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Pros / It offers non-destructive sound editing with batch processing.

Cons / The program lacks a media burning tool, something that’s commonplace for this kind of software.

 Verdict / GoldWave has an easy-to-use and customizable interface, and its ability to process and edit with any audio source makes it a stellar choice.

A veteran in its league (sound recording and editing software), GoldWave has evolved over the years to its present version. A market leader in voice recording software, GoldWave offers endless possibilities to both new users and veteran audiophiles, like filters, special effects, editing, multiple file format support, the ability to record from multiple sources, and adequate help and guidance, which is why it edged out most of the competition and won the Top Ten Reviews Silver Award. Its only real drawback is the notable absence of an optical media burning tool, but most computers come bundled with one anyway.

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Interface

Many voice recording programs are simply too technical for new users to grasp. But GoldWave overcomes this problem with its user-friendly interface and “How Do I” section in the help file. Most of the topics are appended with detailed explanations in clear language, ready for you to use at any step during your process, ensuring that you’ll never get stuck or not understand something.

The majority of the tool and effect icons are conveniently placed on the main toolbar or the effects toolbar. You can also customize various aspects of the interface to make it easier for you to use. A keyboard shortcut menu lists the available options and controls. Commonly used edit commands like cut, copy, paste, trim, replace and overwrite are easily recognizable from the interface as well.

One of the best features found in this kind of software is its voice- and level-activated recording functionality. You can tell the program to only record when it hears voices or when sound goes over a certain decibel level that you set.

The software includes digital and analog rip capabilities but inexplicably lacks a burn option – a function that’s common within this type of software. It does allow you, however, to compress files.

Filter/Effect

The software offers non-destructive editing for your audio files, and you can process multiple files at once, even splitting or merging them. GoldWave also offers numerous audio filters and special effects which help you filter, edit, enhance and apply special effects to a voice recording. These effects can make a big impact on the finished voice recording, especially when the original voice feeds are sourced from a weak line with plenty of background noise, breaks, distortions and disturbances.

Some of the most useful filters and effects include: noise reduction, pop and click removal, trim silence, amplify, time warp, equalizer, reverberation and fade ins/outs. You can also convert your audio files from mono to stereo, if desired.

Compatibility

GoldWave supports a variety of file formats for opening and saving audio files. You can open files in WAV, MP3, XAC, AIFF, AIFC and other formats. Files can be saved to WAV, MP3, XAC, AIFF, AIFC, IFF and others. Conversion between popular file formats is also supported, for both files you’ve recorded with the software as well as any you upload from other compatible sources.

The audio recording software is compatible with all recent versions of Windows, from Windows XP forward. However, it lacks compatibility with Mac OS X.

Help & Support

A highly detailed and well-compiled help file is bundled with GoldWave. It covers all the crucial topics and has quick links to sub-menus. The “How Do I” section in the help contents guides a new user in dealing with common tasks. A user manual is also bundled with the software and covers each topic in detail. Online help is also informative, with a user forum, tutorials, a FAQs section and email support.

You also get free upgrades for the program upon purchase. GoldWave is available in two license versions, yearly and lifetime. Both options are very reasonably priced, making it not just one the best voice recording programs but also among the most affordable.

Summary

GoldWave has been serving audiophiles with its capable features and tools for over a decade. Over the years, its scope has expanded to include many new and advanced features, maturing to its current version. An optical media burning capability is the only lacking tool in this otherwise complete audio recording program. And while the user interface needs a facelift, GoldWave is great all-around voice recording software.

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Specifications and Benchmarks

Interface

Ease of Use Score
A
Recording Timer
Voice-Activated Recording
Digital & Analog Rip
Configurable Interface
File Compression
Change File Format

Filter/Effect

Equalize
Reverberation
Fade In/Out
Pop and Click Removal
Noise Reduction
Edit Silence
Mono to Stereo

Compatibility

WMA
MP3
WAV
FLAC
MIDI
M4A
AAC
Windows
10, 8, 7, XP

Help & Support

Direct Support
Email
Online Resources
User Forum