Topic: Audio editing software

Hello all,

I know this gets asked over and over again, but I don't see an answer so I thought I'd try asking anyhow.

I was trained on Vegas on Windows machines for audio editing, but my personal laptop is a Mac.

I like GarageBand but find it to be a much slower workflow, and to lack some of the capabilities of Vegas (for instance, transitions between tracks can be made much smoother with Vegas).

I have Soundbooth, but it uses destructive video editing ::shudder::.

I'm looking for something that's a step up from GarageBand in terms of the sorts of features you'd use to splice together a sort of radio doc soundtrack for my soundslides. But most of the forums online that compare these sorts of software are peopled by musicians who have very different priorities and feature wish lists.

So, any recommendations for Mac audio editing software that's good for a reporter, kind of like Vegas, and better than GarageBand?



Re: Audio editing software

I tried a lot of applications but ended up with SoundBooth CS4 (for Mac). Very happy with it, not cheap though.



Re: Audio editing software

I've been pretty happy with the latest beta of Audacity (1.3.7).  It's much better than the current official release, and has been stable on my Mac.  If you've tried the older version of Audacity and ruled it out, the new beta deserves a second look.  Oh, and it's free.

SoundTrack Pro is good, but Apple only bundles it with Final Cut Pro Studio.



Re: Audio editing software

I don't know if this will meet your needs, but Amadeus Pro is relatively inexpensive ($40) and provides a lot of great, reliable, and quick editing tools. At least it's worth a look.


Re: Audio editing software

Joe, can you recommend an editing program that is as simple as your program soundslides?


I saw a little tutorial on garageband last night and that looked somewhat simple, but understand that it does work with wav. files.

I have a pile of audio I need to audio and I'm feeling completely overwhelmed with figuring out how to do it.


Re: Audio editing software

Hi Lane,

A lot of our customers like Audacity, which is a free download at http://audacity.sourceforge.net

... and here's a quick guide to audio editing with Audacity:



Re: Audio editing software

Lane, I'll second Jonathan's recommendation of Audacity.  It's fairly easy to edit with, especially using the jtoolkit's guide Jonathan linked above.

Are you on a Mac?  If you have access to GarageBand on a Mac, it will indeed work with almost any audio format that iTunes can import. GarageBand imports the audio files from iTunes, so you should be fine as long as you can get your audio in iTunes.

I think GarageBand is probably the most simple editor for Mac, but you may quickly outgrow it and want something like Audacity.

After you edit in GarageBand or Audacity, you can export to an AIFF file on Mac.  Then you can use the free utility "Switch" to convert to MP3 file (it's very easy).



Re: Audio editing software

thanks, I will try audacity now and wait till the mac comes home tonight and see why I thought I couldn't use garageband.


Re: Audio editing software

@joe: I saw in another thread you mentioned Audacity Beta was much better, but would it be too complicated or buggy for a beginner like me?


Re: Audio editing software

I've only used the new Audacity beta on Mac, but it didn't seem buggy at all.  I'm not sure how the Windows version behaves, but I suspect it is probably just as stable.

As for complication, the beta looks pretty much the same, and doesn't seem any more complicated than the official Audacity version.  In fact something functions are LESS complicated with the Audacity beta.  For example, you can have more than one audio clip on a track.

I would give the beta a shot - just realize that a few of the screenshots in the jtoolkit's tutorial will look slightly different.



Re: Audio editing software

The only caution on Audacity is that it has a hard time if you move the project file to a different folder than the one you originally used. The result is patches of dead air where audio used to be.

I no longer have the problem if you allow Audacity to copy the original audio into the project folder. It takes up more space, but is more reliable, especially if you'll be moving material from laptop to other drives, etc.



Re: Audio editing software

I have found GarageBand to be easier and faster to work with right out of the gate.  Once I get my tracks edited and mixed down,  I'll import it into Audacity to tweak things if needed (has some great tools).  The ease of GarageBand seems to help things move along faster without so many key strokes, while the "look" of the panels, soundtracks, highlighting functions etc., seem to help me stay better organized and focused.  Of course my brain is "visually" wired.  If your circumstances aren't the same - I guess you may as well skip garage band altogehter and go for Audacity - It's an awesome app. and it's FREE.    Steve B.