The right audio editing software can do a lot for your business. Recording good quality audio for your online course is just one part of your content creation process. But, editing is where you tie things together and really make your content shine. Choosing the perfect editing software can be overwhelming with so many different choices available, but it doesn’t have to be. You just have to know what to look for when shopping. And that’s where we come in. Keep reading for everything you need to know about choosing the right audio editing software for beginners and the top tools on the market.
Things to look for in audio editing software
There are a lot of options to choose from when it comes to audio editing software and plenty of functions to understand when it comes to choosing the perfect tools for your business. Here are a few things to consider and remember before you commit and make a purchase:
1. Your budget
Audio editing tools’ prices can range anywhere from $0 to $1,000 or more, depending on the complexity of the software. When you decide which one to choose from, start with the budget. You can find good audio editing software no matter your budget, so don’t get too concerned about extending your budget. In fact, knowing your budget limits will help you actually minimize the pool of editing software and eliminate decision fatigue.
2. Compatibility with your computer system
It’s a small detail that’s very easy to overlook, but you should always make sure you’re choosing an audio editing software that’s compatible with your computer system. For example: If you’re using Windows, Garage Band is not going to be the best editing software option for you because Windows don’t support Apple products and vice versa.
3. Less is more
When it comes to choosing the perfect editing software for beginners, it’s always best to stick with the “less is more” mindset. Producing good quality audio mostly depends on the microphone and the environment you’re recording in, so the editing process is merely that extra cherry on the top. This means, you don’t really need all the fancy features that a professional music producer might need.
The important thing to keep in mind while choosing the easiest audio editing software for beginners ease of use. How easy is the software to use? Remember: Less complicated mechanics and features makes it simpler for you. So, as a beginner, start with less. You can always upgrade later.
Familiarize yourself with the necessary functions
The first thing you want to do before choosing the right audio editing software is to familiarize yourself with the functions you’ll need to produce good quality audio. Here are some key functions you’ll want to look for when choosing your software:
- Multiple tracks: This will allow you to record and edit multiple audio tracks in the same file, so you can easily add sound effects and background music when needed.
- Audio level adjustment: This feature will help you even out the audio volume throughout your recording, making for an overall better listening experience.
- Cut, paste, undo: The easier it is to perform each of these actions in the editing software, the more efficient you’ll be with your editing.
- Background noise reduction: Removing the background noise from your audio will make a huge impact on the quality of your end product.
- Clean interface: This is not a feature per se, but it’s just as important for beginners because you want software that’s very easy to navigate.
The majority of audio editing software out there will have all of these functions with some even having more. You might have to try different ones to see which ones you’re the most comfortable with.
Top three free audio editing software picks
If you’re on a tight budget but still want to produce high-quality audio, you’re in luck. There are some really great audio editing software for beginners that have great functionality and are totally free.
GarageBand is the native macOS audio editing software that is totally free and very easy to use. Its only downside is that it’s available exclusively to Apple users. This editing software has a clean and very straightforward interface, which makes it a top pick for beginners.
When creating a new project, you can either upload pre-recorded audio into the software, or you can record your audio straight with GarageBand. You can easily add up to 255 audio tracks when editing and navigate base audio, background music, and any other sound effects you’re looking to add to your audio. There is a built-in sound library for GarageBand, so if you’re looking for a way to improve your audio, you can browse the library for sounds and music that is free to use.
Editing is also extremely easy with GarageBand. You have all the controls in the “Edit” tab at the top of your screen with shortcuts that allow you to perform actions like “cut,” “paste,” and “undo” with just a few buttons. You can also drag and drop any audio clips however you like, with just one click of your mouse. GarageBand allows you to export your audio in four different formats: AAC, MP3, AIFF, and WAVE. It also allows you to select the quality of sound when exporting, which will affect the size of your audio file.
Audacity is hands down one of the best free audio editing software out there. It has built a large following throughout the years, which means company is constantly updating it. With Audacity, you’re able to upload your pre-recorded audio or record your audio within the software. It also offers multiple audio tracks, which allows you to work with different audios at the same time while editing.
What makes Audacity stand out from the other audio editing tools is the fact that it’s widely available for all computer systems—Windows, macOS, and Linux. And on top of that, it has very modest, minimal system requirements. And, it doesn’t require you to have the newest computer system to run it comfortably and without interruptions.
Audacity also has a large built-in library of sounds available for usage. You can easily cut, paste, and mix together audio clips with a simple click and drag of your mouse. This make the editing process smoother and effortless. However, all edits are destructive, meaning there is no way to undo an edit without losing all the processes done after it. This makes the editing process less flexible than other editing software.
In addition, Audacity has a large library of plug-ins available that can all improve the quality of your sound. These plug-ins aren’t included with the initial download of the software and need to be installed separately. But it’s worth your time to do so—they can truly change the way your audio sounds, even if you don’t have the best microphone.
Youtube creator Jason R. has a great video explaining and showcasing the difference Audacity plug-ins can make when implemented during the editing process:
Another great free audio editing software for beginners is Ocenaudio. It’s not as complex as Audacity, but it still offers a great array of built-in tools and features that allow you to easily edit your audio files. It has a very straightforward and simple interface that allows you to see all the files you’re working on in front of you. You can easily cut, clip, paste, and move audio clips within the software and apply different effects and filters.
This software is also available for Windows, Linux, and macOS operating systems and has tons of plug-ins available to install, just like Audacity. Ocenaudio is less popular than Audacity and GarageBand, and therefore, doesn’t update as frequently.
Paid audio editing software alternative
If the audio editing software we mentioned above doesn’t fit in with what you’re looking for, then we have a great paid alternative for beginners, too.
Adobe Audition stands out from the crowd as audio editing software. Interestingly, it wasn’t originally created with musicians in mind like all the other software were. It was developed specifically for content creators, podcasters, and video producers, which makes it a perfect software for online course creators. Just like all Adobe Cloud products, Adobe Audition is available for Windows, Linux, and macOS operating systems. And it’s included in the Creative Cloud subscription. So, if you’re already an avid user of Adobe CC, this software is a perfect option.
Adobe Audition has a clean and straightforward interface that allows you to see the audio tracks you’re editing. You can work with multiple audio tracks at the same time, and it allows you to cut, clip and move the clips with just one click. Removing background noise is very easy and possible with one button, which can save you effort and time. This allows you to focus on editing the content of your audio.
One downside of using Adobe Audition is the price. If you’re not a user of other Adobe products, it has a monthly subscription starting at $20/month if you choose their annual plan.
Remember: Start simple and upgrade as you go
The pressure of using the newest, fanciest, and trendiest audio editing software is real for every creator. But, the good news is that you don’t need much to produce high-quality audio for your online course lessons. So, determine your budget and your needs, and don’t worry about the trendiest software. You can always upgrade your software and tools as you progress and grow your online business.