10 of the Best Audacity Alternatives

10 of the Best Audacity Alternatives
Photo: Eduard Goricev, Shutterstock

Audacity has been the go-to free audio editing app for years, but its recent privacy policy changes mention invasive data collection practices that are (rightfully) making a lot of people very uncomfortable.

That’s not the only problem with Audacity. It isn’t the easiest program to use, and its clunky UI forced many users to look for alternatives long before the privacy issues became a concern. What’s more, it’s also a destructive audio editor, which means that once you save changes to your audio file, it deletes those parts from the original file. If you want to roll back some changes, you’re out of luck unless you have a clean backup of the recording.

If these or other issues have you searching for a great Audacity alternative, we’ve got you covered. We’ve assembled a list of 10 options that can handle your audio editing tasks at least as well. Here is the complete list; proceed through the slideshow to determine which is the best fit for you.

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Dark Audacity

If you are comfortable with Audacity, but not with its privacy policy, look no further than Dark Audacity. It’s a fork of Audacity, which means that it’s essentially the same app with a few UI tweaks — including dark mode — and a better privacy policy.

Dark Audacity offers a simplified UI with fewer toolbars and rearranged menus. While that shouldn’t present a big challenge, you should know that Dark Audacity hasn’t been updated since May 2019 and it’s not available on Mac.

If the lack of updates bothers you, consider another frequently updated fork of Audacity, developed by Cookie Engineer. (This option also works on Mac.)

Free trial: n/a

Price: Free

Platforms: Windows

Ocenaudio

Just like Audacity, Ocenaudio is a free, destructive audio editing app for Windows and Mac. It supports a wide variety of audio formats including high-res FLAC files. (Remember that edits made to audio files using Ocenaudio can’t be undone, so be sure to keep a backup of original recordings to avoid losing crucial data.)

This app supports plug-ins that let you apply noise reduction effects. Where Ocenaudio differs is its UI, which is much more user-friendly than that of Audacity, and its ability to handle larger audio files without a hitch.

Free trial: n/a

Price: Free

Platforms: Windows, Mac, Linux

Wavosaur

Wavosaur is a free alternative to Audacity that can handle multi-track audio files. This is an ideal choice if you primarily work with .mp3 and .wav audio files. You can handle the basics, such as splicing audio clips to create music loops, and it even handles some slightly advanced tasks such as batch converting files.

One big advantage of Wavosaur is that it doesn’t have an installer, so you can just download and run the app. It supports VST (Virtual Studio Technology) plug-ins too, which is nice to have. Wavosaur is totally free to use, but exclusive to Windows.

Free trial: n/a

Price: Free

Platforms: Windows

Reaper

Reaper is a multi-track audio recording and editing app that can handle lots of third-party plug-ins. The app is relatively easy to use and works well with large audio projects that have hundreds of tracks.

This app supports plenty of audio formats, so you can import almost all major audio formats for editing, and export these files to any format of your choice. It also lets you create sound effects.

Reaper has a 60-day free trial with no limitations, so you can use the app and see if it is for you. If you like it, you can buy a licence for $US60 ($77).

Free trial: Yes

Price: $US60 ($77)

Platforms: Windows

Adobe Audition

Adobe Audition is perhaps the most popular audio editing app out there. If you’re familiar with other Adobe tools such as Premiere Pro and Photoshop, you’ll find it quite easy to get started with Audition, since the tools and other UI elements follow a similar design language.

While Audition can be used to both record and edit audio, it’s at its best when you’re mixing heavy, multi-track music sessions or editing long podcasts with multiple guests. Audition makes it easy to remove background noise, clean up disturbances, and add music or sound effects.

Podcast editors will be able to add chapters and album art from Audition itself, which saves some time and effort. Audition is available only as a subscription, but if you regularly edit audio files, it’s well worth the price.

Free trial: Yes

Price: $29.99 per month

Platforms: Windows, Mac

TwistedWave

If you prefer not to install apps on your computer, consider using a browser-based audio editor like TwistedWave. You can drag-and-drop audio files into the browser to start editing, and even without an account, you can edit mono files of up to five minutes in length.

If you like the tool, you can edit stereo files with it after paying for a subscription. Since this is an online tool, you will have to deal with some limitations such as your files being stored online for just 10 hours with the cheapest paid plan, as well as file length limitations. However, it’s a decent option for those who have computers with low-end specifications.

If you prefer to work outside of a browser, you can also try the paid Mac or iPhone/iPad versions of this app.

Free trial: Yes

Price: $US5 ($6) to $US40 ($51) per month (web), $US100 ($128) (Mac), and $US10 ($13) (iPhone or iPad)

Platforms: Any web browser, Mac, iPhone and iPad.

Hindenburg Journalist

If you’re a journalist or a storyteller intimidated by the technicalities of audio editing, then Hindenburg Journalist is a good app for you. It will save you from getting bogged down by issues such as incorrect audio levels, as the app automatically adjusts audio levels to make sure that no one sounds too loud or too soft.

It also offers nifty tricks such as adding a crossfade by default to hide clicks in the audio track that can occur when you cut at a point when someone is speaking. These features make Hindenburg Journalist accessible even to those who aren’t audio experts, so if that sounds right up your alley, check out the free trial.

Free trial: Yes

Price: $139

Platforms: Windows, Mac

Fission

Fission is a macOS-exclusive audio editing app made by Rogue Amoeba, an audio-focused indie app developer known for recording app Audio Hijack. The strong points of Fission: It won’t degrade your audio files and it’s really easy to use.

Having said that, Fission is a single-track audio editor. While it works fine, it won’t serve your purpose if you want to edit a multi-track session. Fission is a beautifully designed macOS app and UI is at the top of your list of preferences, it won’t disappoint.

Free trial: Yes

Price: $US29 ($37)

Platforms: Mac

Amadeus Pro

If you want a great multi-track audio editor for Mac but don’t want to take on a subscription, then Amadeus Pro may just be the right one for you. It’ll let you edit your audio files without sacrificing their quality.

Its best feature is a batch processor that lets you convert multiple audio files in one go and even apply multiple sound effects at the same time. This can save you a lot of time in editing, which is something you’ll appreciate more as you continue to use this app.

Free trial: Yes

Price: $US60 ($77)

Platforms: Mac

Sound Forge Audio Studio 15

Sound Forge Audio Studio 15 is another Audacity alternative with better UI. It lets you record, edit, and export audio files with ease. Audio Studio supports up to six channels, allowing you to edit 5.1 surround sound files.

Audio Studio has a lot of sound effects and a set of excellent audio presets that let you configure your edits quickly. There are useful options such as the ability to quickly truncate silence, removing gaps in your audio files. Podcast editors will find this option a useful, speedy to remove unnecessarily long pauses.

Download: Sound Forge Audio Studio 15

Free trial: Yes

Price: $US60 ($77)

Platforms: Windows

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