Sometimes, our hobbies take over our lives. Other times, we may want to save our money for other things. If you’re an Apple fanboy whose ambitions as a musician don’t exactly hit the ceiling, you’re in luck. Free audio editing software for Mac is all around you. All that you need to do is take a look.
Whether you want to make music, record a podcast, or just knock together a ringtone, you’ll probably be able to find the best audio editor for Mac for you on this list. Many won’t cost you anything at all.
From quick and simple apps to professional-level Mac audio software, here are our top picks for the best audio editing software for Mac available for you to download.
Audacity is the first free audio editor for Mac that most people stumble upon—it’s an easy recommendation. Audacity is free and open-source, has a fairly straightforward interface, and supports a massive number of file types, including MP3 and WAV.
You can record straight into the app or edit existing files. There’s an enormous number of effects you can use, as well as a spectrogram for analyzing frequencies. It also supports high-quality 32-bit audio, making this a powerful free audio editor to consider.
Mac users rejoice; Audacity is a fantastic starting point for anyone who needs a free Mac audio editor that truly does it all. The only downside is that it doesn’t support non-destructive editing, so make sure you’ve got a backup of your original audio file before you begin.
Download: Audacity (Free)
WavePad is another excellent Mac audio editor, and it’s free for non-commercial use.
WavePad supports many file types and allows you to work on multiple files at the same time; you can even batch process thousands of files at once. This audio editor supports audio bookmarking, the usual range of effects, and some text-to-speech and vocal manipulation tools.
The multi-window interface takes a bit of getting used to, but, as far as free audio editing software for Mac goes, it’s well worth a look.
Download: WavePad (Free for non-commercial use)
ocenaudio is a completely free and feature-packed cross-platform audio recorder and editor from Brazil, another awesome option for the budget-conscious sound engineer. It’s some of the best free music editing software for Mac—the app supports a huge number of file types including MP3, FLAC, and WMA. It also supports various video formats, including the MKV container.
ocenaudio is often seen as the main alternative to Audacity for free music editing software, Mac or otherwise. It has a similar feature set, but offers a much more refined interface that makes it super accessible. There’s also support for VST instruments, a range of effects, a fully-featured spectrogram, and the ability to edit very large files without eating up all your Mac’s memory.
Download: ocenaudio (Free)
4. PreSonus Studio One Prime
For the best free audio mixing software, look no further than Studio One Prime. It’s a free version of a professional suite of audio engineering tools that would normally set you back $399.
You can create or mix music with plenty of built-in effects, instruments, and loops, but it’s just as good for recording and editing podcasts and voiceovers. It may take some time to find your way around the interface, let alone master it, but your efforts will not be expended in vain. If you’re willing to invest the time, Studio One Prime is the ultimate in free audio software for Mac.
Download: PreSonus Studio One Prime (Free)
As far as free audio editors for Mac are concerned, don’t overlook the classic that you’ve probably already got installed on your machine: GarageBand, the reigning OG of sound editing software for Mac. It’s an excellent choice for beginners and adequate for intermediate users.
Although it’s designed primarily as a tool for making music, the app works just the same as any other basic audio editing software. You can record directly into the app or import and edit existing recordings. It’s a decent option for podcasters, too, with voice optimization features built-in.
The best part? You can use iCloud to sync your GarageBand projects across all of your devices. So, whether you switch to an iPad or another Mac for music production, you can pick up where you left off. Seamless, right?
Download: GarageBand (Free)
On to the paid options. At $60, Reaper is at the upper end of what we’d classify as a cheap audio editor. This audio editing software for Mac comes with a very generous 60-day free trial, though, so you’ll know whether it’s for you long before you actually have to stump up any cash.
If it’s any encouragement, Reaper is much loved by its user base. It’s a small download, it supports all common file formats at whatever quality you need, and it supports the use of free VST plugins, putting thousands of instruments and effects at your fingertips.
What Reaper lacks compared to similar commercial products is a sound library. The internet is packed with thousands of free downloadable samples you can use to build your own, though, so it likely will not be a dealbreaker for you.
Download: Reaper ($60)
Fission is an audio editor for Mac that focuses on fast, lossless editing, all contained in a neat and stylish package. The app comes with a decent free trial that gives you unhindered access to everything except one key feature: the ability to save audio files in high quality.
Fission offers a long list of features, including batch editing, simple waveform editing, support for FLAC and WAV, and lossless editing for already-compressed MP3 and AAC files. You can batch convert from one file format to another, while a handy Podcasts panel makes it easy to package your projects and share them online.
Download: Fission ($35)
Last on the list, we have yet another free audio editing program for sound mixing, creating beats, organizing samples, and more. LMMS is short for Linux MultiMedia Studio, and as the name suggests, this music production tool was developed with Linux in mind. You can hook up LMMS to any of your MIDI devices if you’re looking to perform live.
The app offers 16 built-in synthesizers, 64-bit VST instrument support with a 32-bit VST bridge, and an embedded ZynAddSubFX synthesizer in addition to all the basics like the compressor, limiter, reverb, delay, and so on. If you also use a Windows machine, you’ll be pleased to know that LMMS is a cross-platform software, meaning OS compatibility is not an issue.
However, you may have trouble launching LMMS after the installation as macOS doesn’t recognize the developer. Therefore, you’ll need to head to System Preferences > Security & Privacy > General and click on Open Anyway once you see the popup message. By doing this, you’re basically granting an exception for the blocked app.
Download: LMMS (Free)
Simple Audio Editing Software That Mac Users Will Love
It’s surprising just how comprehensive these free and cheap audio editors for Mac are. They’re suitable for just about anything you would need a Mac audio editor for, from quick, five-minute jobs to launching your recording empire.
Apple’s macOS has always been the platform of choice for creative types. Even the simplest applications on this list offer a deep and robust suite of audio engineering tools that can be used to bring your dreams to life.
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