We take a look at the Best Free Audio Editors and Digital Audio Workstations available as Audacity alternatives.
Read on to discover the best free DAWs available to use now, and don’t forget to check out some of our industry-standard software if you fancy making an upgrade!
If you’re looking to start recording music and need to know about the best DAW for beginners, click here to read our Home Recording Buying Guide, or watch our Home Studio Setup Guide below:
In no particular order, here are some of our favourite free audio editors and Digital Audio Workstations:
Cakewalk by BandLab
One of the most complete packages available, Cakewalk by BandLab is a high-spec digital audio workstation for Windows.
With unlimited tracks and studio-quality effects, Cakewalk grants you the ability to compose, record, edit, mix and master from the same piece of software.
Also including MIDI-compatibility and an award-winning interface, this is perfect for those looking to complete a home studio setup on a budget.
WavePad Audio Editor
WavePad Audio Editor is a fully-featured audio editor available for Mac and Windows. This program supports almost all audio file types, and producers can even utilise DirectX and Virtual Studio Technology DLL (VST) plugins.
Equally suited to editing for podcasts or broadcast, every sort of audio engineer or enthusiast will find useful features packed in here, with equalization, reverb, and filtering available.
As an added bonus, the included sound effect library hosts hundreds of royalty-free clips and music, as well as supporting a multitude of audio formats.
Audiotool is unique in that it is a browser-based free online audio editor and collaborative platform that has fostered a community of artists on the internet.
As well as an extensive sample and sound library, Audiotool includes emulations of famous drum machines and synthesizers such as the Roland TR-808, TR-909, and TB-303 units, meaning it’s great for electronic music.
With various effect simulations and the opportunity to work with and remix tracks from other musicians, the possibilities are endless!
Ocenaudio is an easy-to-use audio editor with cross-platform compatibility - that is, it’s available on all major operating systems.
Whilst this piece of software might not boast a feature list quite as impressive as some of the other options here, its beauty is in its simplicity, and with VST support there are options beyond the built-in filters and effects.
There is also a spectrogram option for those who need to dig into the audio property details a bit further - ideal if you don’t want to open anything that's too taxing on your system.
Perhaps the most noted program on this list, GarageBand is more than just an alternative to Audacity for Mac.
Used by artists such as Alex G, Grimes, Justice, and Steve Lacy, GarageBand works like a stripped-back version of Apple’s Logic Pro DAW, but still packs in enough features to make it a complete home studio option.
Musicians can enjoy unlimited MIDI tracks and access to Apple Loops in addition to third-party plugins and virtual instruments which can be accessed via the library.
With it’s intuitive workflow and clear layout, this software is also great for podcast recording or other bits of editing and processing you need to get your audio files up to standard.
Available on iPhones and iPads too, the app allows seamless transferring of projects between Mac OS and iOS - so you can work on your projects anytime and anywhere.
If the free audio editors just aren’t cutting it, check out our extensive range of industry-standard Digital Audio Workstations here:
With options from Propellerhead Reason, Cubase, Ableton and more, these resources will supercharge your music-making and allow you to get to grips with the gear that the pros use.
Our selection of Studio Production Software includes package deals on Virtual Instruments, Audio Interfaces, and a whole range of plugins to make your mixes sound exactly how you want them to.
If you’re still not sure what you need, come along to your local PMT store and talk to one of our Experts, or call us on 0151 448 2089 and find out everything there is to know about getting started with producing your own music.