If you don't want to waste $21 on a monthly Creative Cloud membership, look though these cheap and even free Adobe Audition alternatives. For you not to waste time testing all similar programs, I’ve prepared my top 10 programs like Adobe Audition.
These software are easy to use and have many professional music editing tools. All programs are absolutely free or cheaper than Adobe Audition.
To determine which alternative can replace the reference software for audio editing and recording, I recommend downloading Adobe Audition free trial version and compare the programs side by side.
Verdict:Whether you want to start a new podcast or crop 100 sound effects for an indie game, a simple open source editor called Audacity should be your first try. This Adobe Audition alternative is cross-platform and is available for Windows, MacOS, and Linux. The system requirements are minimal.
Audacity allows you to record 16-bit or 24-bit audio. One of the best features is that it can smoothly convert and combine any sounds you drag and drop, regardless of the discretization rate and formats.
In terms of editing, users can cut and paste, duplicate or delete audio, place multiple clips on the same track, and make changes up to the sample level. The Convert Tool also allows you to add custom fades.
A simple built-in mixer allows you to get the right relative levels and stereo position. You can also disable solo of some tracks (all these settings are not destructive).
Audacity imports and exports WAV, AIFF, AU, FLAC, and Ogg Vorbis formats.
Verdict: Logic is a simple and multi-functional Adobe Audition alternative. To start using Logic Pro X, you need the latest Mac with OS X v10.12 (Sierra).
The main screen is customizable and can include everything you need - depending on how you fill it, of course. The main tracks are available in several forms: audio, for recording live tools, MIDI, for recording MIDI data from a keyboard, electronic drum kit or another input device, and a tool that combines them to use with virtual connectable instruments. Mind that Logic Pro 10.4 supports touch panel.
Logic Pro 10.4 can display timeline with the appropriate colors of the region, elements of tracks control or tracks Smart Controls for each track even in the form of plug-ins. You can record audio at up to 24-bit, 192 kHz resolution.
The main news in 10.4 is the Smart Tempo, which automatically detects tempo information of any material. However, it's a bit complicated to make it work. You need to configure the project for keeping or adapting the rate, and then also regulate the tracks and imports.
Verdict: Among all programs like Adobe Audition, Avid deserves special attention. It is a cross-platform app for professional audio editing for music, movies, games, and broadcasting. Despite its price, you can use the free version of the product, which is now called First.
The main interface has two windows: Edit and Mix. The Edit window handles all recordings, arrangements, detailed audio and MIDI editing. With the built-in Pro Tools, you can play up to 128 stereo tracks at 48 kHz, 64 tracks at 96 kHz, or 32 tracks at 192 kHz with the ability to record up to 32 tracks simultaneously.
Avid has a wide range of virtual tools. You get a Boom, sequencing drum machine, Mini Grand, a simulated Grand piano with multiple sounds and reverbs, plus variable dynamics with a single knob, a DB-33 organ with wheels with a rotating speaker, Structure Free that plays instruments based on samples, and more.
As part of the basic setup, you get a variety of AIR effects that cover all the major bases when mixing. One of my favorite apps is Avid Channel Strip AAX plug-in that emulates the equalizer and dynamics.
Verdict: Ocenaudio is easy to use, fast and functional cross-platform audio editor. It is an ideal Adobe Audition alternative for people who need to edit and analyze audio files without wasting time of tutorials.
Ocenaudio has a less confusing interface than Audacity but is still a powerful audio editor. Your open files are displayed in the list on the left, and the selected file will be displayed as a signal on the left. It is worth noting that, unlike many free audio editors, Ocenaudio has correctly marked axis, not an arbitrary volume rate.
This software is based on the Ocen Framework, a powerful library designed to simplify and standardize the process of creating audio editing and analysis applications across platforms. However, I don't quite like that it's not open source, so unlike Audacity, there's no way to adjust its code if it doesn't meet your exact requirements.
You can apply different filters and effects with a real-time preview of results, edit multiple options at once and perform many standard sound editing tasks such as copy, paste, and others.
Other features include support of VST plug-ins, addition of digital noises, tones and DTMF sequences, waveform/spectrum and spectrogram representation, sound statistics, iPhone ringtone support, and more.
Verdict: Reaper is a digital audio workstation (DAW) and serious Adobe Audition alternative. Unlike many other programs of this type, you can use this one to create your own menus, toolbars, and macros, as well as to change the look and color scheme of the interface.
Either it is an audio or a virtual instrument, you create a track, press the left red button to record and then press the main recording button to start. You can adjust the monitoring effects, for example, whether you want to hear the reverb in your headphones while recording vocals.
Unlike FL Studio, Reaper is suitable for simultaneous recording of several audio channels of live instruments from a few interface inputs. Reaper doesn`t come with any useful virtual tools or loops, which makes a task harder for beginners.
It is assumed that you will exit and add your own third-party plug-ins. Reaper supports VST, VST3, AU, DirectX or JS.
Mixer`s interface seems inflexible at first, but like everything else in Reaper, it can be adjusted. Reaper provides the possibilities to automate tracks, set of instruments and effects. While running, you can stop or reset tracks to free up memory and CPU cycles.
Verdict: Considering another alternative to Adobe Audition it should be said that Live’s interface is two separate working fields: session and arrangement. You can easily switch between them using the Tab button or two round icons in the top right corner of the screen.
Although Ableton Live is no longer unique among DAW's, a distinctive feature of this program is the distortion of sound, i.e. the control of rhythm, tempo, and pitch (or MIDI).
This can be used when matching the rhythm of dance songs while DJing in a nightclub or for eliminating synchronization problems in a recorded file to bring some life to robotic computer music with human help.
Ableton Live supports VST tools and plug-ins. MIDI editing is perfect, and the built-in instruments, sounds, and effects are excellent.
One of the areas where Ableton still needs to be improved is the usual destructive audio editing. You can edit the parts of the audio file fluently, but if you need to remove the silence or parts of the source file, you have to do it in an external editor.
Verdict: AVS Audio Editor is an Adobe Audition alternative with many useful functions. It has an easy interface with a toolset at the top of the window. The simplicity of the interface allows even beginner to easily handle the audio editing process.
Among all the other basic tools – the "Mix" tab deserves special attention. This tool opens the arrangement window that provides options for editing and arranging multiple audio tracks simultaneously.
This is convenient for editing a podcast with two or more separate audio sources. Here you can split the sound into separate tracks, adjust the volume and regulate the sound.
There are about 20 built-in effects and filters such as delay, flanger, chorus, reverb, and others. Also, you can mix multiple audio tracks.
Verdict: GarageBand as Adobe Audition alternative offers easy-to-use music recording features both for beginners and professionals and comes free with every Mac. The application still can boast of almost the best virtual tools for learning. The basic scheme of GarageBand interface simulates the structure of Logic Pro X.
The main feature of GarageBand is its VST and VSTi elements, which allow you to compose music inside a DAW and record all songs on real instruments. The list of plug-ins is long and includes the most necessary ones.
Basic audio editing is very simple, but if you want to study GarageBand in detail, you’ll find advanced features as well. Flex Time allows you to slur the groove of a certain audio track, while Groove Matching is perfect for syncing, tempo, and feeling other tracks in relation to the one you've set up.
Also, the app has intelligent controls that highlight the most effective options for adjusting a specific sound, as well as provides regulators, buttons, and sliders that can be adjusted depending on the instrument.
Verdict: If you prefer using a program with open source code but want to go deep and study the program for hours, then I highly recommend trying such Adobe Audition alternative as Ardor. This full-featured sound workstation is full of useful functions to create and edit music and works on the open source basis.
The application can process a big range of commercially available VST, Ladspa, and LV2 plug-ins. In addition, you can view and edit plug-ins directly from the console's mixing channels. It's worth mentioning that in the Linux version you can use JACK for free audio tracking and MIDI in and out of other software.
Unlike some other DAWs that place limitations on saving, exporting or advanced features, Ardor allows you to try out all the features for free. The only drawback is the maximum project duration - it can be only ten minutes.
Verdict: Among programs like Adobe Audition, Sound Forge Studio is known as a great option for beginners. Unfortunately, it has none editing and recovery features that can be found in programs we've covered above.
However, the editor comes with 11 DirectX plug-in audio effects. These effects have 90 sound presets, which make it simple to find the sound you want. You can also preview the effects before applying them.
Sound Forge Audio Studio doesn't have the advanced audio recovery plug-ins that Pro Studio has, but its basic audio recovery tools do a great job of removing noise from bad audio recordings.
Also, it is worth mentioning that there is no possibility of batch processing of several audio files and the ability to combine multiple effects of the plug-in together.