Creative

The 6 Best Alternatives to Audacity for Recording and Editing Audio

Dan Helyer Updated 21-05-2020

Audacity is the biggest name in free audio editing. It’s open-source software that has been around since 2000. And it’s effective at what it does and can be used for more than just recording and editing audio.

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There’s nothing wrong with Audacity, and we recommend giving it a try if you haven’t already done so. Audacity is popular for a reason and you should only look for an alternative if you find it buggy or annoying.

Fortunately, if that is the case, there are plenty of alternatives to Audacity. So here are some of the best Audacity alternatives to use…

1. Ocenaudio

Ocenaudio audio editor

Ocenaudio is a tiny, lightweight, and fast audio editor. It’s based on the Ocen Framework, which is a powerful cross-platform library that standardizes the manipulation and analysis of audio. In short, that means Ocenaudio performs well and remains stable no matter which operating system you use it on.

Because it’s so slim, you probably won’t want to use it for editing-heavy projects like music production. However, if you just want to record a monolog or an interview, then Ocenaudio is one of the best free audio editors The Best Free Audio Editing Software Editing audio can be a daunting task. However, here are some great audio editing software to help you overcome any challenges. Read More available.

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Think of Ocenaudio as the Microsoft Paint of audio editing: perfect for quick and easy cropping and splicing, but not so great when you need to do something more complex.

Download: Ocenaudio for Windows | macOS | Linux (Free)

2. Wavosaur

Wavosaur audio editor

One of the big draws to Wavosaur is that it offers a multiple-document interface. That means you can switch between multiple different projects from the same window. Of course, you can open multiple projects in Audacity as well, but it isn’t as easy to switch between them.

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Wavosaur also comes with a handful of advanced features, such as auto-trim, silence remover, crossfade looping, and audio region exporting. Wavosaur even supports VST plugins.

It’s a little harder to learn, but not by much. The only true downside is that Wavosaur is neither open-source nor cross-platform: it only works with Windows.

However, at least it’s completely free.

Download: Wavosaur for Windows (Free)

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3. AV Audio Editor

audio-editor-av-audio-editor

AV Audio Editor is an Audacity alternative that’s also something of a hybrid between Ocenaudio and Wavosaur. It’s similar to Wavosaur thanks to its robust audio-editing features, support for common audio formats The 10 Most Common Audio Formats: Which One Should You Use? You know about MP3, but what about AAC, FLAC, OGG, or WMA? Why do so many audio file formats exist and is there a best audio format? Read More , and ability to edit multiple projects at once. But it’s like Ocenaudio in its simplicity and ease of use.

Unfortunately, AV Audio Editor is also only available for Windows.

Another drawback is that AV Audio Editor doesn’t have a built-in recording feature. But you can just use AV Audio and Sound Recorder for that. Not only is it free, but it’s advanced enough to record from multiple microphones and audio sources at once.

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Download: AV Audio Editor for Windows (Free)

Download: AV Audio and Sound Recorder for Windows (Free)

4. WavePad

WavePad audio editor

WavePad is a fully-featured professional audio editing program that feels like a souped-up version of Audacity. On top of all the basic editing features you’d expect, WavePad supports all kinds of effects, compression, batch processing, scrubbing, bookmarking, spectral analysis, and Audio Unit plugins.

And all of this power is made easy to use with a straightforward interface. WavePad is a completely free audio editor for personal use. To use it for commercial purposes, you need to buy it for $60 or $99, depending on whether you want VST support or not.

You can install WavePad on Windows or Mac. Something that makes Wavepad much better than Audacity is that it also offers mobile apps for Android and iOS.

Download: WavePad for Windows | macOS | Android | iOS (Free, with a premium purchase available)

5. Adobe Audition CC

audio-editor-audition-cc

Adobe Audition is an absolutely amazing audio editor that is much better than Audacity. However, it’s only worth considering if money is of no concern whatsoever or you’re a digital artist, graphic designer, or photographer with other reasons to buy a Creative Cloud subscription 5 Reasons to Buy the Adobe Creative Cloud Adobe's Creative Cloud comes with a lot of great advantages. We've compiled a list of reasons to invest in Adobe Creative Cloud while you still can. Read More .

Adobe Audition is a precision editing app. It provides a bunch of neat features and tools for cleaning up audio, restoring poor quality, implementing effects, and mixing multiple sources together. It’s perfect for podcasting, sound design, and even music sampling.

But is it worth the monthly recurring cost? Only you can decide that. The best value would be to get the full Creative Cloud plan, which costs $52.99/month if you sign up for a full year and comes with 20 apps, including Audition, Photoshop, Lightroom, Illustrator, and more.

If you aren’t sure about the cost, you can test it out by making use of Adobe’s seven-day free trial.

Download: Adobe Audition CC for Windows | Mac ($20.99/month, free trial available)

6. Ardour

audio-editor-ardour

It’s hard to find high-quality creative apps on Linux, and the realm of audio editing is no exception. Even in this post, the only other Audacity alternative that works on Linux is Ocenaudio. If Ocenaudio is too barebones for you, Ardour is another solid option.

With Ardour you can record inputs, edit waveforms in a number of ways, splice and mix multiple waveforms together, and use hundreds of plugins to expand those functions. It’s perfect for composers, musicians, and sound engineers. Although it may be too complex for simple podcasts or quick audio fixes.

Note that Ardour has an unusual pricing structure. The free version periodically goes silent after 10 minutes, which is enough time to let you try the app but also enough of a nuisance to make you want to buy it.

If you do buy Ardour, you can essentially pay what you want for it—even as low as $1. If you pay less than $45, you don’t get access to all future upgrades. But you can choose a subscription instead—for as little as $1/month—that gives you upgrades for life.

Download: Ardour for Windows | macOS | Linux (From $1, free demo available)

Audacity Alternatives: Which Is Your Favorite?

There are certainly more Audacity alternatives on Windows than Mac or Linux. But the good news is that you can find apps similar to Audacity on any platform. And all of them offer something different.

Sticking with Audacity has the benefit of a large userbase, but if you really can’t stand it, hopefully one of these alternatives to Audacity will work for you instead.

And now that you’ve found the best audio editor for your needs, you should take a look at these tips for recording better audio 10 Essential Tips to Help You Record Better Audio The simplest way to deliver the best quality sound is to record better audio in the first place. Here are some essential tips. Read More to make your productions sound better than ever.

Related topics: Audacity, Audio Editor, Music Production, Record Audio.

Affiliate Disclosure: By buying the products we recommend, you help keep the site alive. Read more.

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  1. Dewed
    June 25, 2020 at 4:49 pm

    Mixpad?

  2. majorsuave
    April 29, 2019 at 11:10 am

    I use CakeWalk Platinum, but since I bought it and this article was released, Cakewalk pro has gone free.

    It's a no brainer to use a DAW that's on par with Ableton, Cubase or ProTools when it is completely free.

    Out of the box it comes with all the plugins you need.

  3. Jack
    March 24, 2019 at 4:06 pm

    I'm still using CoolEdit 2000, which was swallowed up by Adobe inside Premiere Pro. It's great for simple edits, reverb, echo, chorus etc. I use Reaper for more complex stuff.

  4. RJ Hernandez
    October 10, 2018 at 8:40 pm

    Wavelab (currently using 9.5) has been my absolute favorite ever since version 3.0. I would never use any other audio editor for precision audio editing or mastering!

  5. Patrick Burns
    October 10, 2018 at 6:22 pm

    I can't believe that Reaper did not make this list.

  6. Phil Spencelayh
    March 30, 2018 at 7:25 am

    Two problems really.
    Very often freezes near the end of a job. I have to crash the programme then restart and recover, it works but is a nuisance.
    Often have to convert the output with Soundkonverter to get it to play.

  7. Richard Peko
    March 4, 2018 at 12:43 am

    Have used Audacity for almost 10 years to record our sermons and post them on our church website. Last summer we upgraded our computers with a new dell system and windows 10. with the upgrade to windows 10, we had to purchase a new usb/midi interface. we settled for focusrite scarlett 2/4. unfortunately that interface is not compatable with Audacity. We are looking for a new program to record the sermons so that we can return to posting them on the website

  8. Kevin McCluskey
    January 29, 2018 at 7:27 am

    I've been in a mad rush to try all sorts of different software in this arena of editing.

    I write a lot on my iPhone just using the voice recorder, and then fly those into Audacity to clean them up. Or run them in reverse and take snippets to drop back into GarageBand on my iOS phone.

    I've been intrigued by some of these browser-based offerings such as Soundation. And I've downloaded Twisted Wave for the 30-day free trial and appreciate how simple the command menu is; large, easy-to-read icons instead of endless pull-down tabs.

    Also getting in to Ocenaudio, also a download that allows one to drag and drop files right into the program.

    I've used Audacity for years, and the one thing I dislike is how precious the app is in terms of what you can and con not import, and having to export all those separate aspects man hit more difficult to send/share with your collaborators.

  9. Philip
    December 17, 2017 at 10:46 pm

    I have been using AUDACITY for many many years.... I LOVE IT !...
    We waiting for an Android Tablet version hopefully comming soon !?!?

  10. Simon
    November 20, 2017 at 11:49 pm

    There was once a saying, long ago: The only replacement for a DC3 is a DC3!
    (DC3 was a great, perhaps the best commercials airplane ever)
    I think people understand what I mean to say about Audacity...
    Tried'em (almost) all.

  11. Cj
    May 22, 2017 at 5:08 pm

    I also forgot to mention that I never found a way to get Audacity to record PROPERLY without having to reboot my computer EACH and EVERY time WITH my microphone and equipment plugged in at the time of rebooting. (Otherwise it would record only half of the sound !! )

    I do extensive recordings and this is such a waste of precious time.
    ( Mac user)

  12. Cj
    May 22, 2017 at 5:03 pm

    I've been using Audacity and am now seeking an alternative since Audacity seems to be the route of a bug that has now caused me to loose a total of 4 days work AND a ton of stress. Their Cmd+R is not a good option for the repeat noise removal action for LENGTHY audio file editing, as in book narrations (using a mac and Cmd+R is a command to reset the Operating System).

    AND it is most annoying - and TIME consuming - to have the ONLY option to remove noise is by going through a drop-down menu EACH and EVERY time - with the only hotkey - Cmd+R - being the "Repeat Remove Noise" was hardly reusable, for obvious reasons.

    So I'm off to finding a new editing software that can handle large audio file editing without messing with the OS.

    Thank you for this article (and the comments).
    Cj

  13. Rev. R K Matthews
    May 6, 2017 at 9:03 pm

    My only concern was the big old book I had to read...until I found tutorials, both downloadable and on YouTube. I'm not a tech junkie so the easier the better. I have a long program I'm rerecording on Audacity to be made into an MP3 salable download.

    The Audacity book attempted simplicity, but was challenging.

    Thanks for the great reviews. I may try Ardour.

  14. guy
    May 3, 2017 at 4:56 am

    Do any of the other editors have that feature that let you 'scrub' in real time as the mouse moves? Like in audacity you can right click on a certain part of the top bar and then if you let go of the mouse button and just drag around on the wavform it has some algorithm to play the part you're dragging over where the tempo is set by how fast you're dragging the mouse pointer (or plays at normal tempo if you're dragging at a rate that would be faster than that). It also plays backwards if you drag backwards.

    Probably not the most used or necessary feature in a wav editor, but I use Audacity for other purposes and have gotten some good use out of that feature. I feel like it's ridiculous that it's 2017 and the dev community is still arguing back and forth about whether/how to remove that stupid save prompt on exit even when nothing has changed. I'm ready to try something new just to see what's out there, but bonus if it has that feature!

  15. fred Fish
    April 29, 2017 at 11:43 pm

    Just had my day wasted using Audacity to record a track then found the morons who wrote it have caused a new audio track to be generated every time someone presses record.
    Every musician will NOT a new track popping up without sending sound levels. Every musician will want to select tracks before and then set levels then and only then will they record into that track.
    Because of this not very cleverly thought through feature this sw is useless !!

  16. Fred Fish
    April 29, 2017 at 10:35 pm

    Audacity insists on creating a new audio yrack evety time you press RECORD. Brainless !
    When it does you cannot set I/p levels before recording
    Every Musician will want to select the tracks & input levels BEFORE recording !
    Not afterwards
    Whoever wrote it does not know anything about Music Production. Useless.
    There is some control of levels via PAUSing track but not enough. Sound mixer desk only available afterwards.
    No use for me. Day wasted.

    • William
      June 8, 2017 at 4:57 pm

      Hi Fred!
      RTFM, then try pressing the Shift key on your keyboard before you click on the Record button. And Voila!
      William

  17. Doug
    February 8, 2017 at 6:32 am

    Audacity lacks punch in. I can't edit without it.

  18. Ken Wolf
    February 7, 2017 at 10:03 pm

    Audacity and the damn lag has driven me to seek out alternatives ty I will try out each and hopefully continue writing and playing with what little hair I haven't ripped out in frustration ..why they can't sort it out I have no idea so many thanks to you ..and goodbye Audacity..

  19. Mark
    December 19, 2016 at 11:54 pm

    I followed your advice and downloaded Audacity, and went out and bought a microphone. Then I learned that audacity does not run on Windows 10. It says so on the website. I then hooked up my old Windows 7 computer and it would not see the USB microphone.

    Time to go APPLE.

    • Joel Lee
      December 23, 2016 at 1:16 pm

      Hi Mark, I use Audacity on Windows 10 all the time.

    • Cliff Farris
      January 5, 2018 at 8:34 pm

      Audacity runs spectacularly on m y Windows 10 and Dell installation.

    • Cliff Farris
      January 5, 2018 at 8:35 pm

      Audacity runs spectacularly on my Windows 10 and Dell PC installation. Saves files for Dragon NaturallySpeaking 13.0 Premium fine.

  20. Glenn Herrick
    December 5, 2016 at 1:49 pm

    On my Mac I've long used and recommended Sound Studio. Versatile and user-friendly, excellent support. I have tried Audacity, had no complaints, just no motivation to abandon SS.

  21. ThomasAnderson
    December 5, 2016 at 3:25 am

    I have used AV Audio Editor and can confirm that it is free but still can do some complicated editing.
    I download it to merge some files and add some effects, it has some use-able effects there (they are quiet good as for my standard).

  22. Henry
    December 5, 2016 at 3:21 am

    AV Audio Editor is actually more amazing than I thought. It's the first software I tried in this list.
    I am not a pro editor but this tool can solve my need for some advanced editing (to me at least).

    This software provides some pro editing tools even though being a free. Anyway, if you look for a simple tool and some pro audio effects with a free price then this may suite your need.

  23. Jimy
    June 8, 2016 at 7:26 pm

    Thank you, I'd like to use audacity but it crashes on me all the time on Ubuntu, so this helps.

  24. Haneef Syed
    January 7, 2016 at 8:55 am

    At present i am using Audocity, I am in search of a software, which can remove vocals from the Audio, completely or atleast to the very minimum level to creat karaoke track. I want to change to such software if available.

  25. johnyb.
    December 8, 2015 at 3:45 pm

    That is all garbage. No one is like a Cubase-Steinberg.

  26. Anonymous
    September 13, 2015 at 4:18 pm

    Um, no. It would fit the definition that something offering MORE than Audacity would be an alternative.

    Not that it's a good definition. Just be careful about what you say.

  27. steve
    March 29, 2015 at 7:26 pm

    Almost a useful article, but a totally pointless premise.

    You start by stating that Audacity is a useful and popular free open source audio editor, and then go on to compare it with non-free, commercial, closed source software, most of which are DAWs (digital audio workstations) and NOT audio editors. Using a DAW when you need an audio editor is just as pointless as using an audio editor when you need a DAW.

  28. brian
    February 23, 2013 at 10:28 am

    The reason I need to switch from Audacity is that it does not support virtual audio streaming. I hope one of these does! Thanks!

  29. microbee
    November 6, 2012 at 5:25 am

    On Linux you should also try Ocenaudio and Calf.

  30. Nikhil Chandak
    October 28, 2012 at 5:46 pm

    seems similar to audacity ....
    but I hv Audacity so .. I don't want these

  31. Rick
    October 26, 2012 at 1:47 pm

    Soooo...These programs are either Audacity clones or provide features not available in Audacity (DAW's, etc). Why would they be considered alternatives? If you need something to do what Audacity does, just use Audacity.

    • Joel Lee
      October 26, 2012 at 3:06 pm

      Using your definition, NOTHING would be an alternative to anything.

      • Anonymous
        September 13, 2015 at 4:19 pm

        Um, no. It would fit the definition that something offering MORE than Audacity would be an alternative.

        Not that it’s a good definition. Just be careful about what you say.

        • Heidi
          August 18, 2019 at 8:54 pm

          If you want something more than audacity, than options offering something less simply aren't for you. That doesn't mean they aren't alternatives. An alternative by definition is simply something different.

  32. Scutaru Razvan
    October 26, 2012 at 10:51 am

    good to know!10X

  33. Anonymous
    October 23, 2012 at 6:19 pm

    sweet :) now I'm really digging this.

  34. hotdoge3
    October 23, 2012 at 10:19 am

    all I need is Audacity & HandBrake http://handbrake.fr/

    [Broken URL Removed]

    http://audacity.sourceforge.net/

  35. Asriel Allolinggi
    October 23, 2012 at 3:31 am

    Ardour is one of the Complex Audio Editing Tool..:-)

  36. Jim
    October 22, 2012 at 6:24 pm

    Nice list. I may try some of the Linux programs. RecordForAll has been good. No advertisements. With the audio files, FeedForAll has worked well for creating podcasts.

  37. Vivek Kumar
    October 22, 2012 at 5:19 pm

    nice post

  38. Boni Oloff
    October 22, 2012 at 10:57 am

    Great alternatives.. They are very good to edit MP3..

  39. Palle Paulsen
    October 21, 2012 at 5:04 pm

    Sounds very interesting, download and now on with the tryout

  40. Anonymous
    October 21, 2012 at 1:39 am

    Awesome. Audacity is alright in terms of technical performance, but I always felt like it could be more...user-intuitive. It would have helped me get started with recording much more easily. Definitely going to try one/all of of these alternatives.

  41. Seasider UK
    October 19, 2012 at 1:53 pm

    I use Audacity to transfer vinyl to CD via a USB turntable do any of these applications have a USB capability?

    • Joel Lee
      October 19, 2012 at 1:56 pm

      Yikes! That's a little advanced for me, so I can't give you a guaranteed answer. You could try looking at the features pages on the more advanced alternatives, like LMMS, Traverso, and Ardour.

  42. Rodolfo Santillan
    October 19, 2012 at 1:50 am

    i usually use Audacity...very easy to use...fast loading...nice & simple UI.

  43. Tom Dawson
    October 18, 2012 at 5:43 pm

    This looks great

  44. dr john
    October 18, 2012 at 12:03 pm

    I've used Total Recorder for about 10 years now.
    Very inexpensive, simple, and very reliable (it has never failed to record anything I've tried it on)
    It may not look as flashy as some of these other programs, but it works well for me.

  45. c smith
    October 18, 2012 at 10:02 am

    I like audacity. But is useful to know of other worthwhile alternatives which I will check up on asap. Besides although similiar in nature each has something to offer that may be useful in the future . I keep a file of such alternatives as a fallback. Plus other commentators often have valid and useful information.

  46. Keith Swartz
    October 17, 2012 at 8:31 pm

    Awesome! Very awesome!

  47. RecordForAll
    October 17, 2012 at 6:23 pm

    Really appreciate the mention of RecordForAll if anyone has any questions on its functionality or if we can help in any way please let us know!

  48. Nguyen Tran
    October 17, 2012 at 4:22 pm

    Verry useful, thanks!

  49. Ben
    October 17, 2012 at 4:19 pm

    Where's Reaper? Reaper is one of the most over looked DAW's on the market. It has a similar "you should pay for this but we're going to allow you all the features of the program" kind of like Win RAR (little message with a countdown before you start the program). Besides that, it runs VSTs like a champ, and has a very simple and intuitive UI. Plus, it's made by the guys who made WinAmp!

    Very surprised to see that Reaper did not make this list. I'm an audio engineer and could never get used to the simplicity of Audacity. It's not enough for someone like me who wants complete control of a multi-channel EQ without this terrible looking UI that looks like it was made in 1992. Audacity is good for what it is, but if you want a more professional DAW without shelling out a ton of money, Reaper is where you should look.

    • Joel Lee
      October 17, 2012 at 4:22 pm

      I saw Reaper in my search for Audacity alternatives, but I think I was put off by its price tag so I never checked it out. Good to know that it has an unlimited free trial, though. Being made by the guys from Winamp is a good endorsement, too. Thanks for sharing!

  50. Oron Joffe
    October 17, 2012 at 4:17 pm

    Excellent list and very good comparison. Personally, I oscillate between using Audacity (great, but a bit slow, and project files are clumsy) and Wavosaur (smaller and faster, but I find it less intuitive).
    Also deserving mention is WavePad from NCH software. You can pay for it or download a free version which comes with what one may call harrass-ware, shortcuts to other NCH apps that exhort you to download (and pay) for them. These are very annoying, but it has to be said Wavepad is a very fine editor.

    • Joel Lee
      October 17, 2012 at 4:23 pm

      Harrass-ware, ha! That's a good name. I'll check out WavePad on your recommendation. Thanks.

  51. Ritwick Saikia
    October 17, 2012 at 3:37 pm

    How can you get bored with something that just works?? Audacity is just right for what it's meant to do and that's sound editing.

  52. Harshit Jain
    October 17, 2012 at 2:32 pm

    Ardour looks terrific but still I am quite used to using Audacity for making some ringtones for my phone and editing some songs.

  53. Harry Barnes
    October 17, 2012 at 1:12 pm

    audacity is still the best though :)

  54. Mostafa
    October 17, 2012 at 1:06 pm

    Really a good topic and good alternative topics too

    • Mostafa
      October 17, 2012 at 1:09 pm

      ** and good alternative programs too

  55. Ahmed Khalil
    October 17, 2012 at 10:00 am

    very nice and useful , thanks for this information

    • Joel Lee
      October 17, 2012 at 2:28 pm

      You're welcome!

  56. Chew Jian Yue
    October 17, 2012 at 9:40 am

    Amazing. I was looking for alternatives to it too, since I am getting bored with Audacity.

    • Joel Lee
      October 17, 2012 at 2:28 pm

      If you find an alternative that you really like, let us know how it goes. :)

  57. Mac Witty
    October 17, 2012 at 8:51 am

    On Mac I have been using Audacity and WireTap Studio (not free) for a long time and have not found any reason to change. When looking for a free alternative for a friend I ran into Soundflower and Soundflowerbed (http://code.google.com/p/soundflower/) together with Audacity.

    Not recording very much but next time I might take a look at Traverso DAW and Ardour - even if it might be a bit of overkill

  58. Deekshith Allamaneni
    October 17, 2012 at 5:20 am

    I did not find any compelling reason to look for an Audacity alternative. Audacity is the best for me (and most others too).
    RecordForAll costs as high as ~ $40. Whats so special about it that other free alternatives lack?

    • Joel Lee
      October 17, 2012 at 2:18 pm

      If you're perfectly satisfied with Audacity, then don't feel any pressure to change. Use what you like! :)

  59. Partha Sarathy
    October 17, 2012 at 4:04 am

    Iwas looking for recording software to use in Linux. thanks for the timely tip

    • Joel Lee
      October 17, 2012 at 2:15 pm

      Glad we could be of help. :)

  60. Declan Lopez
    October 17, 2012 at 2:03 am

    nice, i might try lmms

  61. Brian Mok
    October 17, 2012 at 1:34 am

    Linux MultiMedia Studio seems really awesome. Might try it out sometime.

  62. Edwin Williams
    October 17, 2012 at 12:29 am

    Aye, I've always used Goldwave if I needed to trim some audio. I'll have to check out some of these other ones though!

  63. Félix S. De Jesús
    October 16, 2012 at 9:39 pm

    My best Alternative is Goldwave.

    • Joel Lee
      October 17, 2012 at 2:14 pm

      I hadn't heard of it but I'll check it out. Thanks for sharing!