There are a lot of professional audio editing programs available and choosing the right one for you can seem daunting. Thankfully, there are a few industry-standards to look for whether you're an amateur voice actor or professional studio engineer. We’ve put together a list of the most popular programs to help you decide which one suits you best.
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The best part about Audacity is that it’s got all the bells and whistles that you need, while also being free and open source. There's also a great community of developers constantly adding additional features. While it doesn’t have quite the same scope as a professional audio editing program, it is great for amateurs to get their feet wet. If you’re looking to get into audio editing and teach yourself the ropes to record voice samples, getting to know Audacity is a solid first step.
If your a multimedia producer or voice talent that does their own editing, the Adobe suite of products is great option. Adobe Audition is easy to learn how to use and there are plenty of resources available to help you. It contains a host of powerful add-ons and built-in tools designed to help a wide audience of users, from the amateur producer to the professional corporate video creator. The program is quite intuitive to use and can really add a lot of depth to your editing. Adobe Audition is currently available through the Adobe Creative Cloud subscription service.
Avid ProTools is incredibly powerful audio editing program and is considered an industry standard in the localization and entertainment world. It allows users to perform simple to complex audio edits and there is a whole range of audio plug-ins users can add to modulate their audio recordings. This digital audio workstation (DAW) really is an all-in-one solution and is one of the best products in its field. However, it comes at a bit of a steep cost, with Avid Pro Tools costing at around $600. Still, if you’re hoping to get your hands on the best professional audio editing program on the market, Avid Pro Tools is at the top of the list.
Similar to Avid ProTools, but not quite as powerful, Reaper is a solid choice for those interested in a more reasonably-priced audio editing program. It’s only a fraction of the cost of Avid Pro Tools and yet is still incredibly versatile. Reaper can easily accommodate both the needs of a professional studio engineer and the amateur. Reaper’s only drawback is that its offering of tools and plugins isn’t quite as varied or effective as other, more expensive options. However, the best part about Reaper is the dedicated community that has grown around it, with plenty of users willing to offer you guidance in the program.
Included with the purchase of any new Mac computer, Garageband is a strong program that deserves more respect than most people give it credit for. It’s not as powerful of an audio editing program such as Avid Pro Tools or Reaper but it is still able to tackle a host of editing needs. Recording a simple voice-over track or arranging individual tracks together is simple and easy. If you use a Mac, taking a look at Garageband first and seeing what it can do for you will never hurt. Note: even though it’s free like Audacity, it isn’t open source so updates are few and far between.