Buzz’s Blog: On Web 3.0 and the Semantic Web

Sep 22 2011   2:43AM GMT

Great (and inexpensive) sound editors

Roger King Roger King Profile: Roger King

In the last posting of this blog, we looked at software to clean audio.  Today, we look at software for editing audio – something that you of course must have before you start worrying about cleaning audio.

As it turns out, the programs listed below can use the cleaning plugins discussed in the previous blog posting – although not all of them can use all of these plugins.

PLEASE NOTE. I could not get the IT Knowledge Exchange WordPress system to put in proper paragraph breaks in the posting below, so I have posted a more readable version on the website I keep for my animation classes:  I don’t know why I have so much trouble with the IT KE system; I imagine I am doing something wrong…?

Recording voice.

I teach Introduction to 3D Animation at my university and record my desktop and my voice for each class sessions.  I post them so students can review them later.  (See and I also write fiction on the side and like to read and record my stories.  (See and

What are sound editors?
Broadly speaking, there are two classes of sound programs.  The more complex ones are for musicians who want to record and mix, and who might want to use electronic instruments and synthesizers.  These are called Digital Audio Workstations (or DAWs).  The simpler ones are what we are concerned with here.  These are “wave” editors that provide support for recording, editing, and adding effects to sound.  They are used heavily by podcasters.
Cheap but very good ones.
I mentioned a few of these programs in the previous posting, but I didn’t point out the ones that are cheap and are still very good programs.  Because of the competitive market for these products and because more expensive wave editors often have cheaper, slightly cut-down versions intended for small studios or individuals, the prices can be surprisingly low.
Here are some good Mac wave editors that are full featured, have elegant interfaces, and are reasonably cheap: Sound Studio, NCH WavePad, Amadeus, TwistedWave, and Audiofile Engineering’s Wave Editor.  The first four are available on the Apple App store and the last one is available on the Audiofile-Engineering site.  If you choose to buy TwistedWave on their site, you have the choice of downloading a 64 bit version. Some might find the Audiofile product clumsy because it involves juggling multiple windows, but it is very powerful.
Here are a couple Windows wave editors that are full featured and are also quite cheap.  The first one is the best buy out there, including Mac or Windows wave editors: Sony’s Sound Forge Audio Studio and the Windows version of the NCH WavePad product (it is a very different program than their Mac product).  Sound Forge has a very nice interface, but the WavePad product looks a little dated (unlike their Mac product).  Buy Sound Forge on Amazon, and it is even cheaper.
There is one that runs on both Macs and Windows machines, and it is free: Audacity.  It is a very nice product.  There are a number of other Windows-only free wave editors, but all of the ones I have downloaded and tried are dated and appear to no longer be maintained.
More next time on how to record, edit, and clean voice.

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