Mac Audio Editing Software Review
Why Use Mac Audio Editing Software?
There is a plethora of audio editing programs available today – too many to count, really. It can be extremely difficult to sift through them and find the one that fits your needs. The best Mac audio editors can help you digitize your old LPs, edit audio and record tracks – provided you have the additional equipment, of course.
Why should you buy an audio editor when you already have iTunes and GarageBand for free on a Mac? While both programs work great, they each have their limitations. iTunes is perfect for organizing your music and converting files to MP3s, but if you are looking to record or edit audio, iTunes can't help.
GarageBand, on the other hand, has a number of different tools to record and edit audio, but it has its shortcomings as well. The proprietary software doesn’t have the file conversion abilities you might need. Exporting is usually confined to MP3 and AIF files.
Enter Mac audio editing software. It is essentially the best of both worlds. The best programs allow you to import and export a number of different audio file formats and let you extract audio data from video files. Recording and audio editing tools are also provided to create podcasts or to restore audio as needed.
Mac audio editors aren’t the only audio editing programs out there. DAWs (digital audio workstations) are similar to audio editors in that they can record and edit audio, but DAWs are far more extensive and have more tools available to record and edit audio. The caveat with DAWs is the price. Even an entry-level version of a DAW costs $100, where a professional-level Mac audio editor costs anywhere from $20-$50 in most cases. Professional DAWs cost upwards of $550 and are CPU intensive programs that take up much of your computer’s resources. Mac audio editors are cost-effective and have plenty of tools to record and edit smaller audio projects. If you feel you are looking for a program that is more intensive and powerful, visit our audio production software site.
Many of the programs in our comparison offer free versions as well. Be aware that these free versions are limited in their tool set, audio editing and recording capabilities. When you purchase the software, you get more tools, effects and overall editing capabilities. These extras lead to a better finished product. For more information on this subject, visit our learning center for articles on audio editing.
Mac Audio Editing Software: Our Evaluation
All of the audio programs we reviewed are for Mac operating systems. Only a few of these programs work with both Mac and PC operating systems. The best audio software for Mac can import and convert a wide variety of audio formats, as well as provide tools to record, edit and restore audio to top-notch quality. The criteria below are found in the best audio editing software for Mac.
Interface & Workflow
Workflow is incredibly important when it comes to working on audio. The best programs have an aesthetically pleasing, functional and modern interface.
Customizable toolbars and menus can help you create a workspace that works best for you. You will also want your menu bar to clearly delineate between your tools and editing processes.
It is helpful to have software that has effects and editing tools that allow you to preview edits before they are processed. Having presets also allows you to adjust effects with little effort. We evaluated, scored and averaged all the criteria to come up with the overall interface and workflow score.
One of the most important things in audio restoration is removing unwanted noises from your audio recordings. Humming air ducts or hissing noises caught in your recordings can make an audio recording sound flawed. It's important to find an editor that can remove unwanted noises successfully without compromising the quality of the audio.
You will also want to find an audio editor that provides many effects that you can apply to your audio. With effects, you can shape and edit your recordings to sound exactly the way you want.
Most audio editors can record audio. However, some of them can record more than one source of audio at a time. With a mixer and a couple of microphones, you can create a multi-person podcast using your Mac audio editor as the anchor to your project.
Many people use Mac audio software to edit the sound score to video files. Having an editing program that can automatically extract audio data from a video file is important for this task.
The more file types your Mac audio editor can import, the better off you will be. File format conversion is equally important. You will want to find an audio editor that can export files and convert them to multiple file formats.
Our Verdict and Recommendations
WavePad is our Top Ten Reviews Gold Award winner. This Mac audio editor is a rare mix of audio recording tools, audio conversion, editing and simple navigation that make it one of the most enjoyable programs to use. It is compatible with many audio formats so you don’t have to worry about working exclusively with MP3s or WAV files. For Mac audio editing software, this is one of the best programs out there.
Adobe Audition, our Top Ten Reviews Silver Award winner, is a subscription-based program that features the premier recording tools. You can record multiple audio sources simultaneously as well as add a plethora of effects and other audio plugins to the recordings. Cleaning up depreciated audio is another strong suit. Removing unwanted noises and upgrading audio quality is no task for the stout audio restoration tools within the program. Boasting great prowess in both audio recording and editing, Adobe Audition is a top of the line mac audio editor.
Sound Forge is our Top Ten Reviews Bronze Award winner. The audio restoration tools alone are reason enough to put Sound Forge near the top of our list. The noise sampler learns the unwanted noise from the recording, finds it and dispels it from the audio, making it simple and quick to get audio back to top quality. Sound Forge is one of the few audio editors in our comparison that can record multiple audio sources at once – 32 to be exact. Keep your eye out for Sound Forge Pro for Mac.