 lifetime license or $19 for a one year license (US)
VideoMeld (v1.25): Audio/video mixer & editor program. CD audio, MIDI, WAV, MP3, DirectX plug-in, AVI/WMV/MOV video support. $69 lifetime, $19 single year
Comments: Demo packages are available. Goldwave is a well respected editor that has been around a long time.

High Criteria:
Total Recorder Standard Edtion
(V8.5 Oct 2013): Recording, timer stop, normalize, save fragment, MP3/OGG/WMA/FLAC support, scheduler. $17.95
Total Recorder Professional Edition (V8.5): Adds fade in/out, auto-stop by audio silence, added editing functions, autosave capability, batch capability $35.95
Total Recorder VideoPro Edition (V8.5): Adds ability to record from video sources including AVI, WMV, FLV. $53.95
Comments: Downloadable demos are available

dBpowerAMP Music Converter R15: dBPowerAmp no longer supports the Auxiliary Input that allowed for recording from any source, but it is such a useful converter program that I've left it here anyway.
Comments: Downloadable Demo available. 

Klein, Jeffery:
ClickFix 3.04, Jan 2011: Plug-in for Adobe Audition 3 or Cool Edit 2000/Pro to fix clicks & pops using a proprietary statistical technique. $19/$49
Comments: Free and Pro versions. Downloadable demo available. Does not work with the latest Adobe Audition software.

Magix Audio Cleaning Lab 2014: Full featured audio editor to record, edit, clean, master, and burn to CD or DVD. Seems to be download only. $59.99
Magix Audio & Music Lab 2014: Recording, editing, optimizing, and converting audio files. $99.99.
Sequoia 13: Digital Audio Workstation (DAW). 2.500,00 plus VAT
Comments: Demo available. Magix also makes other music/video relates software as well.

MiLo Software (Mike Looijmans):
CD Wave v1.98 Feb09: Designed specifically for recording from records/LPs and splitting the final recording. $15
Comments: Well done and simple. Downloadable demo version available. Has not been updated since 2009.

Minnetonka Audio Software, Inc.:
Fast Edit 4.0: 32-bit / 96kHz capable professional audio editor with DirectX Plug-in support. $199
Comments: Demo available. This program doesn't seem to have been updated in some time (Update file date is Jun 2001)

Blaze Media Pro
v9.0: Audio/Video converter, editor, recorder, burner, and more. $50
Audio Edit Deluxe
(V5.01 2008): Audio editor and converter $40
Comments: Blaze Media includes audio editing, so looks like the better deal for $10 more. Downloadable demos available. Software has not been updated since 2008/2009.

NCH Swift Sound:
Golden Records: Vinyl to CD Converter with audio restoration tools and CD burner. $36.20
WavePad: 32bit/96kHz Audio Editing Software with recording, editing, and multiple format support, VST Plugin support. Standard (no VST)  $59.40; Master $79.99
Comments: NCH produces a lot of other audio-related software as well.

Naturpic Software:
Audio Editor Free (v2.0): Record, convert, edit, and play
Comments: Also sells a sound recorder

Nero Inc.:
Nero 2015 Platinum:
More than just audio, but includes audio record, rip, edit, burn capabilities.
Comments: Probably Nero and Roxio are the most "popular" CD/DVD burning products available. They both offer some audio editing capabilities, but I've never examined the capabilities in depth.

Next Generation Software:
NGWave Audio Editor (V5.1 Feb 2015): Full featured audio editor. $19.95
Comments: Downloadable demo available.

WaveMax Sound Editor (Apr 2015) Recording, editing, equalization, sound reduction, CD ripping, Text to Speech. $39.99
RecordMax Burning Studio:. CD Ripping & Burning $29.99
Comments: downloadable demo available; Bundle deals, other audio-related software available.

OcenAudio 2.0.15: Free audio editor with VST plugin support. Supports Mac, Windows, Linux.
Comments: Looks pretty nice from the website, I haven't tried it yet

R.M. de Boer Software:
Soundedit Pro (V2.1.125 Dec 2004) Digital Audio Editor to edit, record, mix, and more. No mention of Vista support. $39.95
Comments: Downloadable demo available. Various other audio programs (CD Ripper, AV Burning Studio, etc) are available. Does not seem to have been updated since 2004.

Roni Music:
Audio Companion
(V1.5.9 Aug 2014): Recorder with auto split functionality, filter for removing clicks and crackles, CD ripper, batch file conversion $29.95
Amazing Slow Downer (V3.5.1 Feb 2015): Change speed in real-time without changing pitch $49.95
Decrackler VST Audio Plugin 1.0: advanced filter for scratch/crackle removal $39.95
Comments: Downloadable demos available.  Also supports Apple Mac systems.

Roxio Creator NXT3:
Full audio and video editing suite for the consumer. $99.99
Roxio Easy LP to MP3: $49.99
RecordNow Music Lab 10 Premier: LP/Tapes to Digital, burn CDs, and more. $29.99, or Premier edition adds DVD capabilities for $29.99
Comments Probably Nero and Roxio are the most "popular" CD/DVD editing/burning products available. They both offer some audio editing capabilities, but I've never examined those capabilities in depth.

QuickAudio 2.1: free Audio editor with VST support
Comments: Sionsoft offers this free tool to accompany their Music Composition software, Quickscore Elite.

Softdiv Software:
Dexter Audio Editor (V4.4 Mar 2015): Audio edit, effects, filters, recorder, CD ripper, conversion, noise reduction, and more. $45
Comments: Downloadable demo. Softdiv also makes audio conversion software, video converter, etc.

Sony Media Software:
Sound Forge Pro 11: Professional audio editor. Recorder, editor, effects, and more. High-end. $399.95
Sound Forge Audio Studio 10:  DirectX & VST Plug-in support, Flash support, Record, rip, edit, burn, Video synchronize, click, pop, & noise cleaning. $59.95
Comments: Downloadable demos a5vailable. Also has Mac versions.
SoundEngine 5.21 June 2014.

Steinberg Int'l:
Cubase 8 family: Multitrack recorder. Comes in two editions: Cubase Pro $549.99, Cubase Artist $299.99, Cubase Elements $99.99
WaveLab 8.5: Professional mastering, high resolution multi-channel audio editing, audio restoration, sample design and radio broadcast work. $499.99
WaveLab Elements 8: streamlined version with podcasting tools. $99.99
Comments: Steinberg products have always been good (though expensive). In the past they have introduced a few less expensive products such as Clean!, and WaveLab Lite has been available as part of other packages, but they don't seem to be supporting these products anymore, nor are they offered separately.  Supports Windows and Mac versions. Full versions require a USB-eLicenser, which is a pain.

Virtuosa Gold (v5.20 Feb 2005): Rip, normalize, convert, mix, burn CD/DVD, etc. $39.99
Comments:  30 day demo available, hasn't been updated since 2005!

Waschbusch, Ulf M:
Encounter 2003 (V4.1 2006): Free sound editor with recorder function $0.00
Comments: Developed by Ulf during his college days. Although development has discontinued since 2006, website states the program works in Windows 7.

Waveshop 1.0.14 Nov 2013. Open-source audio editor.
Comments: Supports LADSPA plugins, but not VST.

Wavosaur: (France)
Wavosaur Audio Editor (1.1 Dec 2013): Includes ASIO and VST support, 64 bit edition available. $0.00 Freeware
Comments: Several VST plugins are also available at the website. Recording has been added.

Wieser SW Ltd:
RIP Vinyl v4.05: Simple but to-the-point recording tool with automatic splitting, track detection, and MP3 support, designed for LP/Cassette conversion UK 6.25
Comments: simple, effective, and low cost. Works on Windows 8. Trial version available.

Yamaha Corporation:
Tiny Wave Editor v2.3.1 (2002): Free Wave Editor for basic functions.
Comments: Decent free audio editor. I can't find an information page, but the following download link seems to work (as of April 2015):

Lossless Encoding Software:

Note: lossless encoding preserves the sound quality, but takes up more space. Also, there are fewer playback tools available to play these formats as is. Useful for storing on CD, and converting to MP3 as needed for portable players.A few players support these formats natively.

Ashland, Matthew: Monkey's Audio v4.06 Mar 2009 (Win) $Free;

Coalson, Josh: Free Lossless Audio Codec (FLAC) v1.2.1 Sep07 (Win, Linux, Solaris, BSD) $Free;

WavPack: WavPack (Win) v4.60.1 Nov 2009 $Free

Lossy Encoding Software

Note: MP3 encoding capability is built into many commercial software packages. Listed here are the major encoders. I haven't listed the Apple formats used in iPod.

Ogg Vorbis: (V0.82.16930 Feb 2010) Fully open source with no licensing problems, but sadly not as widely supported (though support is continually growing)

Fraunhofer IIS-A Patent holders for the MP3 format. Many players licence code from Fraunhofer.

LAME (V3.98.4 March 2010) alternate free MP3 encoder widely used